November 14, 2015
I do not want to write this article, or I should say that I do not want to have to write this article. I wish there wasn’t occasion to write again on another terrorist attack in France.
I want to take this opportunity to think out-loud and reflect on this horrible event and my thoughts and fears what this could mean going forward.
Naturally and sincerely, my heart goes out to the people of France, the people of Paris and all of those affected by this tragedy: for what that is worth. I am a person not normally moved by events filtered through electronic media, but this breaks my heart.
I know what I normally write. I know I say thing about how freedom can’t die on a terrorist’s bayonet. I would say something about how we need to soldier through and not give into fear. But there isn’t a we in this at all. The closest I come to a “we” is that I might know people who know people who are affected by this. I don’t think I have the heart to tell people what to do in a situation like this from a sterile, ideological space.
Part of me just thinks that this is what the world looks like now. I don’t want to accept that privacy has to die to prevent future massacres, but that which works has to be the foundation for everything we do. We can’t live our lives just grasping at moonlight, for as the song goes: a man with moonlight in his hand, has nothing there at all.
I fear for the world where we trade that liberty for security and this becomes a wise and prudent course of action. Anyone who reads this blog regularly, even as far back as last week, knows that I am not beyond suggestion firm action with those who I perceive as acting with hostility against “national interest”. It shouldn’t surprise anyone then that my first instinct was to call for the absolute and final destruction of those responsible; so struck was I by the inhumanity of it all.
Then I reflected on the futility of seeking revenge for an act of revenge. I am not saying the French are responsible for this attack. I find France’s popularity as a target for Terrorist attacks to be baffling. However, is this not a generation of angry young men who seek to avenge themselves for our national adventures in the Middle East? This cycle only ends in the peace of the graveyard.
And yet, there must be some response. If not foreign, then domestic. What frightens me the most is that I have no arguments against this, despite desperately seeking one: la liberté doit être plus qu’un mot.
I am surrounded by fear and doubt caused by these barbaric acts, but I also have hope. The French are strong and resilient and hold this ideals close to their chest. Following the attack last January, I was genuinely surprised with the French reaction; it was hardly a reaction at all. It made me feel foolish for being so cynical about worrying how fear would rule the day. My hope is that the French and the citizens of Paris show me again that I am a fool to worry that some terrorists can conquer the spirit of la Republique.
Vive la Republique, Vive la France.
Author : C. Shannon