Early stories told by victims who escaped some of the attacks we can hear on French news contain an indication of a motive: payback.
More specifically, payback via killing and terror as an act of war, perceived by them as legitimate following the armed involvement of France in Syria and against ISIS.
That's what they said.
With more than a hundred people killed and several simultaneous armed attacks against civilians, targeting symbolic places like the Stade de France (Football which is the most popular sport, symbol of victories and cultural unification) or the Bataclan (a small concert hall, symbol of culture, reputed for the magic intimacy artists find here with their audience) as much as people, this event still ongoing is the largest terrorist attack in France to date.
I can't tell if this justification by payback instead of mainly ideological really is significant.
After all, those who commit barbaric acts, leading to their own death have to justify them to themselves somehow.
It could be significant, differentiating then what happened tonight from Charlie Hebdo previous events.
In case it is significant, it is a reminder that France army is indeed at war in foreign countries and against multiple groups including Islamic ones.
Actually, France was close to go to war against Assad in Syria several years ago with the idea of saving civilians mass murdered by a dictator and help the democratic opposition to establish a legitimate replacement government.
It turned out that the situation wasn't quite so simple, and after failing to convince other countries to follow it didn't happen.
After that, France's army got involved in Mali, since January 2013.
Now, France has started bombing targets like ISIS training centers in Syria, since September 25 2015.
I can only observe that my country is not a neutral one.
Instead, it tends to enter armed conflicts when asked to by foreigners demanding help when crimes against humanity and mass killings happen.
I think it does with reasonably sincere goals to protect human rights more than plain political or economic self-interest. France has a tradition of action to protect human rights.
A majority or French people are against war however. They also learned their lessons from a colonial history on not trying to "civilize" other countries.
But France is still involved in wars.
And tonight's attacks might be one among many acts of the distant war happening in Syria French citizens do not really see or live until now.
What I hope is that the French government won't run into more paranoia. The ongoing direction for Internet surveillance is bad enough already.
I hope that the French government won't be trying at any cost to prevent new attacks by punishing the local population for the consequences of a war fought distantly.
Won't be trying to provide an impossible security at the cost of freedom and privacy.
I see that other European countries put more resources into welcoming refugees, less into armed conflicts.
Maybe it's a safer approach. Maybe it's a better one.
Still providing help to other human beings in need by making an effort to share a better environment, instead of leaving them trapped into the insanity of war or oppressive regimes.
But doing so in another way that getting involved in the same violence and insanity.
Because as we can see, through such interference we end up bringing the insanity back home at some point.
It's true welcoming refugees is not the easiest thing for everyone, but tonight events might be a reason to reconsider current France's approach to human rights protection and peace.
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