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Kerry in Paris

French President Francois Hollande, left, welcomes US Secretary of State John Kerry upon arrival at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, France, Nov. 17, 2015.

“This is not a clash of civilizations. These terrorists have declared war against all civilization."

France is America’s oldest friend, and first ally, declared U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during a visit to Paris after the devastating terrorist attacks by ISIL.

Kerry in Paris
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He warned not to mistake what these attacks represent: “This is not a clash of civilizations. These terrorists have declared war against all civilization. They kill Yezidis because they are Yezidis. They kill Christians because they are Christians. They kill Shia because they are Shia. They rape and torture and pillage and call it the will of God. They are in fact psychopathic monsters, and there is nothing, nothing civilized about them.”

Secretary Kerry made clear this is a battle between civilization itself and barbarism, between civilization and medieval and modern fascism both at the same time. And that is why every single nation-state in the region and around the world is opposed to ISIL.

The murder of 132 people and injuring of hundreds more, including four Americans, is an assault not just on France; but, coming on the heels of brutal attacks in Lebanon, Iraq, and elsewhere, it is an assault on civility itself, said Secretary Kerry. He went on to thank the men and women who bravely reported to the scene of the attacks, and those who continue to work around the clock to heal the injured, restore calm, and provide relief.

Secretary Kerry called for “a sense of fierce solidarity among good and decent people everywhere.” The terrorists must not be allowed to intimidate the people of the civilized world. “We will not change our course or cancel our plans, including our plans to come together in Paris later this month for the UN climate conference,” said Secretary Kerry.

Ultimately, ISIL and all who share their despicable ideology will be defeated. “We will continue also to show compassion to those who seek refuge from the violence that the terrorists engender,” said Secretary Kerry. “We will fight to ensure that the world that our children inherit is richer in love and shorter on hate.”