France reacts to terrorist attacks
The investigations are in full swing following the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday. France's air force has launched large-scale attacks on Islamic State targets in Syria, where according to government sources the attacks were planned. Increased surveillance and far more resolute military intervention are called for, some commentators write. Others doubt that radical Islamist ideology can be defeated by a war.
More surveillance will lead to more terror
Building up a surveillance state in Western societies will only make it easier for the Islamists to recruit young people as fighters, the centre-left daily The Irish Times observes: "Britain and France are currently debating legislation to increase online surveillance. New police powers will undoubtedly be sought. Such measures and other new tools for the state's armoury may be hard to resist politically at this time. But they will be manna for the recruiting sergeants of IS in the banlieues of Paris among the deeply alienated young migrants. ... And there is a real danger that the attacks will also fuel the rise of the far right, notably the Front National. The temptation by governing parties to borrow their easy slogans to curtail their advance must be resisted."
There's no winning a war against an ideology
The war on terrorism can't be won because it's a fight against an ideology, Márton Bede comments on news website 444.hu: "For at least 14 years, since the terror attacks in New York in 2001, the Western world has been at war with radical Islam. The most recent battle in this war that is being fought from the hills of Afghanistan over the Syrian desert all the way to the French suburbs took place on Friday night in Paris. The West cannot win this war, because the enemy isn't an army that can be defeated, killed or taken prisoner on a battlefield, but an ideology. Wars against ideologies can never be won completely. The best example is the West's most recent battle against an ideology: the Cold War. Smoke is still rising from the ruins of the Cold War today. Most visibly in eastern Ukraine."
Only war can help against this terror
The international community must finally wage war on the IS terrorist militia, writes journalist Paulius Gritėnas on the online portal 15min: "It is sad, but [after Charlie Hebdo] France - and the world - needed yet another ghastly warning to finally pull themselves together and stop entrusting the war against the IS terrorists to the confused Iraqi army and Syria's scattered groups. ... I very much hope that now something will change and that a war will be waged. That's what the Islamist radicals deserve. They deserve the death that they have inflicted upon their victims. ... No, ladies and gentlemen, no Minsk Agreement or polite negotiations will help here. Radical Islam is facing the world with challenge after challenge, and the answer, in my view, is simply: war, just war."
Mobilise police, secret services and army against IS
The fight against Islamist terror in Europe requires more than just tighter surveillance, the centre-right daily Neue Zürcher Zeitung writes: "France, which already has some of the strictest counter-terrorism laws, wants to extend its intelligence services and police force. But that alone won't be enough. As attacks in Europe are often perpetrated by elements working in several different countries, the states must also intensify their efforts. That includes countries like Germany and Switzerland, which view their security services with distrust and are hesitant to give them new competences. What's more, Europe should extend the battle against the authors of terror attacks to their countries of origin and seek to destroy the IS with resolute military action in the Middle East. The most effective means of fighting the global jihad requires close cooperation between the police, the intelligence services and the army. That's how the Americans vanquished al-Qaeda."
Paris lifestyle a symbolic target
The attackers wanted to destroy the spirit of the city of Paris with their attack, the liberal daily Jutarnji list believes: "Paris is the symbol of a world and a lifestyle feared by all fanatics who want to subject society to their constraints, to dictate the sole truth and to impose a single religion which they alone may interpret and enforce as law. They know that in this world no one will accept their dogmas, and that makes them angry. As angry as when they see women dressing as they please, girls going to school and couples holding hands and kissing. Salman Rushdie already wrote about that ten years ago. That's why these fanatics will continue to attack in an attempt to destroy this world. We must be aware of that and prevent it from happening."
Intolerance would not do justice to victims
We must do all we can to defend the culture of tolerance after the attacks, the centre-left daily Libération urges: "The attackers want to terrorise our lifestyle, that is, our culture of freedom, which the Islamists consider decadent. However as in the case of Charlie Hebdo, the paradoxical thing about these murderers is that they target tolerant French people. Tolerance is just as much in their sights as France itself. In such circumstances it would be a major mistake to become intolerant ourselves. Adopting a traditional war rhetoric in reaction to this reality would be just as inappropriate as it would be incomprehensible for the IS-backed attack to go unpunished. Because this war does not correspond to classic definitions. The increasingly widespread ideas about sealing ourselves off won't see that justice is done to the victims, who lived their lives according to the values of an open society."
Role of Islam shouldn't be underestimated
Terrorism and Islam are inextricably tied up with each other and can't be separated, the conservative-liberal daily Corriere della Sera writes: "We must look the truth in the face. Terror has a lot to do with religion. Firstly because the terrorists are passionate and religiously motivated Islamists, and secondly for another vital reason: what keeps moderate Islam's hands tied and prevents it from making itself heard and providing a contrast to the bloody deeds is the iron constraint of the religious community. … That constraint is becoming an instrument for blackmail. And precisely that constraint may not be creating a furtive approval in Muslim public opinion for the terror, but it at least makes it impossible for that public opinion to truly distance itself and take sides against the terror. … However if the existence of this broad background built upon and cemented by the powerful identity-forming role of religion is crucial for the existence of this terrorism, isn't this precisely what the West should be targeting?"
West's anti-IS strategy was wrong
The Western powers have only themselves to blame for the growing power of the IS, writes the pro-government Islamic conservative daily Yeni Şafak: "They created the conditions that led to the birth of the IS, they looked on as the IS developed into an enormous power both in Iraq and Syria and yet at the same time they prevented an effective fight against it. Turkey warned that air strikes wouldn't be enough to stop the IS, but the Western powers didn't listen. When they are told that the IS can't be halted without deploying ground troops they show reluctance. They haven't imposed any safe zones or no-fly zones. Not only are they involving the Assad regime in the fight, they've also pulled Iran and Russia into the fray. And then they cry crocodile tears after the Paris attacks. … If the state isn't rebuilt in Iraq and a stronger, free state without Assad created in Syria, tomorrow attacks like those in Paris will be carried out in another capital."