THE barbaric attacks on Paris could have taken place in any major city in Britain.
Save for the vigilance of our security services they would have already done so in the decade since four young men from Yorkshire slaughtered 52 innocents in the heart of London.
Yet we cannot expect our luck to hold indefinitely.
In the hours after the death of 129 of its people, French president Francois Hollande declared that his country was now at war with Islamic fanatics.
It is time for every Western power – including Russia – to acknowledge the same truth, to set aside their differences and unite behind the eradication of this deranged death cult.
The Chamberlain-like appeasement advocated by Jeremy Corbyn cannot be countenanced. It would be morally indefensible to abandon vast swathes of the Middle East to a group that would take countries back to the dark ages and impose a brutal, illiberal regime on its people.
The answer is not to stop confronting IS but to redouble efforts to wipe the group and its poisonous ideology from the face of the Earth.
These latest attacks are a test of our resolve to fight and defeat evil. We have done so before and must now show we have the strength to do so again.