An open letter to Francois Hollande, Christiane Amampour and the Marvelous CNN Team in Paris!

collage, pencils, torn paper glued against the wall on the day of the Paris massacre.

collage, pencils, torn paper glued against the wall on the day of the Paris massacre.

Dear Francois Hollande,

I have a question for you: (and I know your heart bleeds and so on)

Is this a WAR , as you claim?

Sorry but although I’m also caught in the heat of the moment and in “riverrun” of emotions after the Paris massacre of November 14, 2015, Francois Hollande, you say to the press: “This time it’s WAR.”

No, Hollande, it’s not!

 It’s a terrorist attack”.

 Of course, the French always break my heart! That’s what French passion is all about. From Piaf to Sartre and Genet, French passion many times puts heart ahead of reason and only then, after the semiologists come in, is it time for “Liberation” to do some reasoning!

A WAR is something different and I’ll make my case.

We have rarely enjoyed a 70 year period of (relative) peace on this planet as we do now.

 You heard me Hollande. You heard me.

 Yes, there was Vietnam, Cambodia, the Korean War, there was a little thing here and there, a small cultural ambush here, another one there and then, suddenly, on 9/11…. BOOM! I saw it from my window in Brooklyn. The entire thing. First plane, second plane and then the collapse.

 9/11 changed the course and… We went into Afghanistan. Yes, that was a war against the Taliban and Bin Laden.

 Stupidly, a blood thirsty administration lead by ruthless pitbulls named Cheney, Ashcroft, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and, of course “W” (this is even, astonishingly denounced in George Bush Senior’s latest ‘new biography’ in order to save face of W’s ‘apparent naïve non involvement’), went into Iraq and demonized and hunted down Saddam Hussein (yes, an SOB for sure, yet, put there by the US to contain the Aiatolah, in Iran!!!). And this is where this recent ISIS shit begins.

It begins with the left overs of Saddam’s former army and his Ba’ath Party. All incredibly capable military men and Sunnis and all wanting to KILL the Shiites and the Alawites and the Curds and the Yazidis and whatever isn’t their spitting mirror image.

But this isn’t what Holland isn’t concerned with. Neither should you. Let tribe kill tribe. Fuck them !

The concept of WAR, dear reader, is something that you don’t know, unless you happen to be 90 years of age. Are you?

A WAR engages ALL countries in the world and involves the Army, the Navy and the Air Force of All NATIONS, like a team against another. Question is: who is playing against whom and what interests are at stake.

Is this what’s happening?

 NO !

In hindsight, we will look at this Paris tragedy with sadness, but that’s all. Just like we look at London July 7, 2005 with a lot of sadness, but that’s all.

Again, I’ll remind you: we have rarely enjoyed a 70 year period of (relative) peace on this planet as we do now. The world is NOT engaged in a WORLD WAR!!!

 “Things have never been so good, in the field of human rights”, says a friend, when I complain about the online radicalization of the lunatic losers who join this idiotic cause (which, by the way, kills more Muslims than it does any other religious group put together). These losers, who would have gone to join street gangs in poor neighborhoods in decaying urban areas and come from fucked up families, loooove having a huge phallic weapon in their hands or a vest which BOOM! BANG BLASTS and – bye bye, since these idiots ain’t got nothing to lose anyway.

Ok, point taken?

 A WAR is something else.

 With no “SMARTbombs” or Drones, the Second World War left a death toll of something between 65 million and 75 million people killed. THAT IS WHAT A WORLD WAR DOES after 6 years.

The war in Syria is going on to 5 years.

Together with Iraq and Afghanistan, you can easily calculate…hmmm….I don’t know….16 years, all jammed up in a crushed horrible death and destruction and a refugee level almost unprecedented SINCE the war but nothing LIKE the WAR.

Yet, the death toll is, obviously nothing like a world war.

Please remember that, between World War 1 and World War 2, there was only a short breathing space of 21 years. Twenty one years and the entire thing begins again. Imagine that! That is why I insist on the 70 years of relative peace we enjoy.

Now, a world war kills 70 million people.

12 million in Hitler’s Germany (6 million only in Auschwitz), and in Stalin’s Soviet Union (an approximate 13 million) and it brings AIR RAIDS (the blitzes) over England, by the Nazis, where sirens went off and people had to hide in the Underground or bunkers. And, when they came out, there was nothing left.

But Europe rebuilt.

Even Dresden, flattened by the Brits, rebuilt.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki, have rebuilt.

Yes, in a World War, they use ATOMIC BOMBS.

And other bombs fall out of the skies onto major European cities.

So, Mr Hollande: was this TERRORISM or WAR?

PLEASE THINK carefully before you incite the younger population of the world (who know NOTHING) into thinking that the tragic death of 128 people by some idiots is an act of war. It isn’t.

WAR begins by signing a treaty. It is a strange thing.

Have you signed it? Did De Gaulle?

If, tomorrow morning, a household in Colorado Springs turn on their lights and makes their coffee and says good morning to their dear ones or, say, in Tokyo, a couple makes green tea and smiles hi to their kids and, somewhere in Rio, people make plans to go to the beach in Ipanema, Mr. Hollande, I guarantee you: THIS IS NOT A WAR.


Gerald Thomas, putting the house in order and History in perspective.


Gerald Thomas

Playwright, Theater and Opera Director




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