November 19th, 2017

As British PM says, enoughis enough

By Lethbridge Herald Opinon on June 7, 2017.

London continues to mourn the victims of the country’s latest terrorist attack – the third in three months. Its citizens aren’t the only ones mourning. Other nations, including Canada, are mourning their own victims in the attack.

Experts on the subject of terrorism say the tactic is designed to create fear and disrupt the lives of ordinary citizens. In the wake of such attacks, as has been the case this time, there are calls to remain strong and not let terrorists win by making people prisoners within their own nations. Sunday’s benefit concert in Manchester was an example of such defiance against terrorism. The concert, held in the wake of the May 22 suicide bomb attack that killed 22 people, raised millions for a relief fund and attracted thousands of spectators to hear Ariana Grande and an all-star lineup of other musical stars.

The calls for strength in the face of the threat of terrorism are well founded. But neither can you blame people if they feel a little less secure these days being in crowded, public places in large cities.

While some warn against an overreaction that results in the diminishing of civil liberties, that doesn’t mean our societies should accept terrorist acts with resignation. Following the December terrorist attack in a Christmas market in Berlin in which 12 people died when a truck was used to mow down pedestrians, one columnist pointed out that on an average day, 10 people are killed on German roads, amounting to about 3,500 in an average year. Therefore, the risk of being killed in an automobile accident is far greater than the chance of being killed by a terrorist.

The difference – and it’s an important one – is your car, at least as far as automated vehicle technology has advanced to date, is not purposely trying to kill you.

Terrorism, spurred on by ISIS urgings for supporters to attack its enemies’ citizens using any means available, is becoming increasingly common in western countries. In Britain, Prime Minister Theresa May has promised to increase policing and efforts to crack down on radicalization, announcing, “Enough is enough.”

It’s a sentiment likely shared by many, and not just in Britain. Terrorism may have established itself as an unwelcome part of modern society, but it doesn’t mean it should be accepted as just a fact of life. While Canada has, thankfully, seen few such incidents on our own soil, it isn’t an issue about which we can be complacent.

The Canadian Forces mission in Iraq and Syria will reach its expiry date at the end of the month, but the mission’s commander, Brig.-Gen. Dan MacIsaac, expects to see the operation extended as part of the international anti-terror coalition.

Meanwhile, federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said Monday that efforts are underway to ensure stepped-up security plans are in place for the celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday on July 1.

Such measures are welcome, as are any efforts in Britain and elsewhere to do more to try to stop terrorists from causing more death, injuries and trauma by targeting innocent citizens.

Terrorism may be a reality in the world but it isn’t something to be accepted and tolerated. It’s a problem that crosses international boundaries and requires international co-operation to combat.

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