The title of an Al-Jazeera article released on March 23, 2012 is “French PM DEFENDS handling of Toulouse gunman” (Web-site/URL: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2012/03/201232363059755343.html).
“French authorities have rejected charges that intelligence failures allowed a young man to kill seven people”.
“Francois Fillon, the French prime minister, said on Friday (March 23, 2012) that security officials had known Mohammed Merah, who died in a hail of police bullets, was a RADICAL Islamist who visited Afghanistan, but said there was no reason to suspect he was planning attacks”. “radical Islamist” is clearly/obviously a concern. “The intelligence services “did their job PERFECTLY WELL (?)” and PEOPLE ARE DEAD? THAT DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE. “They IDENTIFIED Mohammed Merah when he made his trips” “identifying” IS NOT the same as STOPPING. “Intelligence agents “watched him long enough to come to the conclusion that there was NO element (and) NO indication that this was a DANGEROUS man who would one day pass from WORDS to ACTS“. Well, this FEAR has now materialized just like we saw with SEUNG HUI-CHO during the 2007 VIRGINIA TECH MASSACRE. “We don’t have the right in a country like ours to permanently monitor (and detain) without judicial authorization someone who hasn’t committed an offense… WE LIVE IN A STATE OF LAW“. Perhaps this is a criticism of THE UNITED STATES, more specifically the policies of former president GEORGE W BUSH who secretly wiretapped certain people.
“Fillon said President Nicolas Sarkozy’s conservative government is working on new anti-terrorism legislation that would be drafted WITHIN two weeks”. YEAH RIGHT. When was the last time a POLITICIAN stuck to a deadline?
“Bernard Squarcini, the head of France’s DCRI domestic intelligence agency, said there was little more that security services could have done to predict or prevent atrocities by Merah, who died after a 32-hour police siege in the southwestern city of Toulouse”. “there was little more that security forces could have done”. This statement is typical of POLITICIANS.
“Francois Hollande, the Socialist challenger to Sarkozy in upcoming presidential elections next month (April, 2012), referred to reports of possible failings in the surveillance of Merah at a rally late on Thursday (March 22, 2012)”. “With the end of the siege,…QUESTIONS WILL HAVE TO BE PUT“. Notice “questions will have to be put”. This is a POLITICAL STRATEGY. Hollande can’t take Sarkozy out with a knockout blow, so he is CHIPPING AWAY AT HIS CREDIBILITY.
“Even Alain Juppe, the French foreign minister, said there needed to be “clarity” on why he (Mohammed Merah) wasn’t arrested earlier”. Now Sarkozy has SOMEONE IN HIS CABINET/INNER CIRCLE doubting/questioning him and that’s a VERY BAD/OMINOUS sign. “In an interview with Europe 1 radio on Thursday (March 22, 2012), Juppe said that intelligence officers had recently questioned Merah and said the matter WOULD HAVE TO BE investigated“. WHO KNOWS HOW LONG THIS WILL TAKE or IF this will happen at all?
“The left-leaning Liberation newspaper asked if POLITICAL CONSIDERATIONS had influenced how police had handled the crisis”. There are “political considerations” EVERYWHERE. “But right-leaning Le Figaro said it was right to ask questions, but warned against A RUSH TO JUDGMENT“, which also often happens.
According to Al Jazeera‘s Jacky Rowland, reporting from Toulouse, “Apparently, the name of Mohammed Merah crossed the desk of investigating officers after the first two shootings in which the paratroopers were killed. Why, some people are asking, was he NOT apprehended at that stage instead of being left, after which he carried out the school shootings“. We can say the same thing about SEUNG HUI-CHO during the 2007 VIRGINIA TECH MASSACRE. He shot EMILY HILSCHER and RYAN CLARK in WEST AMBLER-JOHNSTON HALL at 715 in the morning of April 16, 2007 and he “was not apprehended” and at 940 that same morning, he walked across campus and shot 30 others in NORRIS HALL (Web-site/URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_Tech_massacre).
According to Francois Molins, a French prosecutor, “The investigation will focus on whether Merah had any ACCOMPLICES“, which is another critical issue.
“The manhunt for Merah had interrupted the hard-fought campaign for France’s April-May (2012) presidential vote, but Sarkozy resumed his re-election bid with a rally in Strasbourg on Thursday evening (March 22, 2012), where he said: “These crimes WERE NOT (?) the work of a madman. A madman is IRRESPONSIBLE” and Merah was RESPONSIBLE? HUH? “These crimes were the work of a FANATIC and a MONSTER“, which is JUST AS BAD.
Finally, “In a televised address, Sarkozy vowed to CRACK DOWN on extremism, saying he wanted legal action against people who regularly consulted extremist websites or travelled abroad for INDOCTRINATION“. “crack down” and “indoctrination”, of course, EXTREMELY PROBLEMATIC. “crack down on extremism” is certainly good, but FRANCE is also campaigning against SYRIA, so Sarkozy has to be careful that he DOES NOT “crack down” like BASHAR AL-ASSAD.
To conclude, let’s go back to the title: “French PM DEFENDS handling of Toulouse gunman”. This is the latest example of a POLITICIAN being “defensive”, which, of course, is a fundamental characteristic of “Difficult People” (Web-site/URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgnAY_eXYbI). This attack will make Nicolas Sarkozy’s re-election campaign EVEN HARDER. He was already facing a tough re-election campaign prior to this incident (this, of course, is a favorite of CAPITOL HILL POLITICIANS). France’s reputation of being a romance hub will surely also take a HUGE hit