Monday, November 16, 2015

Last Week's Terrorist Attacks Leave Questions in Wake

Since the news broke on Friday night, I have been struggling to deal with all of the news out of Paris, and I don't even have a direct connection to it.

At first, I was worried about a friend who had been in Paris last week.  Turns out, he had left the City of Lights the evening before the attacks and was safely back home.  Once I found that out, it gave me a great sense of relief.

For the many families of the victims and the victims of the Beirut attack the day before the Paris attack, there is no relief coming...only grief.  They have questions, and there are few answers. When it comes to losing someone in a terrorist attack, there just is no sense to it.

My mother passed away on Christmas in her bed at the age of 73.  She was warm and snug under her blanket, and she looked so peaceful.  My father died at the age of 69 surrounded by his family.  He took his last breath in our presence.

On Friday in Paris, ISIS radicals conducted coordinated attacks against civilians.  The people that died on Friday are dead because they went out to eat.  They are dead because they went to a concert or a soccer match or happened to be nearby a suicide bomber. It makes no sense.

It's also scary because there's no way to bomb our way out of this, either.  We can't go bomb a country and call it a day.  The terrorists don't put death in the same context that we do.  Living and dying don't mean the same things to a radical.  When that radical is a religious radical, it just makes the entire situation that much more perplexing and frightening.

We have to redouble our efforts in intelligence to keep us safe.  We have to target the ability of terrorists to coordinate these attacks and continue to prevent attacks where we can.  As a society, we have to continue to fight hate with love.  It's cliche, sure, but it's the only thing we know that can keep us.  We must drive out evil in the world with force when necessary.  We certainly must be there to support our friends and allies as well.

France is on its way to recovery, and I have no doubt that Paris will be back...stronger and better than before.

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