Thursday, November 26, 2015

#ParisAttacks Have Many in France Eager to Fight Back

Well, yes, when it really looks like they're about to kill you and your family, you'll fight back. Most people aren't suicidal, even Europeans, despite the suicidal policies of the European leadership.

At the New York Times, "Paris Attacks Have Many in France Eager to Join the Fight":
PARIS — The attacks by militants tied to the Islamic State less than two weeks ago in Paris have awakened a patriotic fervor in France not seen in decades.

Thousands of people have been flocking to sign up with the military. Those seeking to enlist in the French Army have quintupled to around 1,500 a day. Local and national police offices are flooded with applications. Even sales of the French flag, which the French rarely display, have skyrocketed since the attacks, which left 130 dead.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Col. Eric de Lapresle, a spokesman for the French Army’s recruiting service. “People are coming in and contacting us in droves through social media, using words like liberty, defense and the fight against terror.”

The surge in France, which no longer has conscription, mirrors what happened in the United States after the Sept. 11 attacks. In the two years after those terrorist assaults, the number of American active-duty personnel rose more than 38,000 to 1.4 million. The reasons many of those young Americans offered for volunteering to serve are echoed by some of their French counterparts today.

A few miles from where gunmen stormed restaurants and the Bataclan nightclub on Nov. 13, recruiters at the Fort Neuf de Vincennes in eastern Paris were deluged the next day with inquiries from young people, former military personnel and even retirees wanting to know whether and how soon they could take up arms.

Jeremy Moulin had been walking with friends near the Bois de Vincennes in Paris when the texts started flashing on his cellphone about the terrorist attacks. On Monday, 10 days after the mayhem, he went to Fort Neuf to ask how quickly he could be in uniform.

“These attacks motivated me even more to protect my country,” said Mr. Moulin, 23, a former legal intern who said he had often thought about joining the army but now is newly determined. “The terrorists struck in the heart of Paris. If we don’t stop them, they will do it again.”

The French Air Force, whose retaliatory airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Raqqa, Syria, were seen in images that went viral on the Internet, has likewise seen enlistment applications soar to about 800 a day from around 200, an air force spokesman said. And the French national police recruitment website was visited more than 13,500 times daily last week, compared with the usual 4,500, while applications jumped to 4,500 from 1,500.

“Young people especially identify closely with what happened,” Mr. de Lapresle said. “The targets at the Bataclan and elsewhere were French youth, and the young are saying they want to do something.”

A 17-year-old interviewed at Fort Neuf said the attacks had shaken him and his family, who live in a working-class Parisian suburb.

“I’m ready to go to war,” said the prospective enlistee, who asked to be called only by his first name, Jeremy, to protect his privacy. Dressed in a blue sports outfit, he had gone that afternoon to the military base for a rigorous physical test to determine his fitness. He applied a month before the attacks, but now, he said, “This has motivated me more than ever to be a soldier.”
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