By Guy Millière
Nice, July 14, 2016: Bastille Day. The evening festivities were ending. As the crowd watching fireworks was beginning to disperse, the driver of a 19-ton truck, zig-zagging, mowed down everyone in his way. Ten minutes and 84 dead persons later, the driver was shot and killed. Dozens were wounded; many will be crippled for life. Dazed survivors wandered the streets of the city for hours.
French television news anchors quickly said that what happened was almost certainly an "accident," or when the French authorities started to speak of terrorism, that the driver could just be a madman. When the police disclosed the killer's name and identity, and that he had been depressed in the past, they suggested that he had acted in a moment of "high anxiety." They found witnesses who testified that he was "not a devout Muslim" -- maybe not a Muslim at all.
President François Hollande spoke a few hours later and affirmed his determination to "protect the populace."