Paris and American Politics


Kevin Hartranft –

Paris, France, recently suffered a group of attacks from terrorists killing 129 people and injuring 352 according to CNN as of 8:am Monday the 16th. The attacks were carried out by what seem to be 3 groups of extremists coordinating attacks on 6 different locations. Much as 9/11 was for the American people, and the global community, a moment of clarity and assurance that this current world holds very real and very dangerous threats, this attack in Paris has served to reinforce this reality.

15488809-mmmainWith the attack comes the another horrible, and yet uniquely American, reality. Out come the right and left wing of our political system to bolster their particular arguments for their particular twisted views before the first reports of the attack are even finished airing. And once again America looks selfish, and foolish, using a horrific event as a political stage when all that is required of us, as Americans, and as a member of a world community, is to show support, send our energy or prayers as one sees fit, and help our allies.

Are there realities in the aftermath that should be addressed? Of course there are. Syria and ISIL are a veritable hornets nest of issues. The Syrian refugee crisis is also a situation not to be taken lightly. It cannot be dismissed as easily as send them all away comments make it seem. But neither can the potential risks be ignored.

Can we actually vet these refugees in any meaningful way before we allow them access to our nations is a question we must ask. I know there are legitimate refugees seeking a place to avoid the horrors in their countries of origin. I also know ISIL would be insane not to try and use this situation to plant people willing to kill and die for their cause.


How do we balance humanitarian aid with sensible caution? Is it possible to do this? In Paris reports say at least one of the attackers was a refugee that came in through Greece and made his way somehow to France. This is one person in a huge number of refugees. It is not all refugees. But also I have seen viral videos of refugees streaming through the streets and Greek citizens crying foul and complaining of the mass of humanity streaming by.

syrian-refugeesAgain I wonder, how do we balance humanitarian efforts, and avoid further incidents like Paris? And I think the actual answer is we do the best we can with the information we have. We make sure we check out the people coming into western nations through this refugee crisis. America is among the nations bombing the homes of these people. It is irresponsible to dismiss their cries when we are, in part, the cause. But it is equally irresponsible to subject citizens of our nations to unnecessary danger.
It therefore is required of America to do its due diligence and vet any and all refugees before allowing them into this nation. I am OK with this. It is not bigotry to be safe and wise in ones actions.

The one thing we as Americans can do by ourselves though is to cease the rhetoric. Cease the political grandstanding. Cease the social media rants about how those you oppose failed and those you support were always right while using the events in Paris as your proof. Remember these are human beings and not pawns in your petty games.

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