The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

‘An act of exceptional barbarity’

That is how French President François Hollande referred to the attack on the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. At least 12 people were reportedly dead, with others critically injured. The Post reports:

French officials immediately raised the country’s terrorism alert to its highest level after the shooting at the newspaper Charlie Hebdo, where staff members and police were among the dead.
Across Paris, security was stepped at media outlets, transportation hubs and other sites as a massive manhunt was underway for the suspected assailants.
The weekly had drawn repeated threats for its caricatures of the Prophet Muhammed and other sketches and articles on Muslim figures.

Although authorities had no immediate comment on who may have been responsible for the attack, it should be a sobering reminder to European leaders and the Obama administration that terrorist attacks, virtual or physical, on media outlets and journalists strike at the heart of Western democracies; that their obsession with Israel, a Western democracy, in a sea of jihadist extremism is perverse; that we do not have unlimited time to “degrade” — and eventually get around to destroying — the Islamic State because with each passing month and year, it harbors and inspires more terrorists who will strike innocents; that, like it or not, we are in a state of war in which the battlefield most certainly is wherever jihadists operate (by the way, had we had the opportunity to kill the terrorists by drone when they were sitting at a cafe, we most certainly would and should have taken it); that it is sheer folly to hobble our intelligence-gathering capabilities at a time when the nexus between domestic terrorists and foreign jihadists is strengthening; and that in deadly times we need leaders who first and foremost understand the threats we face and are equipped to deal with them.

These are dangerous and scary times. Americans should soberly evaluate and elect leaders equal to the challenge.