The amount of effort that we are putting into managing the consequences of what we don’t dare to talk openly about is truly astonishing. Recently “terror blocks” have been popping up in cityscapes across Europe, including in my own neck of the woods. Following ISIS vehicular “freedom truck” attacks on unsuspecting civilians, politicians and bureaucrats have their response to this threat ready. Instead of looking at what the perpetrators have in common (Islam), they seek to manage the threat level with a brute force approach. Placing concrete barriers around highly trafficked pedestrian areas is not going to win the war against this modern menace. It is a pathetic, cowardly and politically correct method of brushing the truth under the rug.
The unfortunate reality of our world is that the only thing keeping us safe is the lack of motivated perpetrators in our midst. If someone intended to cause harm to innocent civilians, blocking off one area with gift-wrapped concrete barriers isn’t hindering a dastardly attack somewhere else. Just like airport security like the TSA (which misses 90%+ of weapons and bombs in internal tests) this walling off and fortification of our cities is security theater. It is meant to assuage the psychological worries of the population while conveniently neglecting to address the causes of this worry. Even if the authorities were somehow able to protect every single sidewalk, every single square and every single place where people congregate, evildoers and terrorists would simply choose different weapons.
Sadly, protection can’t be outsourced. As the saying goes “when seconds count, police are minutes away”. If falls to every one of us to be conscious of our own security and to take measures to protect ourselves. Neither we, not the state should expect that protection can be ever-present for the population. Once the shit hits the fan, and a terrorist incident is a fait accompli, the authorities are relegated to responding retroactively and hopefully neutralizing the perpetrators if they haven’t blown themselves up already.
Apart from being a weak-willed response to the threat of our times and at best shifting the threat to some other target, these “ISIS Lego” blocks are a visual monument to our collective surrender. Responding to the symptoms, rather than the source of our problems is a testament to the supremacy of spinelessness and the ascendancy of political correctness. In decades past, we had to problems with naming the malevolent forces of our world. Nazism, Communism, Fascism. Now, in a grotesque mockery of our historical steadfastness and bravery in the face of insurmountable odds and hardship, we are attacking the lambasting those speaking out in opposition or those merely pointing out the problem.
It is not just the fact that the attitude of surrender has been given physical form in the form of concrete monuments that is the problem. As with everything else, most of the public will not take much notice of this disturbing development. They will carry on as usual, just like they did after every other terrorist attack that took place in the last few years. That is simply how we have to live now. The optimism that should fill our lives is slowly dying, forgotten and stowed away in some dark cobwebbed cellar of our collective mind. Replaced with indifference and a slow realization that it is becoming too late to do anything effectual about it.