Are we comfortable with terrorism?

Louisa Hall

We live in a world where terrorism is present. Where sometimes people and groups are targeted. Where sometimes innocent civilians fall as victims.

  Sunday, May 22 the world witnessed a tragic event. Another terror attack on innocent victims, this time at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England. I had been working all day and as I walked into my house, I heard the news over the TV. I can’t say I was completely shocked. It was yet another terrorist act.

  I went ahead and did some digging on the internet. I wanted a well-rounded perspective on the situation as immediate reports do not provide all the information. By the next morning, reports said that 22 people were killed and 64 were injured in the bombing.

  Among all the reports online, I discovered an article from The National Review written by David French that discussed how our world has become comfortable with terror. I was a little skeptical as The National Review is a highly conservative news source (I’m fairly liberal), but I was intrigued.

  David French is a well known senior writer for The National Review and an attorney with a specified practice in constitutional law and the law of armed conflict. He is also a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. French is a highly qualified journalist that has personal experience with armed conflict and foreign affairs, so the article was not an ignorant source of information and opinion.  

  Multiple thoughts were already in my head before I really started to read. The world has always had some sort of violence throughout the ages. There has been and there will always be conflict. And some people sadly resort to violence to make their views known at the expense of others. It’s no secret now; our world sees acts of violence all the time. Our society has come to the point where if I hear of a terror attack I have more of a remorse feeling for the victims, not a shock of seeing such an evil action. Terrorism has sadly started to become a common occurrence.

   Discussing terrorism itself is not politically biased. It is common knowledge among all people, not a side that is more liberal or more conservative. And even though liberals and conservatives may not agree on how to handle the situation, they all know terrorism is an issue that will not easily go away. It’s a very complex issue. Terrorism affects everyone and has roots all over the place. For instance, the Manchester Arena Bombing was an attack from an ISIS member who was born and raised in South Manchester as a Sunni Muslim Libyan whose family came to the UK as refugees in 1994.  

  As I continued to read “The World Is Too Comfortable with Terror”, I found myself agreeing with many of the points French was making. I found many honest thoughts within the piece. However, French continuously claimed that “Western democracies would rather face an increased terror risk than make the sacrifices that have been proven to mitigate the danger.”  French’s statement might hold some truth in the way our countries handle situations; but, terrorism is an entirely new level of complicated. Even the most experienced journalists struggle with this concept.

  French wrongfully assumes that the countries choose not to fight because they don’t want to get their hands dirty. But that just isn’t the case. Of course, no one wants to be responsible for civilian deaths, but that isn’t the only reason. Everything in our day and age is not predictable. World leaders have much to consider besides eliminating an enemy. No one fully knows what could happen.  A country can’t just decide to deploy all troops and destroy a terrorist group. They are everywhere, so even if the main base is hit, that doesn’t mean that they won’t rebuild the group. Terrorist groups are highly intelligent and have a larger network than many know. Eradicating a terrorist group could cause an uprising of other terrorists. Deciding to attack an area with a high populous of terrorists could destroy a country’s infrastructure and economy. There are so many complex factors that need to be considered.

   French had a rather strong statement allowing readers to think for themselves, but still assumes our world leaders reasonings for their choice of action.  “The Western world knows the price it has to pay to decisively reduce the terror threat. It’s no longer willing to pay that price. It’s no longer willing even to let their militaries truly do the jobs they volunteered to do. So there will be more Manchesters, more Parises, more Nices, and more Orlandos. But that’s what happens when we’re not willing to do what it takes. I hope at least our hashtags can make us feel better about our choice,” French said.

    It’s not fair to say countries are slacking either. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and its allied countries are advocates about fighting terrorism and regularly discusses and makes agreements on what can be done at the given time. Many world leaders meet with others to figure out how they can be of assistance to other countries fighting terrorism on their own soil. Within the month of May, NATO’s Secretary General met with Belgium’s Prime Minister, Tunisia’s Foreign Minister, UK’s Prime Minister, Germany’s Chancellor, and held a meeting at the headquarters in Brussels, Belgium on May 25 to discuss terrorism and burden sharing.

  Everyone has something to say, but having a plan and going through with the action is a separate entity. So while French, along with many other reporters and writers may be highly qualified to discuss topics as heavy as living in a world of terrorism, there is only so much that can be done at a time.

Countries are being patient and waiting, not settling with these threats.


You can read more here: “The World Is Too Comfortable With Terror” by David French

“The World Is Too Comfortable With Terror” by David French