Don’t make the mistakes US did, France told


France should no doubt wage war against the Islamic State but it should not commit the mistakes the US did in its war against Al Qaeda, the Washington Post said on Sunday.

“We hope the French will realize, without making the mistakes the US made in the first stages of its fight against Al Qaeda, that the West gains nothing if it sacrifices the rule of law,” a Post editorial said.

“This is a war, as President François Hollande declared Saturday; it is a war that can be won, and it can be won without sacrificing the values that set us apart from our savage foes.

Today, as the US stands with France, there are lessons Americans can offer – and lessons we should learn together from this latest atrocity,” it said.

Islamic State terrorists massacred 129 people and wounded more than 300 as they unleashed mayhem in six places in France on Friday night.

French President Hollande has vowed to avenge the bloodbath, whose victims were almost wholly civilians.

“The suicide bombers and gunmen stormed citadels of leisure and pleasure that reflect the joys of not only Paris but also all the world,” the Post said.

The daily said the attacks should also serve as a reminder of the risks inherent in President Barack Obama’s “insufficiently urgent approach to the war in Syria and the rise of the Islamic State”.

It said Obama last year vowed to “degrade and destroy” the group. “But little progress has been made, and more recently he talked about containment as a goal. But what can containment mean in a war such as this?

“The US needs a leader who will recommit to a principled but determined fight for freedom – at home, in Europe and around the world.”


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