Sylvain Perriot stops to take a picture of the flag at half mast above the Presidential Palace in Paris. France’s Sate of Emergency will continue, with flags at half mast.(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Looking inside the courtyard of the Presidential Palace, guards stand at attention for the departure of Secretary of State John Kerry after his meeting with French President Francois Hollande.(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
On the third day of national mourning, the Eiffel Tower was illuminated in the colors of the French flag after going dark.(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
On the third day of national mourning, people continue to gather in public places like the Place de la Republique, including Tao Cisse, age 5, and Maya Sutej.(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
People observe a minute of silence in front of the Le Carillon cafe in Paris on Nov. 16, paying tribute to victims of the terror attacks.(Lionel Bonaventure / AFP/Getty Images)
Paris residents take part in a Nov. 16 moment of silence under the Eiffel Tower in observance of those who died during the terrorist attacks three days earlier.(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
French President Francois Hollande, center, stands with government officials to observe a minute of silence Nov. 16 at the Sorbonne University in Paris.(Stephane De Sakutin / AFP/Getty Images)
Members of the French Foreign Legion stand guard near the Eiffel Tower on Nov. 16.(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
A Paris shopkeeper stays inside Sunday as soldiers guard the street where she works.(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
A sign that reads ‘Not even afraid’ is draped on the statue on Republique plaza in Paris.(Ian Langsdon / European Pressphoto Agency)
Women run past French soldiers as panic spread through the streets of Paris when rumors spread of another possible terrorist attack, which turned out to be a car left running in the street.(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
French police have released a photo of Abdeslam Salah, a 26-year-old sought in connection with the Paris attacks.(National Police)
Prelates arrive to celebrate a Mass in memory of the attack victims at the Notre Dame cathedral.(LIONEL BONAVENTURE / AFP/Getty Images)
An emotional crowd gathers in front of Le Carillon restaurant.(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
The glasses and silverware remain on the table where bullets were fired at Cafe Bonne Biere.(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Armed police stand guard Nov. 14 near the Eiffel Tower, which was kept dark in honor of those who died in the terrorist attacks.(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Mourners place flowers and candles outside the Bataclan theater in Paris.(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
A woman is evacuated from the Bataclan theater after the shootings in Paris.(Thibault Camus / Associated Press)
People lie on the pavement near the Cafe Bonne Biere in Paris following a series of attacks.(ANTHONY DORFMANN / AFP/Getty Images)
Rescuers evacuate people following an attack in Paris, where there were also reports of an ongoing hostage crisis at a concert venue.(Kenzo Tribouillard / AFP/Getty Images)
A victim lays dead under a blanket outside the Bataclan theater in Paris.(Jerome Delay / AP)
Hundreds of people spilled onto the field of the Stade de France stadium after explosions were heard nearby during a match between the French and German national soccer teams.(Christophe Ena / Associated Press)
To the editor: The Paris attacks, together with the crisis caused by the flood of Syrian refugees into Europe, make clear that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization must take the lead now in defeating Islamic State. (“France launches ‘massive’ airstrikes on Islamic State in Syria,” Nov. 15)
Like the coalition that President George H.W. Bush put together to remove Saddam Hussein’s forces from Kuwait in 1991, President Obama and other NATO leaders must assemble a broad coalition, including potentially Russia, Iran and those Arab countries that are willing to join, to finally push Islamic State out of Iraq and Syria. And if Syrian President Bashar Assad wants to commit his troops to this effort, he should be allowed to do so, without any guarantees as to the future of his government once Islamic State is defeated.
Richard Kale, Pasadena
To the editor: French President Francois Hollande correctly called the attacks in France an “act of war.”
On Sunday he did not connect this bombing and killing as yet another example of continuing acts of war in the Middle East in which France is a prominent player. The Paris killers said their attacks were in response to French war actions.
Just two days after the Paris attacks, French fighter jets dropped 20 bombs on the Syrian town of Raqqa, an Islamic State-controlled city. Targets reportedly were stadiums, museums, meeting places and training camps.
Paris gave us a look at what this insane war means to good people who look like us. We should be able to understand why hundreds of thousands of refugees are fleeing their war-torn countries.
Responding with more violence will continue to devastate all people who are trapped in this cycle of endless war.
Haskell Wexler, Santa Monica
To the editor: The tragedy in France dominates our political rhetoric, but not in a very constructive way.
Pundits are once again challenging President Obama to describe the attackers as “Islamic terrorists.” Yes, these people are terrorists and they subscribe to Islam; fine, let’s call them that.
With that out of the way, what are the next steps in preventing attacks here while at the same time eliminating this global threat? Does merely renaming a threat unleash America’s awesome military might?
In the meantime, grousing over terminology seems silly.
Norman Franz, San Clemente
To the editor: If we are at truly at war, it requires some leadership from Obama. He has said this is a 10-year fight at least. Ten years is a long time and requires that the American people become involved before we become terrorized.
Today we have a mercenary military. There is no other name for it. That force amounts to something less than 1% of the population. People sign up for a specific period of time and then get out or re-up.
During World War II, about 10% of the population was in uniform.
Similarly, if we are in a 10-year fight, we should have a full-blown draft and a 3% surtax on every taxpayer.
Terrorism is not an opponent; it is a technique supported by many countries. Leadership must have the courage to identify the opponents and destroy them no matter what.
Jerome Bertrand, Newport Beach
To the editor: I am a Democrat hoping to vote Democratic in the upcoming presidential election. But surveying the worst attack on French soil since World War II; Russian provocations in the Ukraine, Georgia and all over the Baltic; Chinese construction of a formidable deep-water navy and land grabs in the South China Sea; Iran thumbing its nose at us with ballistic missile launches and arrests of American citizens; and Islamic State on the march — coupled with military cuts due to
sequestration — why do I feel like the only “JV” team playing in the international arena has been headquartered in Washington?
To the editor: I have been watching cable news and listening to the guests and moderators beating the drums for war. We don’t even know who we will be bombing.
When I hear these people say, “I am going to urge my kids and nieces and nephews to enter the military to help solve these problems,” then I will believe they are sincere.
Alice King, San Dimas
To the editor: It doesn’t seem to matter how many wars or “strikes” occur now or have occurred in past centuries. What is sadly obvious is that the only thing we seemed to have learned really well is how to hate people who are not like us, and how to kill them in the name of whatever power we believe in.
Will we ever learn? Doesn’t seem likely. It’s not the words we speak in the name of encouraging multiculturalism and diversity, it’s the actions we take that really matter, isn’t it?
You kill us, we kill you back, then you kill us again, then we kill you again — and on and on.
Diana Wolff, Rancho Palos Verdes