The lasting impact of the bloody attacks in Paris has yet to be fully understood. In the West, the immediate effects of these terrorist attacks have been to thoroughly terrorize.
Hours after the multipronged assault that resulted in over one hundred deaths, a Parisian square erupted and a stampede of terrified French citizens ran screaming for the safety of dispersion. All that set off this panic was the cry of a woman who thought she heard renewed gunfire. All over Europe and America, a gripping fear has led European leaders and American governors to close their doors to the waves of migrants fleeing the hell that Syria has become. One of the eight Parisian attackers might have been one of those refugees – his fingerprints are on file at a Greek office where he allegedly entered the continent, but this origin has not yet been confirmed. Preferring not to discuss his dismally failed efforts to contain the Islamic State, President Barack Obama mustered more passion than he could for the dead when he denounced his fellow countrymen in a speech in Turkey. You might be forgiven for thinking that Republicans rather than ISIS’s murderers were guilty of a more egregious display of intolerance. These are the wages of terror. This is fear, directionless and confused, and unless it is checked it will have lasting deleterious effects on Western comity and shared purpose.