With terrorism ever-present in our lives since the 1970s, whether by extremist Muslims, by extreme Fascists, or Anarchists, or other groups, is it time to accept terrorism as the new norm. Should the foreign policy objectives be less about destroying ISIS and other terrorist organizations, and more about limiting their ability to attack directly in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America?
There are always going to be those “lone-wolf” attacks, but as we live in a free and democratic society with rights, the police cannot arrest people until an illegal act has actually been committed. As terrible as that sounds, being able to freely move and purchase goods are principles by which open societies must live by.
Investigator after investigator said that they wished they could have arrested the man at the LGBT night club before he killed 49 people, but living in a democratic society entitles you to protection under a constitution and a set of laws. And, when laws were passed that curbed certain rights to better protect people, like the Patriot Act in the U.S. and Bill C-51 in Canada, the public was in uproar about the civil liberties that were being taken away. So where does that leave us?
Being open, free, democratic societies is what makes many countries around the world unique, but it is also what makes us so vulnerable to attack. Because while authoritarian states can simply arrest people on trumped up charges and imprison them without just cause, that simply cannot happen in countries like Canada and the United Kingdom. And, if it did, people would start protesting and pressuring the government to change the laws.
Living freely vastly outweighs living under tyranny, but it also makes us vulnerable to attack and danger. Continuing to live as we do in many countries around the globe, we must be aware of danger and know that we are vulnerable because of our democracy and the rights it affords citizens within it.