LETTER: Paris attacks come with a sad history

This brief peek at French history is never an attempt to excuse the terrorists last week

I am appalled by the recent terror crimes in Paris, and I believe in freedom of speech.

There were many aspects during and after the terrible events that Canadian and international media covered to the best of their ability. They detailed the “how” and the “who” of the tragedies as they unfolded, but very few have yet to go into any depth as to the “why.”

Allow me to just scrape the surface of dust that has just now settled, and to comment on the brothers who so callously slaughtered the cartoon journalists.

They, like about five million of the 6.5 million French Muslims, have their roots in Algeria, which was part of France until a six-year war of independence beginning in 1954 left many thousands of French and about 1.5 million Algerians dead.

War atrocities on both sides were horrendous, and so many of Algerian ancestry living in France have never enjoyed any of the liberty, fraternity and equality that has long been the motto of the French Republic, and resentment festers in their ghettos.

This brief peek at French history is never an attempt to excuse the terrorists last week; rather an attempt to illuminate how President de Gaulle’s actions back then, have come to haunt today’s politicians.

Likewise, the thug who killed hostages in the Paris kosher supermarket cited his radicalization as stemming from results of the 2003 Iraq attack. Did President George Bush ever think of consequences of these actions?

It may have been heartening to see world’s leaders join hands in solidarity and support for the French population last Sunday, but the mere sight of the Israeli prime minister will cause anger in several communities.

Bernie Smith, Parksville