Tag Archives: France

Three unarmed Americans subdue Islamic terrorist armed with AK-47 on French train

Three American heroes rescue civilians from Islamic terrorist
Three American heroes rescue civilians from Islamic terrorist

Quick 3-minute interview with two of the heroes:

The person on the right is a British IT specialist who assisted the 3 Americans. US Airman Spencer Stone, not shown in the video, was injured in the attack. He was the one who charged the attacker, and ran 10 meters to tackle him first. The attackers gun jammed, but he was able to stab Spenser. The injuries sound terrible, but are not life-threatening. However, Spencer disregarded his own injuries in order to help the another victim, saving his life.

Here is a picture of Spenser after his treatment:

US serviceman Spencer Stone departs the Clinique Lille Sud
US serviceman Spencer Stone departs the Clinique Lille Sud

He’s doing fine, they are going to release him today.

My friend Laura shared this story from the UK Daily Mail, which has more details.

Excerpt:

US airman Spencer Stone, who on board the train during the attack, spotted the 26-year-old Moroccan acting suspiciously and heard him trying to load his weapon in the toilet.

He was travelling with Oregon National Guard member Alek Skarlatos, 22, who was on leave and travelling through Europe at the time after returning from a tour in Afghanistan.

With the help of their friend Anthony Sadler, from Pittsburg, California, and fellow passenger British IT consultant Chris Norman, they managed to wrestle the attacker to the ground, stopping what could have been a deadly terrorist attack.

Mr Sadler has described how the attacker pleaded with them to return his AK-47.

He said: ‘He was just telling us to give back his gun. ‘Give me back my gun! Give me back my gun!’ But we just carried on beating him up and immobilised him and that was it.’

French security services knew about the terrorist:

Thwarted train gunman Ayoub El-Qahzzani was part of an Islamic terrorist cell which came within hours of carrying out a ‘major’ attack in Belgium before it was shut down in a deadly fire-fight with police, according to French media reports.

El-Qahzzani has been linked to a gang of Muslim fanatics in Belgium who opened fire on anti-terrorism officers when Special Forces closed in on them near the railway station in the eastern city of Verviers, in January 2015.

Two terrorist suspects were killed and a third was arrested in the operation, close to the Belgian border with Germany.

Now El-Qahzzani has been linked to this terrorist cell, which was made up of Islamic extremists who had returned to Europe after fighting against the Assad regime in Syria.

France’s La Voix du Nord newspaper reported: ‘According to our sources, he [Al Qahzzani] was part of the same jihadist group which attacked on Belgian anti-terrorist police in a violent fire-fight in January 2015, in Verviers, near Liege.

‘It appears that he had been identified as a potential security threat by the Spanish authorities who had alerted French authorities and had asked them for further information about him.’

I guess the French socialists were too busy passing their 75% tax rate and selling warships to Russia to do anything about protecting their own people from terrorism.

French train staff did nothing to help the passengers:

Train staff on board the high speed train which was the scene of a suspected Islamic extremist attack yesterday have been accused of barricading themselves in their staffroom and locking the door, leaving passengers to fend for themselves.

The Moroccan terrorist was disarmed and beaten unconscious by US servicemen and a British man after he opened fire on a Paris-bound train with a Kalashnikov.

Now, French actor Jean-Hugues Anglade, who was on board the Thalys train during the attack has slammed train staff who he claims locked themselves in an office away from the attacker and refused to help the trapped passengers.

The Socialist party in France has erected such a wide-ranging welfare state that it causes the French people to lose their proud national character as they become more and more accustomed to dependency. It’s sad, but no country is immune to the corrosive effects of dependency… many Americans are like the French, collecting payments from their neighbor’s earnings, looking out for themselves rather than serving their neighbors through work.

It might be a good idea for France to allow law-abiding civilians to carry their own weapons to stop attacks like this, but most Europeans, unlike most Americans, seem to have a horror of self-defense. I wonder if that will change if there are enough attacks like this? Reality has a way of disrupting leftist illusions.

Remembering Lt. Richard Winters on D-Day: The Battle of Brecourt Manor

Richard D. Winters Monument
Richard D. Winters Monument

The caption says, “Wars do not make men great, but they do bring out the greatness in good men.” Now let’s see what Dick Winters did during World War II.

MIssion: locate and destroy artillery
Mission: locate and destroy enemy artillery

Brecourt Manor

I want to link to this article from Investors Business Daily about Lt. Winters action at Brecourt Manor.

Here’s the summary of what Dick Winters did on the morning of June 6th, 1944:

First Lt. Dick Winters leapt into leadership on D-Day, June 6, 1944. His commander’s aircraft was shot down as the men parachuted at 600 feet. When Winters headed to earth, he was in charge of a small platoon.

When he landed, he had to command Company E with 148 men, because his commander had been lost along with the plane.

Yet in the chaos, Winters could locate only a dozen other soldiers for their first task: take out a 50-man German artillery battery.

“Winters ordered his assault force to strip down to only essential weapons — guns and grenades — to use against the well-prepared defenses, then deployed his machine guns to cover his advances,” Keith Huxen, senior director of research at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, told IBD. “Waiting for the proper moment, he led a charge across an open field, gaining the first gun placement, and then they moved down the trenches, systematically destroying each gun.

“In the process, Winters discovered a map detailing all German gun positions to kill American soldiers coming up from Utah Beach, which saved many lives.”

Joined by five reinforcements during the fight, Winters lost four dead and six wounded. The Yanks managed to kill 15 Nazis, capture 11 and wound many others.

Winters’ maneuvers are still studied at West Point as a case of successfully attacking a fixed position, despite being outnumbered.

Winters (1918-2011) was born in Ephrata, Pa., and the family moved to Lancaster when he was 8.

He later attributed his character and desire to go to church regularly to his mother.

Winters attended local Franklin & Marshall College and earned an economics degree with top honors in 1941. He enlisted in the Army in August to shorten his service time, rather than wait to be drafted if America was to join the war.

Here’s where everything was, and the Rangers attacked through the trenches containing the four guns, while being raked with fire from multiple MG42 heavy machine guns across the open field.

Assaulting the guns at Brecourt Manor
Assaulting the guns at Brecourt Manor

If this sounds familiar, it’s because he led one of the most famous actions in the Normandy invasion, and you may have seen it portrayed in the Band of Brothers DVD series.  But the article notes that when Dick Winters read the script, “he asked that the profanity be cut from the dialogue of his character, since he never swore”. When the producers told him it was too late to change it, he wrote them a letter of resignation from the production, because “I don’t want these boys and girls thinking it is acceptable using profanity”. In the end, the cleaned up his swearing.

If you are looking for a reason to buck the culture and stop swearing, there’s a good reason for you right there – Dick Winters never used profanity.

You can watch the scene from Band of Brothers in low resolution here:

If you play Combat Mission, like I do, you can watch a 28 minute AAR from the simulation of the battle.

The article talks about a lot of the actions that Winters participated in during World War II.

Operation Market Garden

More from the article, this time Operation Market Garden:

Near Nijmegen on Oct. 5, Winters’ platoon was a position where any movement carried risks. Rather than retreat when fired on by a larger force behind a dike, he led a charge to the top and on the other side discovered a company of 150 Nazi SS troops. Despite having only 40 men, the Americans opened up with everything they had, then shot up a company of enemy reinforcements.

The fray ended with 50 Germans dead, 11 POWs and countless wounded, with few casualties among the Americans.

“This was Easy Company’s crowning achievement of the war and my apogee as a company commander,” Winters told Kingseed. “This demonstrated its overall superiority, of every soldier, of every phase of infantry tactics: patrol, defense, attack using a base of fire, withdrawal and, above all, superior marksmanship with rifles, machine guns and mortar fire.”

Dick Winters is a brave man, someone I admire him very much. And I am grateful for men like him.

I blogged about another hero of the 101st Airborne Division, Ronald Speirs, in a previous post.

Thomas Sowell explains how liberal pacifism causes wars

Thomas Sowell

I just finished reading Thomas Sowell’s “Intellectuals and Society” and I really recommend it. This post is about what I read in chapter 7 “Intellectuals and War” and chapter 8 “Intellectuals and War: Repeating History”. I found a couple of articles that contain the same arguments as in the book.

Here’s an article from Townhall.

Excerpt:

On the international scene, trying to assuage aggressors’ feelings and look at the world from their point of view has had an even more catastrophic track record. A typical sample of this kind of thinking can be found in a speech to the British Parliament by Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in 1938: “It has always seemed to me that in dealing with foreign countries we do not give ourselves a chance of success unless we try to understand their mentality, which is not always the same as our own, and it really is astonishing to contemplate how the identically same facts are regarded from two different angles.”

Like our former ambassador from the Carter era, Chamberlain sought to “remove the causes of strife or war.” He wanted “a general settlement of the grievances of the world without war.” In other words, the British prime minister approached Hitler with the attitude of someone negotiating a labor contract, where each side gives a little and everything gets worked out in the end. What Chamberlain did not understand was that all his concessions simply led to new demands from Hitler — and contempt for him by Hitler.

What Winston Churchill understood at the time, and Chamberlain did not, was that Hitler was driven by what Churchill called “currents of hatred so intense as to sear the souls of those who swim upon them.” That was also what drove the men who drove the planes into the World Trade Center.

Pacifists of the 20th century had a lot of blood on their hands for weakening the Western democracies in the face of rising belligerence and military might in aggressor nations like Nazi Germany and imperial Japan. In Britain during the 1930s, Labor Party members of Parliament voted repeatedly against military spending, while Hitler built up the most powerful military machine in Europe. Students at leading British universities signed pledges to refuse to fight in the event of war.

All of this encouraged the Nazis and the Japanese toward war against countries that they knew had greater military potential than their own. Military potential only counts when there is the will to develop it and use it, and the fortitude to continue with a bloody war when it comes. This is what they did not believe the West had. And it was Western pacifists who led them to that belief.

Then as now, pacifism was a “statement” about one’s ideals that paid little attention to actual consequences. At a Labor Party rally where Britain was being urged to disarm “as an example to others,” economist Roy Harrod asked one of the pacifists: “You think our example will cause Hitler and Mussolini to disarm?”

The reply was: “Oh, Roy, have you lost all your idealism?” In other words, the issue was about making a “statement” — that is, posturing on the edge of a volcano, with World War II threatening to erupt at any time. When disarmament advocate George Bernard Shaw was asked what Britons should do if the Nazis crossed the channel into Britain, the playwright replied, “Welcome them as tourists.”

That was explained even more in the book with more examples from history.

Most people think that Thomas Sowell is a libertarian, but he isn’t a full libertarian. He just reports the evidence. If the evidence is pro-war, then he’s pro-war. Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher called this view “peace through strength”. There is only one reason why evil people do not attack – because they think that good people have the firepower tomake them pay dearly for their aggression, and – and this is very important – the will to use it. In the book, Sowell explains how the the left responded to the horror of world war one by undermining the will of the people to fight. They minimized patriotism and heroism, and emphasized charges of “imperialism”, moral equivalence, and lots of sob stories about victims.

Here’s an article that explains it more.

Excerpt:

In France, after the First World War, the teachers’ unions launched a systematic purge of textbooks, in order to promote internationalism and pacifism.

Books that depicted the courage and self-sacrifice of soldiers who had defended France against the German invaders were called “bellicose” books to be banished from the schools.

Textbook publishers caved in to the power of the teachers’ unions, rather than lose a large market for their books. History books were sharply revised to conform to internationalism and pacifism.

The once epic story of the French soldiers’ heroic defense against the German invaders at Verdun, despite the massive casualties suffered by the French, was now transformed into a story of horrible suffering by all soldiers at Verdun— French and German alike.

In short, soldiers once depicted as national heroes were now depicted as victims— and just like victims in other nations’ armies.

[…]France, where pacifism and internationalism were strongest, became a classic example of how much it can matter.

During the First World War, France fought on against the German invaders for four long years, despite having more of its soldiers killed than all the American soldiers killed in all the wars in the history of the United States, put together.

But during the Second World War, France collapsed after just six weeks of fighting and surrendered to Nazi Germany.

At the bitter moment of defeat the head of the French teachers’ union was told, “You are partially responsible for the defeat.”

Charles de Gaulle, Francois Mauriac, and other Frenchmen blamed a lack of national will or general moral decay, for the sudden and humiliating collapse of France in 1940.

At the outset of the invasion, both German and French generals assessed French military forces as more likely to gain victory, and virtually no one expected France to collapse like a house of cards — except Adolf Hitler, who had studied French society instead of French military forces.

Did patriotism matter? It mattered more than superior French tanks and planes.

Everybody wants peace. Everyone – on both sides of the issue. The problem is that one side – the leftists – call their opponents names like “imperialist” and talk “disarmament” and “dialog” as if they have have the answer to peace. That doesn’t work and it has never worked. Pacifism only “works” in the classroom, where naive children are forced to parrot the opinions of their secular leftist teachers who have no expertise in war or history. What has actually worked in history is peace through strength. Strength deters wars, strength deters violence. Strength – and the will to use that strength to restrain evil.

Pro-Hamas rioters burn Jewish businesses and attack a synagogue

From Huffington Post UK. (H/T Bree)

Excerpt:

France’s politicians and community leaders have criticised the “intolerable” violence against Paris’ Jewish community, after a pro-Palestinian rally led to the vandalizing and looting of Jewish businesses and the burning of cars.

It is the third time in a week where pro-Palestinian activists have clashed with the city’s Jewish residents. On Sunday, locals reported chats of “Gas the Jews” and “Kill the Jews”, as rioters attacked businesses in the Sarcelles district, known as “little Jerusalem”.

[…]Eighteen people were arrested for attacks on shops, including a kosher supermarket, a Jewish-owned chemist and a funeral home. Rioters, who carried batons and threw petrol bombs according to eyewitnesses, were yards from the synagogue when they were driven back by riot police who used tear gas.

“They were shouting: ‘Death to Jews,’ and ‘Slit Jews’ throats’,” David, a Jewish sound engineer told The Times. “It took us back to 1938.”

“We called our town ‘Little Jerusalem’ because we felt at home here,” Laetitia, a longtime Sarcelles resident, told France 24. “We were safe, there were never any problems. And I just wasn’t expecting anything like this. We are very shocked, really very shocked.”

Roger Cuikerman, head of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France told Radio France International: “They are not screaming, ‘Death to the Israelis’ on the streets of Paris. They are screaming, “Death to the Jews.” The community was not just scared, but “anguished.”

The government had banned a demonstration planned in Paris for Saturday, but posters were seen around the area which said “Come equipped with hammers, fire extinguishers and batons” and promised a “raid on the Jewish district”.

France has around half a million Jews, the biggest population in Europe, and around five million Muslims.

This story is an absolute outrage. I do not like it when any group is intimidated with violence, just for their beliefs. It should get a stiff response from the government, but they are very liberal.

UPDATE: Lydia posted this story about Muslims rioting in Calgary, the most conservative city in Canada. Canada had unrestricted immigration for many years under the Liberal Party, which was oddly enough supported by most Jewish voters. Now they are reaping the whirlwind of their own choices.

French mayor faces jail time for refusing to conduct gay couple’s wedding

From the NY Daily News.

Excerpt:

Jean-Michel Colo stirred up controversy by becoming the first French official to formally refuse to officiate at the wedding of a gay couple, Jean-Michel Martin and Guy Martineau-Espel. The Arcangues mayor’s actions defied a landmark French law allowing same-sex unions.

Two men are suing the mayor of a French village for refusing to marry them, in the first reported legal action over same-sex marriage since it was legalized in May amid strong, sometimes violent opposition.

Guy Martineau-Espel and Jean-Michel Martin, both in their 50s, filed a legal complaint against the mayor for refusing to marry them at the town hall of Arcangues, a village in southwestern France where the couple has lived for a decade.

“We will fight this battle to the finish,” Martineau-Espel told Reuters.

France adopted legislation in May that allows gay and lesbian couples to marry and adopt children, following in the footsteps of 13 other countries.

But the move divided opinion in France and came at a political price for the already unpopular government of President Francois Hollande.

Opponents of the law, led by Catholics and conservatives, staged mass street protests, some of which ended in violence, and the debate was also blamed for a spate of homophobic attacks in the mainly Catholic country.

Weddings in France are conducted by mayors or their deputies at town halls, of which there are about 36,000.

The couple in Arcangues applied to marry in May but the right-wing mayor, Jean-Michel Colo, turned them down.

Colo was summoned earlier this week by a government official and told to apply the law. He asked for more time to consider his options, prompting the couple to take action.

A refusal to comply with the gay marriage law could mean Colo faced up to five years in jail and a fine of up to 75,000 euros ($98,000).

“Even if in the end we manage to get married, we will stay the course with our legal complaint,” said Martineau-Espel.

This is pretty standard for countries that legalize gay marriage. You can just look at these examples from Canada, for confirmation that this is what happens after a country legalizes gay marriage. And they all promise that religious liberty will be protected before it’s passed, too. It’s even happening in Massachusetts.

Do you believe Obama when he says that our religious liberty will be protected even if marriage is redefined to include gay marriage, polygamy and polyamory? I think you can believe Obama as much about that as you can believe him about being able to keep your health care plan or about the Benghazi attack being caused by a Youtube video. The man’s a pathological liar, and that’s been proven over and over again.