After radical jihadists murdered their way through Paris in a three-day rampage that left 17 dead, France has declared its own war on terror.
Appearing on Saturday in Evry, a town just south of Paris, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said the country is at war against radical Islam.
“We are at war — not a war against a religion, not a war against a civilization, but to defend our values, which are universal,” he proclaimed.
“It is a war against terrorism, against jihadism, against radical Islam, against everything that is aimed at breaking fraternity, freedom, solidarity,” Valls continued.
“We cannot let pass a single one of these messages, or a single one of these acts. Our indignation must be clear, total and last longer than three days. It must be permanent.
“We need standards, values and authority. There must be a firm message about the values of the republic and secularism.
“Journalists were killed because they defended freedom. Policemen were killed because they were protecting you,” he said, and “Jews were killed because they were Jewish.”
Valls’ statements evoked similar language used by President George W. Bush after 9/11. But 14 years later, U.S. Attorney General refused to say as much when asked whether we too are at war with radical Islam.
Noting what French prime minister declared on Saturday, both NBC’s host Chuck Todd and ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked Holder if he would say the same.
“I would say that we are at war with terrorists who commit these heinous acts and who use Islam,” he responded on “Meet the Press.” “They use a corrupted version of Islam to justify their actions. We are bound and determined to hold them accountable, to find them wherever they are, and then to try, as you indicated, to come up with ways in which we prevent young people who become attracted to this radical ideology from becoming members of these groups and perpetrating these heinous acts.”
And to the same exact question posed by Stephanopoulos, he answered:
“Well, I certainly think that we are at war with those who would commit terrorist attacks and who would corrupt the Islamic faith in the way that they do to try to justify their terrorist actions. So that’s who we are at war with, and we are determined to take the fight to them to prevent them from engaging these kinds of activities.”
The short answer, then, is no.