France Under Martial Law

Over at PJ Media, Patrick Poole is following the story that broke this morning in Paris of a car that rammed and injured several French military personnel. The driver, who fled the scene, was subsequently arrested, though as of this writing his identity has not been revealed. But French authorities are describing it as a “terror attack,” which means we can expect that CNN will say that “we don’t know the motive” until we get the recording of the driver yelling “Allahu akbar,” after which CNN will recycle another Russia story.

Worth paying attention to one key phrase in an early Sky News report about the incident:

A search is also ongoing for the dark-coloured vehicle which is said to have been driven at speed at the troops as they left their barracks to go on patrol. (Emphasis added.)

Wait—French army troops on patrol in Paris? Yes: France has been officially under a “state of emergency” since the Charlie Hebdo attack in January 2015. On any given day, up to 10,000 French military personnel are guarding every Jewish synagogue and merchant location in the entire country, as well as popular tourist locations. It’s called “Operation Sentinelle,” and you don’t need to be fluent in French to comprehend the title.

Translation: France is under martial law. Few Americans understand this. Today’s attack is merely the latest in a series of deliberate attacks on French military personnel.

The Sky News report adds this:

It is the sixth time soldiers involved in the nationwide security crackdown have been targeted. In February, a man with a machete attacked troops near the Louvre Museum.

French defence minister Florence Parly described Wednesday’s attack as “cowardly”, adding that it “does nothing to dent soldiers’ determination to work for the security of the French people”.

France has been under a state of emergency since the November 2015 attacks in the French capital which left 130 people dead. Mr Philippe said that despite a “high threat” against France, the government is sticking to plans to lift the 21-month state of emergency on 1 November.

Prediction: The formal state of emergency” may end on Nov. 1, but I expect French soldiers will still be deployed as they are now. Unless France has decided on suicide.