Armored Hostage-Saving

On this Friday mid-day the European press (and the French press in particular, as is understandable) is going crazy on social media about the stand-off with the Charlie Hebdo murderers at some industrial park to the north-east of Paris. Just now Le Figaro came up with the following:

A tank! Note that this French paper had to give credit to the actual photo to the English, namely @Telegraph.

But wait! Following a few minutes afterwards:

“The nature of the vehicle is not certain. We will give you subsequent information as they are confirmed.”

Of course that is a tank! The first Twitter-commentator there, a certain Fran├žois, suggests that it is an AMX-10 RC, but that can’t be right since what we see in the picture seems to be a tracked vehicle, whereas the AMX-10 RC is an armored car, a wheeled vehicle.

But these are mere details for the military enthusiast. More relevant is that all news reports agree that these fugitive militants have taken at least one hostage. What are the French authorities doing bringing in a tank to resolve a hostage situation?! That is more likely to worsen the situation than to make it better: the gunmen will be more ready to shoot their hostage when they contemplate being on the receiving-end of the massive cannon they see there on the vehicle.

Reports that some 88,000 police/soldiers had been mobilized to conduct the manhunt were bad enough. But now it seems the French police are starting to head along the same infamous path, brought out into the light with the Ferguson, MO disturbances of last August, of the over-militarization of the police that we see already in America.

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