From a French man held hostage for 10 months by Isis:
"With their news and social media interest, they will be noting
everything that follows their murderous assault on Paris, and my guess
is that right now the chant among them will be “We are winning”. They
will be heartened by every sign of overreaction, of division, of fear,
of racism, of xenophobia; they will be drawn to any examples of ugliness
on social media. Central to their world view is the belief that communities cannot
live together with Muslims, and every day their antennae will be tuned
towards finding supporting evidence. The pictures from Germany of people
welcoming migrants will have been particularly troubling to them.
Cohesion, tolerance – it is not what they want to see.
And yet more bombs will be our response. I am no apologist for Isis.
How could I be? But everything I know tells me this is a mistake. The
bombardment will be huge, a symbol of righteous anger. Within 48 hours
of the atrocity, fighter planes conducted their most spectacular
munitions raid yet in Syria, dropping more than 20 bombs on Raqqa,
an Isis stronghold. Revenge was perhaps inevitable, but what’s needed
is deliberation. My fear is that this reaction will make a bad situation
we are trying to destroy Isis, what of the 500,000 civilians still
living and trapped in Raqqa? What of their safety? What of the very real
prospect that by failing to think this through, we turn many of them
into extremists? The priority must be to protect these people, not to
take more bombs to Syria.
We need no-fly zones – zones closed to Russians, the regime, the
coalition. The Syrian people need security or they themselves will turn
to groups such as Isis.''