Hardball with Chris Matthews, Transcript 01/09/15
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: In Paris, a violent clash of humanity as police
This is HARDBALL for Friday, January 9th.
Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Washington.
We`re following the still breaking news from Paris tonight, where two
separate hostage sieges ended today in death but with one suspected
terrorist still at large. It began early today, when the two Kouachi
brothers believed responsible for Wednesday`s terror attack against the
offices of a French satirical magazine, were spotted not far from Charles
de Gaulle Airport. After a firefight with police, they took a hostage at a
nearby printing business.
Just hours later, in Paris, a third gunman stormed a kosher
supermarket and took several hostages. He is thought to be the same man
who gunned down the police officer yesterday. And today, we learned he
does have ties to the Kouachi brothers.
Both hostage situations ended around the same time, late in the
afternoon Paris time. First, there were shots and explosions heard where
the Kouachi brothers were holed up. They were both killed in that fight.
Very soon after that, police in Paris stormed the supermarket. The
terrorist gunman was killed there in that incident, as well. Four hostages
were also killed.
Television cameras captured several hostages fleeing from that market.
A fourth suspect was named by France today, a woman tied to the supermarket
attacker. She`s still at large, and police are now actively looking for
Well, late today, French prime minister Francois Hollande addressed
his country, calling for unity. He said France must stand together against
racism and anti-Semitism.
But there was a stark indication of how on edge the city feels
tonight. For the first time since Nazis occupied Paris in World War II,
the historic Grand Synagogue of Paris wouldn`t hold a shabbat service this
Meanwhile, President Obama said today that Americans grieve with
France and will fight alongside France to uphold our shared values.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In the streets of
Paris, the world has seen once again what terrorists stand for. They have
nothing to offer but hatred and human suffering, and we stand for freedom
and hope and the dignity of all human beings. And that`s what the city of
Paris represents to the world. And that spirit will endure forever, long
after the scourge of terrorism is banished from this world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: I`m joined right now by NBC`s Lester Holt and also by
Bloomberg`s Matt Campbell in Paris, and Michael Kay, who`s an international
affairs correspondent and a former British air force officer. Thank you
Lester, you first. Give us the story, the police story today, the
ending of those two sieges with death.
LESTER HOLT, NBC CORRESPONDENT Well, we saw some dots connected here.
Let`s go back to yesterday, when we heard about a policewoman shot in a
Paris suburb. And the person had an automatic weapon, had a bullet-proof
vest, but police were saying no connection to the terror attack the day
Well, today, they said, in fact, there was a connection. That person,
Amedy Coulibaly, is the man that they believe took the hostages at the
market near where I am in eastern Paris. He was – and he admitted – he
talked to French media today on the phone during all this and admitted that
he was part of this plot with the other two men, the brothers, and that
they had been in contact. His job was to take care of police. He says
their job was to take care of “Charlie Hebdo.”
We saw that play out on this end. It all started this morning,
though, with that hostage siege, the gunfight outside of Paris, near De
Gaulle airport. Then we started hearing a wave of sirens across Paris. We
knew something was up, and that`s when we got word of a shooting here at
the market just down the street from us.
Four hostages were killed. The early indications – they were shot by
the terrorists, not during that police raid, which ultimately killed the
shooter in this case. There were also some police officers, three of them,
wounded and two civilians, as well, Chris.
MATTHEWS: Tell us what you can about this other suspect and
terrorist, this woman on the loose right now. What do they make of her?
Was she involved – she was involved with the kosher market there. She may
have escaped in that crowd of people we saw rushing out in those pictures,
HOLT: Yes. Her name is Hayat Boumeddiene. She was on a wanted, a
“be on the lookout” poster that was put out earlier today along with Amedy
Coulibaly, the shooter in this – in this market. It`s not clear what
happened here. All we can say is she`s unaccounted for. There is some
concern that they were together and that she was in the market and may have
slipped out during all the confusion as the hostages made their escape
after the initial raid. It`s not clear.
There are pictures circulating in French media today of her at one
point holding what looks like a crossbow, pictures of the two of them
together. But she is considered an accomplice in the shooting of that
policewoman a day earlier in – south of Paris.
So right now, still on edge a bit here, the sense of this being over,
to an extent, but as long as she is out there, someone that`s said to be
armed and dangerous, officials remain very vigilant.
MATTHEWS: Wow. While the brothers were holding a hostage at that
printing press today, the younger brother, Cherif, called a French
journalist. He said he was sent by al Qaeda in Yemen but refused to say if
there were other people involved in the plot, and he gave his own
justification for his actions. Let`s listen.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
(SPEAKING IN FRENCH)
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Matt Campbell, there you have the somewhat questionable
rationale, to put it lightly, of the justification for killing people in
revenge because of the way they described the Prophet in their cartooning,
but saying that he`s – they are somehow good people because they don`t
kill women and they don`t kill civilians. Your assessment of that – that
claptrap yourself. Matt?
MATT CAMPBELL, BLOOMBERG: Well, I think what is very striking about
this situation, and particularly the references to Iraq and to Syria, is
that this is in some ways the nightmare scenario of the security forces
here in France and elsewhere.
We have two young men, who are French citizens of Algerian descent, at
least one of whom may have traveled to Yemen to train with radical groups
there – possibly both of them may have done that – and who have now come
home and are either taking it upon themselves, or in some form of loose
coordination with groups elsewhere, carried out a quite deadly attack.
So this is, in effect, conflict in the Middle East coming home to
Paris in a very visceral way, with quite tragic results throughout the
MATTHEWS: Well, is the motive here, as you hear it, vengeance for
someone who offended the name of the Prophet, or is it anger about the
West`s actions against the ISIS forces in Iraq and in Syria? Which is it?
CAMPBELL: I think – I think it`s very hard to unpick (sic) motives,
and none of us are inside the minds of these two young men. However, they
did choose their target for a reason, clearly. “Charlie Hebdo” has been a
very provocative magazine. It has offended some Muslim citizens of France
and elsewhere with some of its cartoons. It has offended lots of other
people, actually, Christians, Jews and so on. It`s very much an equal
But these two men did choose to attack “Charlie Hebdo.” They did not
choose to attack Bloomberg or “Le Monde” or “Le Figaro.” They did choose
their target for a reason, but I think it`s hard to separate that from the
larger context in which they became radicalized.
MATTHEWS: Michael Kay, wrap this up in this segment. Talk about the
atmosphere in Paris tonight, the reality that one of the suspects is
believed to still be on the loose and that we don`t know what further is
going to happen. We`ve now discovered that there is a connection between -
- among the three men. Coulibaly, of course, was operating in some
implicit fashion with the two Kouachi brothers, and now we have a fourth
suspect. We don`t know how wide it goes, though.
MICHAEL KAY, INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I want to
focus, Chris, on how this has actually galvanized the French public.
KAY: I mean, we saw pretty much – as light started to fade on the
first day after the “Charlie Hebdo” attack, we saw tens of thousands of the
French public coming out in cities all over France. And I think that was a
– I think that was the perfect response.
I`d also like to focus on the psychology of what happened today in
terms of the way that the outcome played out. We`ve got to remember – and
there are a lot of conversations. I`ve been reporting on this from 6:00
o`clock this morning. There are a lot of conversations about how this
might end and the options that these brothers had, whether it would be a
shoot-out or whether it would be sort of more aligned to the MO, which is
sort of the self-sacrificing suicide bomber type MO that might have played
out because that gives amazing collateral and it gives the shock and awe
that people like AQAP and ISIS are after.
But it didn`t happen like that. It happened as a reaction to the on-
scene commanders in both locations taking the decision and basically taking
the actions that ended the siege. Now, they did that with the safety of
the hostage at mind. They did that with the safety of civilians at mind.
But it was an action taken by them. And I think, psychologically, that`s
hugely important moving forward.
MATTHEWS: Well, does that mean that they broke the chance (ph) of
these people – I mean, historically, every time you set up a barricade
situation, you`re basically setting up a suicide situation. Barricades
fall. The people inside them usually die rather quickly. Did you think
they were aiming at a more sustained drama, is that what you`re saying,
that would have grabbed the headlines for days?
KAY: Well, we just know from the actions we`ve seen, Chris, in Syria
through ISIS and through AQAP, they go for the shock and awe aspect. And
they do that through the self-sacrificing mission. It`s basically is the
thing that creates the headlines.
I think what the French authorities did today was, is they prevented
that ultimate shock and awe as the ultimate end to this sequence of events.
And I think, psychologically, that`s a good thing because that sends a
message. The French do not tolerate this type of action, and that`s the
message that needs to go out to potential extremists and Islamic
fundamentalists who are thinking about this.
We`ve got to remember, Chris, that holistically, contagion is an
important aspect here, contagion at the tactical level, where people will -
- you know, might think about doing this tomorrow or the next week or the
next month, but also contagion of that ideology. And I think the way the
French handled this and the way the authorities handled this was extremely
But I would also say, Chris, as well, that France is very unique at
the geopolitical level, and we`ve got to be cautious when we`re drawing
alignments to what that means to the threat to the U.S. and the threat to
the U.K. because France doesn`t just have this threat from Iraq and Syria.
We`ve spoken about over a thousand Islamic extremists that have made their
way to Syria, and it`s been on the minds of intelligence communities of
what happens when they come back.
But we must not forget the historical aspects of France`s involvement
in North Africa. North Africa is predominantly Muslim. You have AQ in
Maghreb in North Africa. You`ve got Boko Haram in Africa. And these are
all offshoots of AQAP.
So France have it coming from the east, but they`ve also caught it
coming from the south. And the borders are very porous in France. So
France is kind of this melting pot, if you like, of what we saw today.
MATTHEWS: Let me get back to Lester Holt, my colleague. Lester, is
the big story tonight this one suspect still on the loose? Is that where
we are in terms of this narrative tonight?
HOLT: It is. It is the narrative tonight because even the president
of France today reminded folks that this battle goes on, that the risk is
still high. Now, I don`t know if he was speaking in larger terms or the
fact this woman is still out there. But clearly, all this has tapped into
something this country is grappling with right now, the fact that these
are, you know, all French young men who perpetrated this terror on such a
large population here in France.
People are walking about tonight. The police tape has come down. All
feels very normal, but it`ll take a while to get over this. This place was
rattled today. I think people are on edge. I was speaking to people after
– I ended up in the middle of police with guns who were responding to
another false alarm that had everyone on edge today and talking to people,
and just, you know, that we`re not used to this. We`re just – we don`t
know what to do. We`re fearful. We don`t know what`s going to come next.
And I think with this other suspect still out there, though not
necessarily involved in what we saw today – we don`t know that – there`s
still going to be some anxiety.
MATTHEWS: We`re so fortunate to have you over there, my friend,
Lester Holt in Paris. Matt Campbell, as well, Michael Kay – they`re all
staying with us. We have this dramatic story, by the way, from Paris
covered from all angles.
Up next, we`re going to find out who these terrorists were, who
they`re working with – we hope to get that – and what`s being done to
thwart future attacks, of course, all that. Plus, what this attack means
for Europe politically. Will France and other countries go hard right and
clamp down on Muslim immigrants? That`s a possibility. It`s already
starting to happen.
And the left versus the right politics here at home, of course. The
right wing continues to try at least to pin attacks like this on President
Our coverage continues in just a minute.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. We`re about to play you the
voice of one of the “Hebdo” attackers who attacked the Parisian magazine
shortly after he was killed – actually, before he was killed today, in
which he said al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula or AQAP is behind his
Cherif Kouachi – “We are telling you that we are the prophet`s
defenders, and I, Cherif Kouachi, was sent by Yemen`s al Qaeda, OK?” Igor
Sahiri asks him – he`s from BFMTV – “Yes, yes.” Cherif Kouachi, “So I
went there, and it was Anwar al Awlaki who financed me.” “And how long ago
was this?” And Cherif Kouachi answered, “Before he was killed.” So he
said he was basically put there by the leader of al Qaeda.
And late today, the al Qaeda group itself took credit for the “Charlie
Hebdo” massacre. The Associated Press reported, quote, a member of al
Qaeda`s branch in Yemen says the group directed attack against the French
satirical magazine “Charlie Hebdo” in Paris, quote, “as revenge for the
honor of Islam`s Prophet Mohammed.” But that claim could not immediately
be verified by NBC.
Anyway, the extent of coordination with al Qaeda and the Paris
terrorists is still being investigated, but what does the Paris massacre
tell us about the global terrorist threat right now?
We`re back with Michael Kay, international affairs correspondent and
former British Air Force officer. And also with us Sajjan Gohel. He`s
international security director for the Asia-Pacific Foundation.
Gentlemen, I want to start with Michael and then to Sajjan.
Your views as to how you put the puzzle together of a claim by Cherif,
the younger of the two brothers involved in going after the magazine? And
they were killed today, both of them. His claim to be part of al Qaeda`s
operation, and also what we`re hearing from al Qaeda, your thoughts first,
MICHAEL KAY, INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: I think, Chris, the
first thing we have got to do is lay out the context in terms of ISIS and
al Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula.
ISIS is all about this caliphate. It`s about establishing territory
across North Africa and the Middle East and that has been headed up by the
self-proclaimed caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Now, AQAP isn`t about territory. AQAP is about ideology. And AQAP`s
M.O., its modus operandi, its special mandate is to launch attacks on the
West. Now, we know through – we know through evidence over the past
couple of months that ISIS and AQAP are at odds, are at serious odds.
So what I find a little bit confusing here, Chris, is that you have
got the Kouachi brothers who are sort of pledging this allegiance to AQAP
and saying that they have been sent by AQAP, and then you have the other
terrorist – the other terrorist who launched the attack in central Paris
who is claiming it was on behalf of ISIS.
So there`s a disconnect there. I also think we have got to be
cautious about the links that we`re drawing between what Kouachi is saying
and just how strong those links are between al-Awlaki, who he is saying
told him to launch the attack from 2011 and financed it, and just how
strong those links or the push was from AQAP.
I think the intelligence communities need a little time to breathe on
this. The other thing I would say as well, Chris, is that I have spent a
lot of time over in Baghdad working with special forces, hitting high-value
assets most nights. And the intelligence that we worked off, in terms of
the spider networks, that takes, day, weeks, months, if not years to
And, sometimes, we were hitting targets where it`s taken over two
years to actually get that information through electronic intelligence,
listening, through image intelligence, through drones, pattern of life,
looking through cameras, but also human intelligence.
So I think we have got to be careful not to draw conclusions early and
to let the intelligence communities kind of do their job. But we do know
that the Kouachi brothers have been known for almost a – for almost a
decade and that started in 2005. So the intelligence community have got a
head start on this.
MATTHEWS: Mr. Gohel, give us your sense about how the – most of the
people who are watching this program right now in the United States are
trying to figure out what does this tell us about anger, about our role
over there in terms of fighting ISIS, what`s this saying about the cultural
war, if you will, going on between Western tolerance and deep, deep
religious sensitivity on the part of the Islamist fundamentalists about
How does it all fit together?
SAJJAN GOHEL, ASIA-PACIFIC FOUNDATION: Well, ideology is a very key
component in the radicalization of individuals, especially in the case of
the Kouachi brothers.
There are a number of different layers that do need investigation.
The authorities in France will have to take their time in looking at it.
The different dynamics at play are, of course, Yemen that has been
mentioned, where it`s believed that at least one of the Kouachi brothers
Interestingly enough, in 2011, which is the same year that Anwar al-
Awlaki was killed in a drone strike, his last edict was for his followers
to target all the publications that have printed those controversial
The other dynamic is that Cherif Kouachi had been part of a network in
2004 to send people to go fight in the insurgency in Iraq. And that was
connected to Abu Musab al Zarqawi, who people may remember was a Jordanian
terrorist who infamously would take Westerners and behead them on camera.
All these different dynamics are there, different elements of
ideology. But if we`re going to look at counterterrorism, we have to also
look at the ideas that indoctrinate young impressionable people, because
arresting, capturing, killing terrorists is not enough. For every one you
kill, there are at least another five coming along the assembly line.
GOHEL: And, unfortunately, Europe hasn`t dealt with that aspect as
MATTHEWS: Is there any way to determine what with the triggers are?
Was it – was it placing all of our troops in the holy land of Mecca back
during the first Iraq war, what was called the Gulf War? Was that what
triggered al Qaeda into action?
How do we look – or is it just a long thing that was building up over
years, Mr. Gohel? Is there any steps that can be taken or not taken to
ameliorate this hatred, or is it just something we have to live with?
GOHEL: Well, people will talk about foreign policy as being a
But I would respectfully disagree with that, because foreign policy
can make you angry, but to do things like kill innocent people like
journalists, there has to be an ideological narrative that influences that
For example, they also shot dead a policeman on the ground. He was
also a Muslim policeman. Groups like ISIS have openly talked about that
it`s legitimate to rape Yazidi women. That`s again an ideological dynamic,
very little to do with foreign policy.
The West has also, we shouldn`t forget, intervened in conflicts that
involve Muslims, like in Bosnia and Kosovo. They also wanted to declare
the genocide in Darfur, but it was prevented by countries in the Arab
So, again, foreign policy is often used by people as an excuse, but
it`s always the ideology that influences, indoctrinates and galvanizes
these young impressionable people. They buy into the half-truths like from
Anwar al-Awlaki, like from al-Baghdadi. There`s never enough investigation
as to the limitations of that ideology and the false promises that are
MATTHEWS: Well said. Thank you so much, Michael Kay and Sajjan
Coming up, we will get back to Paris, where French President Hollande
has called for unity among the French people, but the right-wing National
Front over there has been gaining ground and the terror attacks in Paris
could push that country further to the right, especially on the issues of
And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: Back to HARDBALL.
French President Hollande addressed his country earlier this
afternoon, calling for calm. He said – quote – “We have to be vigilant
against anti-Semitism and anti-Islamism. We have to stay united.”
Yet, the terror attacks in France have ignited new fervor in the long-
standing debate over Europe`s cultural identity, inflaming anti-Muslim and
anti-immigration sentiment across the continent. Over the past three days,
the leaders of several hard-right groups across Europe have claimed
vindication for their hard-line immigration policies, most notably in
France, where the attacks have of course emboldened the right-wing National
Front Party led by Marine Le Pen.
Yesterday, Le Pen called for the death penalty to be reinstated and
said that Islamists have declared war on France. Her deputy added that –
quote – “Anyone who says Islamist radicalism has nothing to do with
immigration is living on another planet.”
Another National Front leader called the mainstream political parties
“the club of those responsible for Islamic terrorism in France.”
That`s pretty strong. It sounds like here.
Joining me right now from Paris is MSNBC analyst Christopher Dickey,
who is with The Daily Beast. And here in Washington, NBC – actually BBC
correspondent Kim Ghattas.
I want to start with Christopher Dickey over there.
We have got a poll out that showed that of all the countries in
Western Europe, that France is the most tolerant, accepting of its
immigrant Arab population. And yet there`s talk by the National Front that
they think they can exploit this issue.
CHRISTOPHER DICKEY, MSNBC ANALYST: Well, I think that they do think
that they can exploit this issue. And they have been pretty successful
with it before, although, frankly, you have to say that Marine Le Pen has a
much more moderated, if not more moderate, view of these things.
There are Arabs, token though they may be, in the National Front
Party. And she doesn`t come out with the kind of obvious race-baiting
remarks that her father did when he was running the party. She`s tried to
move the party to the – a little bit toward the center, because she really
thinks she has a shot at the presidency in a couple of years. And that may
be the case.
But I think, Chris, the thing to watch is the broader European
context. And the argument to watch is very particularly Europe. And I
think it could right over the heads of a lot of Americans when they hear
it. And that is the line that`s taken, for instance, in the Netherlands
and in Germany and some other places where they say, we can`t have Muslims
in Europe because Muslims, all Muslims apparently, are intolerant, and we
live in a tolerant society, and we cannot tolerate intolerance.
DICKEY: Now, I know that sounds kind of twisted, but that`s the kind
of argument that people like Geert Wilders use in the Netherlands to
disguise what really is basically racism.
It isn`t, we don`t like these people because they`re brown, they speak
with an accent and come from other countries. It`s because they`re
And this plays right into that argument.
MATTHEWS: Yes, Kim, I want to go back to – this is a logical issue,
as well as a knowledge issue.
You know, the – the Jewish people in Israel live right next door to
the Palestinians, who don`t like them. We know that. That`s no – of
course they don`t like them, don`t want them to be there.
But the percentage of the Palestinian people who are violent and
believe in killing Jews and actual do it is a very small percentage. But
the Israelis have to live with the fact that they`re there. And, in this
case in Europe, even if it`s a very small percentage of the Muslim
population, which is even prone to terrorism, they have to live with them.
So it does come back to numbers and what are you willing to put up
with? An occasional terrorist attack in the interest of tolerance, for
example, or else say, we`re not even going to risk it, get rid of these
people, as if that were an option.
KIM GHATTAS, BBC CORRESPONDENT: Well, you can`t really get rid of
them, because when people like Marine Le Pen say France for the French,
well, a lot of these people are French. They`re French citizens. They`re
football players. They`re police officers who get shot on the street
trying to defend the people at “Charlie Hebdo.”
MATTHEWS: As happened the other day.
GHATTAS: As happened the other day.
And you have seen, there`s a rift, of course, in France. There is
tension between the Muslim population who are French citizens and France as
a whole because of this deep sense of secular values that drive France,
laicite. And it drives tension in the community because of those Muslims
within the community who feel they`re being discriminated against because
they want very obvious signs of their belief to be – they want to be able
to wear them very openly.
And that`s what is driving the tension. And that`s why you see this
rift that is possibly going to be exploited by people like Marine Le Pen.
But you`re also seeing a bit of a backlash against people like Marine Le
Pen this the hashtag, for example, #JesuisAhmed, “I am Ahmed,” in honor of
this police officer who died on the street.
And the French president, Francois Hollande, with his call for a march
on Sunday, bringing together all political parties, except the National
Front of Marine Le Pen, bringing together all communities, is very clearly
trying to say that he is not going to allow this incident to be used to
demonize France`s Muslims.
MATTHEWS: Christopher, what is the – what is the policy prescription
of Le Pen now? Is it simply a restoration of the capital punishment?
DICKEY: Well, that was what she said, because she thinks, when
there`s an atrocity like this, there ought to be some means of punishing
people to the utmost degree, and also because, when you put people in jail
in this country, like in most countries, even if you give them life in
prison, often, they can get out in 20 years, and she doesn`t think that
And she knows that a lot of French people, under the circumstances,
don`t think that should happen. On the other hand, it has to be said that
the way capital punishment is carried out here in France, especially in
these kinds of incidents, it`s almost always the same.
You can go back 20, 25, 30 years. Every time there`s a siege, a
hostage siege involving somebody who can be identified as a terrorist, they
almost always wind up dead.
DICKEY: And, you know, I predicted this morning that they would wind
up dead at the end of this incident, and, of course, they did, even though
you would have thought that they – the French intelligence would have
wanted to question them.
MATTHEWS: Wow. Interesting cultural insight there.
Thank you, Christopher Dickey with The Daily Beast and with us. And
MATTHEWS: No, it is. It`s a fascinating – it`s like divorce,
Italian-style, one of those things.
Thank you very much for that. I like it when people are punchy like
this and get to the point.
Thank you, Kim Ghattas, as well.
We will have much more – we will have much more from Paris coming up,
as police search for the last suspect, a woman who is on the run in France
as we speak tonight.
And, later, the political battle here at home in the aftermath of the
attacks – there always is one – and a predictable assault by the right on
the president. He is, of course, guilty of all things that are bad.
You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
It was a violent end, of course, to two simultaneous terrorist
standoffs today in Paris. Three suspect terrorists were dead – in fact,
they`re dead now. And one is still on the run, a fourth. And the – that
is just catching up right now.
It began around 8:30 this morning local time in Paris, when the two
suspected gunmen from the “Charlie Hebdo” massacre, the Kouachi brothers we
know them to be, took a hostage in a print shop outside the city as they
were cornered by police. We`re looking at pictures of them there.
At about 12:30 local time, we got reports that an associate of the two
brothers took hostages in a kosher market in Paris. He threatened to kill
them unless police let the Kouachi brothers go. So, he was implicitly
working with them even though they weren`t coordinating at the moment.
These two dramatic standoffs lasted for hours. At 4:56, about 5:00,
local time in Paris, as night began to fall, the raids began. This is the
scene of the first police raid on the Kouachi brothers. Both brothers were
killed, of course. The hostage is freed.
And this is a video of the dramatic siege, on the associate in Paris
at the Jewish kosher shop. Four hostages there were killed in that siege
along with the gunman.
We`re joined right now by “The Atlantic`s” Steve Clemons.
You know, this is television, the ability to see these things in
action, watching the one at the kosher market there, where you see people
racing out the door. You see what looked to be the gunman himself racing
toward the police in an almost suicidal fashion, all living color.
STEVE CLEMONS, THE ATLANTIC: Everything that happens is on social
media. People reporting it.
You may remember in the Vietnam War, that the images of Vietnam
changed America. Now the Vietnam War, that kind of images around us every
MATTHEWS: Those movies were flown. They were filmed.
CLEMONS: So, there`s been a desensitization in certain ways. It`s
dramatic, but now, we`re getting used to it.
MATTHEWS: Well, I wonder about all this coming together, Steve. You
think big about these things and we all try to, the implications of people
who live in a country but feel themselves as aliens. It`s the way their
treated, the way their language and religion are different but who act as
enemies of the state. Whereas in this country, we have the odd situation
of people who are not documented, who feel very American, a lot of them
from Latin America, who want to be Americans. In that country, people who
were born in the country, we`re learning, who don`t like it.
CLEMONS: Look, there are a lot of problems in America, but one of the
things we really do get right and we should be proud of, is the way we
assimilate different cultures. When you look at the assimilation rate, you
go to Los Angeles, and you look at cultures from around the world that make
it there, that all around the United States, it`s not a perfect story.
But when you go to France, you go to Germany, you go to other places,
England, they have had a much more difficult way of bringing people in.
MATTHEWS: Is that because of colonialism? That their history has
been we, they, the Arabs come to Europe, but they`re still Arabs because
they`ve always been them to us.
CLEMONS: I`ll say what I said throughout this. When your economy is
growing, tolerance is much easier to achieve. And understanding –
MATTHEWS: That`s pretty rare, though, to have a vibrant economy.
CLEMONS: But the economy in France is flat. And I think that`s part
of the problem.
I`ll tell you the other thing is, you know, people have been talking
about the 5 million or so Muslims in France as being a problem. France
needs to find a way for the 5 million Muslims to be an opportunity, a
strength, something they`re proud of. That change the –
MATTHEWS: Well, the irony is, according to our polling, Cris Hammond
is joining me right now, a friend of mine who is a cartoonist, an American
cartoonist living in Paris.
Cris, why don`t you get in here right now and tell us about your view?
Because the polling we had shows that of all the countries in Western
Europe, that the French are the most accommodating of their Islamic
population, that 72 percent, according to polling over there, are favorable
in their attitude towards the Muslim population of their country. Your
views, what do you sense?
CRIS HAMMOND, INTERNATIONAL CARTOONIST: I would agree with that.
From the friends that I have here that I`ve spoken to, their reaction to
this thing has actually given me heart to – some hope that there can be
some tolerance and understanding between these groups.
This hit me really hard because I am an artist and a cartoonist and
I`m – the attack on the freedom of speech and the freedom of thought was
so brutal that it was a shock all the way through my system. But at the
same time, when I spoke to my French friends about it, they were in
But the first thing they said was, these were not Muslims. These were
radicals. They were terrorists.
And to a person, every one that I know here, the artists and the
writers and the other people, my friends who are French, have this open-
hearted attitude towards it. And as an American, I find that very, very
MATTHEWS: Good to hear that.
Anyway, “Time” magazine reporter Vivienne Walt with us now.
Vivian, we`re talking with Steve and Cris about the sort of reaction
people have in the streets of Paris. Do they dislike Muslims more? Do
they try to understand that these are terrorists basically criminals,
killers? That could come from any society.
VIVIENNE WALT, TIME MAGAZINE: You know, this is obviously a big
complicated, complex society. Every little Banlieue, they call the
immigrant neighborhoods around Paris, each one is very different in
character and ethnic makeup and so on. So, it`s very hard to generalize.
But, yes, of course, you know, by and large, the French understand
that this is a very tiny minority among five million Muslims in France,
most of whom have been born and raised in this country.
But I think there`s something else to be said about all of this, and I
just don`t know how the government is going to solve this one, which is
that basically beyond the question of integration, the assimilation, the
economy and so on. This is simply a kind of nihilism among a certain
segment of Muslim French Banlieue-raised kids that just doesn`t seem to be
going away. You know, in other countries, it might be kind of just bad
kids. Here, they`re bad, violent kids.
MATTHEWS: Cris, you`re like me, you`re an American, but you`re living
over there. I know when you go to places like in Paris and you see lots of
Arab guys walking around selling what looks to be looted perfume boxes, I
mean, everybody`s selling you perfume off a truck somewhere. Are these
people just basically desperate for any kind of employment? What leads
people to that sort of uniform way of making a buck?
HAMMOND: Well, I don`t know, but I know what you`re talking about.
The flea market, you go and you`re overwhelmed with people selling iPhones
and you know those guys don`t work for Apple.
But I think that there has been for a long time, a sort of cash, black
economy that thrives in sub cultures in – I think all throughout Europe.
HAMMOND: I don`t think it`s unique to Paris or to this – that
particular culture. I think it could be, you know, it`s happening in
Kosovo. It`s happening in parts of Italy. It`s just a kind of a cash,
stuff that falls off the back of the truck economy.
MATTHEWS: That`s what it looks like to me.
Hey, Cris, thank you for joining us.
HAMMOND: I don`t know that that`s going to just go away.
MATTHEWS: Cris, send me your latest cartoon, send me anything you`re
doing in Paris. We`ll put it on the show next week.
Cris Hammond, my friend over there in Paris. I don`t know many
cartoonists living in Paris. We have to have you.
Anyway, Steve Clemons, thank you. And Vivienne Walt, thank you for
your wonderful talk tonight.
Up next, the political reaction at home, you can predict it. They`re
blaming it on President Obama. Somehow he`s related to this whole thing in
a terrible bad way. I know, I minimized it because it`s a joke.
And we`ll be right back.
MATTHEWS: We`re back.
And finishing up tonight on this amazing night of violence in Paris –
by the way, in the wake of the Paris attacks, we`re seeing some on the
right here in America trying to score the usual political points against –
who else? – the president.
Here`s Senator Lindsey Graham, who I have very bad feelings lately, of
South Carolina. Not because he`s from South Carolina, because the way he`s
been talking lately. Here he is, Lindsey.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I think he believes that
strength is offensive, that he doesn`t want to be bold because he may
offend somebody. President Obama`s policies are making us very much less
safe here at home. When he left Iraq, he did so based on a campaign
promise. He`s trying to close Gitmo based on a campaign promise.
His campaign promises are getting a lot of people killed. Our
intelligence-gathering abilities have been compromised. These policies
driven by President Obama of being soft and weak and indecisive are coming
home to haunt us. It`s just a matter of time that we`re going to get here
at home if somebody doesn`t adjust soon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: He`s going to be one of the leaders of the Senate, this
guy. When he`s talking, I take it seriously.
Let`s go right now to “Mother Jones`” own David Corn, and, of course,
Michael Tomasky, who is with “The Daily Beast”.
Gentlemen, why does Lindsey Graham, who won his primary against four
right wingers, who`s not an evil person, what is all of this macho, crazy
talk about the president somehow being weak? And that somehow I don`t even
– I mean, I understand why the president made mistakes. Drawing red lines
he doesn`t intend to enforce. Those things are mistakes and they`re wrong.
But these things about weak –
DAVID CORN, MOTHER JONES: Well, that`s – you`ve hit on a key
distinction. It`s not that he`s saying he`s wrong. I think the policies
are better if you do A, B and C.
He`s saying he`s soft. He`s saying he doesn`t have the fortitude to
go up against the terrorists. The guy who ordered the raid on bin Laden –
MATTHEWS: Who`s drone –
CORN: You know, all that sort of stuff, and it`s something they`ve
had on him from the beginning. Because he`s maybe professorial, because he
doesn`t want to bomb Iran, he wants to try to come up with a negotiation
first. They tried to portray as weak, soft. And they used all these sort
of buzz words.
And, you know, it works to a certain extent in that it creates a
debate that`s a false debate. And they`re going to try to, you know, set
up the Democrats to go back to the Democrats in general are weak and soft.
MATTHEWS: You know, he doesn`t grab. You know, I work for President
Carter. And I think this president is a dove, like I think you guys are
and I am. A dove, meaning we don`t want to go to stupid wars anymore. War
is not our number one solution to all problems.
But I think Jimmy Carter was a pacifist. I think he hated to kill –
he wanted to take great pride, except for desert one, and nobody getting
killed on his watch. No military casualties. I think that is a dove – I
mean, that`s pacifist.
This guy is no pacifist. People you talk in the administration say in
that Situation Room, he is tough.
MICHAEL TOMASKY, THE DAILY BEAST: He`s certainly no pacifism. I
mean, if you talk to anyone on the left, you`re going to get a lot of
complaints about Barack Obama`s war policies, the continuation of Bush`s
policies, and the drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan. You`re going to
hear a lot of complaints about that.
And, no, he`s no dove at all. Lindsey Graham is running for
president, you know, that`s –
MATTHEWS: That`s his buddy.
CORN: A vice president.
MATTHEWS: That`s McCain – anyway, here`s former New York Mayor Rudy
Giuliani calling for an increase in surveillance on mosques here in the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do we increase surveillance now in places like
mosques. What`s your position right now?
RUDY GIULIANI (R), FORMER NYC MAYOR: Well, I think, for example,
Mayor de Blasio taking the police out of New York is one of the more
irrational acts that a mayor could perform. Remember, you talk about in
1993 attack on the World Trade Center, actually, it was the year I was
running the mayor, I wasn`t the mayor. That was organized in a mosque in
It`s not racially profiling. It`s logical deduction. It`s logical
reasoning. It`s what we were taught to do in school if you ever took a
course on philosophy or on analysis.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
MATTHEWS: So, who`s right and wrong there? He`s going back to a
school philosophy about logic. You go where the money is, I guess.
TOMASKY: Giuliani is the guy who built his bunker in the only
skyscraper in New York City that had been attacked by terrorists. And we
have to listen to this guy`s advice on this? Can you imagine if Barack
Obama done something similar, if a Democratic mayor of New York built his
bunker on the World Trade Towers, after the World Trade Towers that got
bomb, we got to take his advice?
MATTHEWS: What about the mosque? He`s right about jersey, if blind
sheik who basically directed the attack – the first attack on the World
Trade Center. That was driven out of a mosque.
CORN: But the attacks we saw in Paris this week were not hatched out
of any mosque. And, in fact, what people said so far is that neither one
of these two guys were particularly religious, the brothers, at least. And
so, listen, there has to be other ways to target cells and suspects without
saying we`re going to spy on mosque temples or churches.
MATTHEWS: Thank you, Michael Tomasky and David Corn. Thank you.
Have a nice weekend.
Back with more after this.
MATTHEWS: That`s HARDBALL for this Friday.
Our coverage continues right now on “ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES”.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
Copyright 2015 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>