Global Independent Analytics
Danielle Ryan
Danielle Ryan

Location: Ireland

Specialization: US foreign policy, US-Russia relations and media bias

Brussels attacks: New European reality, old tired response

Once again, terror has struck a European city, and once again, the reaction has been the same: Dismay, anger, confusion, fear. The stages of grief are adjusted to the reality of knowing that it will happen again.

You know those moments when you warn a child that the plate is hot, but they just have to touch it anyway? Crying ensues and "I told you so" has no effect because they'll just do it again tomorrow. That was Frederica Mogherini breaking down in tears over Tuesday's terror attacks in Brussels.

This is our new reality. It will happen again — and again. In the meantime, we will continue to build our narratives about why it keeps happening on utter delusion. We tell ourselves it has nothing to do with us: They simply hate us and we must stop them. We must be resolute. We must ‘liberate’ their countries. We must not let them win.

In the immediate aftermath, our insulated leaders, safe from the violence and fear now gripping the continent, cut short any temptation that we might feel to call their policies into question. Francois Hollande, this time, warned us that the war on terror “will be long” — lest you get any ideas that there are things we could do in response that doesn't involve defiantly ripping apart more countries to ease our pain. Angela Merkel decided to remind everyone of the innate goodness of the ‘European values’ which are supposed to make us great. Meanwhile across the Channel, David Cameron — who is “shocked and concerned” — is wondering how he can use these attacks to sell the idea to British citizens that they will be ‘safer’ within the EU. No one could envy his task.

Our response, each time this happens, mirrors the immediate emotional response to 9/11 — only we in Europe are in a far worse off position, quite literally. Imagine how many politically motivated terror attacks there would have been in the United States after 9/11 and the subsequent invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, had the US been located where Europe is — and to put the icing on the cake if there had been effectively no border control.

One wonders how long this delusion can continue. How long will we accept platitudes in place of common sense?

Few of our leaders will hint at the hideousness of our foreign policy as a potential cause. None of them will question European ‘unity’ on the issue. None of them will question the wisdom of attempting to overthrow Middle Eastern governments using jihadi proxies. None of them will ponder aloud the stupidity of our Kumbaya immigration policies, which incidentally, do nothing to help the genuinely needy refugees who too often become the targets of anger, violence and hatred once they arrive.

Nor will they want to remind us that only a few days before the Brussels attacks they were touting the arrest of Salah Abdeslam, a fugitive from the Paris attacks, as a “big blow” to ISIS. A big blow that did absolutely nothing to stop the next group of extremists in their tracks.

Instead, avid supporters of Western foreign policy in the Middle East, which involves violence on levels incomprehensible to Europeans, will attempt to accuse those who question them of being traitors, or worse, “terrorist sympathizers.” If we or our allies bomb a wedding party and wipe out 131 people, it will be a brief headline quickly forgotten. If the same number are killed in Paris, we give it wall-to-wall coverage for a week and wonder how humans could be so cruel.

There is no justification for the violence we saw in Brussels and Paris. There will be no justification for it when it hits the next European city — and it will. Equally, there is no justification for the violence that Western nations, led into hell by Washington, have inflicted on other nations. It’s our inability to see that which lies at the root of the problem.

The EU must stay united. NATO must be expanded. Russia must be contained. Regime change is the only option for *insert country of choice*. Just keep playing those phrases on repeat until all ability to question or think for yourself is truly drained.

They want you to cry, change your profile picture to a Belgian flag, allow them to maintain the status quo and then act surprised when it happens again.

It’s well past time to stop letting them do it.

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