This is how the terrorists win.
French President François Hollande has asked for an extension of the state of emergency that now exists in France, and as of this morning the government was debating extending this condition by three months. Such a declaration would not only grant the police new and sweeping powers, it would write them into the constitution. Specifically the law would allow
… severe restrictions of civil liberties and could involve curfews, restricted movements, house arrests, closing public establishments, expanded powers for police to make arrests and to control the press and broadcast media, all of which are liberties the constitution is meant to guarantee.
In other words, ISIS has caused the French government to spread terror for them.
The terrorist’s objective is to spread terror, and ISIS got the ball rolling on Friday night when suicide bombers killed 129 people. But it was the reaction of President Hollande in asking for an extension of emergency powers that keeps tensions high in France. And NPR reported today that the French are okay with sacrificing some of their rights in order to be secure.
Sorry, but you can’t make me believe that you really feel free of the specter of terror when cops can tell you where you can and cannot go at any time and for any reason or stop and frisk you because you might be a terrorist (you do have a beard). And you may say you feel secure, but when the government controls the media, you’re being told what to think. And it wants you to think you’re secure today.
That’s real terror, when the enemy has done such a whammy on you that your government finishes the job by suspending your rights for your own good.
This brand of terror was visited on the United States on September 11, 2001; the draconian Patriot Act became law barely a month later. It, like Patriot Act à la française, was debated and passed quickly in the heat of passion over the violent attacks in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania. We gave up our rights, like dutiful little citizens, and wondered why on Earth our government would want to read our email. It’s just so boring!
But the point is that they – like ISIS – can do it at all, whenever they want, and for whatever reason.
And that’s reason enough to say non.