NEW CASTLE, Pa, November 16, 2015 – Tragedies like the Paris terrorist attacks of November are solely designed to instill fear and drive chaos that terrorists can use to serve their destructive purposes.
When threatened, humans feel vulnerable and grow increasingly desperate to the point they make irrational decisions, especially if they are unable to retreat to “safe havens” where they can feel some sense of security.
Terrorists who can strike anywhere at any time are, therefore, very effective at creating panic and provoking self-destructive reactions. By targeting multiple public locations, those responsible for the bloodshed in Paris have left people feeling threatened in public places where they would normally feel safe.
The flight or fight response takes hold when people feel threatened. Those who feel compelled to flee will seek out ways to feel safer; those who feel compelled to fight will seek out ways of “hunting down the perpetrators of this crime,” as US President Barak Obama put it. In terms of public policies, this can translate into emotion-driven support for national security overreach and ill-conceived military campaigns.
Furthermore, the terrorists may have left people feeling vulnerable and helpless, but they also have sown the seeds of division.
Grappling with the Syrian Refugee Crisis and growing xenophobia, the Charlie Hodbo shooting and Paris Terrorist Attacks of November, Europeans are sure to rationalize further mistreatment of refugees. Evidence demonstrating, at least, one of the terrorists entered Europe posing as a refugee fleeing the Syria Civil War is already on display.
Unfortunately, the borders of Europe are extremely porous while it is impossible to fully secure any nation from internal or external sources of violence, so the presence of the Syrian refugees cannot be rightfully blamed for these attacks. Terrorists are opportunists, which means they will find any opportunity to spread their terrorism.
Nonetheless, European leaders assuredly feel increased pressure to resolve the Syrian Refugee Crisis. Their “solution” is to pay the Turks and Africans to take care of the problem for them. In essence, they are displacing a problem they cannot handle onto far less capable governments. Because these refugees will either find themselves in poorly run refugee camps or be prevented from exiting the war zone that is Syria, Europe risks subsidizing human rights abuses.
Furthermore, Syrian refugees are the victims of tyranny and terrorism, just like those in Paris. Abuse paid for by European dollars will only compound the suffering and drive a wedge between Europeans and Middle Easterners when they need to work together in order to fight terrorism.
For much of the developing world, unchecked violent crime is normal while war is commonplace. The fallout of violence is, however, just as devastating for those who experience the horror and pain of crime, terrorism, and war on a daily basis as those who are luckily enough to live in stable countries.
Considering how the developed world struggles with the trauma of violence, it should be self-evident that those living in violent regions need the International Community to help them overcome terrorism.
Where nations could once focus on their own national security, centuries of globalization have gradually created the need to guard against threats from all over the world. Consequently, the many Peoples of the world have a common interest in fighting terrorism and other forms of violence.
Remembering the Arab Spring Revolutions, along with the long history of sacrifice Westerners made to ensure freedom endured in the face of war, there is a common interest to ensure freedom and democracy for all.