Attacks in brussels grim depiction of future without action


Graphic by Austin Banzon.

Thomas Rousseau, Staff Writer

Recent terrorist attacks in Belgium have left 31 dead and over 200 injured. Two bombs were detonated in the Brussels National Airport and one in the Maelbeek Metro Station. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks.


The reaction and response to the attacks in Belgium has been much the same as the even more detrimental attacks in Paris back in November 2015. Hashtags, symbolic cartoons and even changing the color palette of the Eiffel Tower for a night, it almost seems routine at this point to brush aside the issues behind the tragedy and hide them behind the newest trendy phrase or profile filter.


The way publicity works, the trending phrases and various buildings lit up with a certain color scheme, make it so that everyone knows. Everyone can take part, too. Everyone can tweet and show how sad they are that this happened. Everyone knows, but no one knows why. Because it’s easy to say how sad it was and move on after enough artistic images have been made, but it’s hard to look to what allowed the attacks to happen and how to prevent them in the future.


When you saw, like I did, the reactions of students when they first heard the news the day after, the fact is that they were not surprised. There was no shock in reaction to the images of destroyed train cars or fleeing masses. Frankly, I wasn’t surprised either. We have all seen this before. We have seen it in Sydney, we have seen it in Paris, we’ve seen it in London and in Denmark. And now, we have seen it in Brussels.


There was a time, that few in this generation might remember, in which terrorist attacks were not a staple of western civilization. I see people looking at the casualties mount on the news as if it is a tragic accident, as if it was a hurricane, or an earthquake – as if it was something out of our control. The reaction makes it seem like these events are just an inevitable reality, that this is simply the cost of living in a free society.


The farce will go on, and people will fail to realize what has gotten them this gruesome verdict. Ultimately, the blame lies almost as much with those who were weak enough to let it happen – as it does with the Islamic radicals that see no issue in killing swaths of innocents.


Those who failed to see that uncontrolled, unregulated mass immigration from the third world would bring the horrors of those countries to Europe. Those that failed to see that the European Union has stripped its member states of their national liberties and control over their national security. Those that fail to realize the true dangers that come with an extremely interventionist foreign policy in the Middle East.


People will denounce those who speak to the larger problems behind the attacks, calling them insensitive and brusque. It seems as if it’s a foreign concept to say that the organization headquartered blocks away from a terrorist attack might not be able to effectively keep its people safe.
These things might seem far away, but the same politics are at work here in America. The desensitization to these events has made people numb to how ridiculous the situation is. I don’t have concrete solutions to the immigration, the foreign policy, or the EU migrant quotas, but I do know that nothing is going to get better if we do not look inwards and ask the hard questions as to what lead us here.