Steve Hansen: Response to Paris attack must be strong

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By Steve Hansen

Former QCS Managing Editor

What should we in Quay County take away from the ISIS attacks in Paris?

First, I think it’s a good idea to layer the translucent Tricoleur, the French flag, over your Facebook portrait. It shows you support the French and know that the friendship between our nations goes much deeper than the sharing of the same colors on our flags. Facebook even shows you how to do it. It’s easy.

The French based the foundations of their democracy on ours, and showed their gratitude by giving us the Statue of Liberty. There have been problems between us, but they are minor compared to the endurance of our friendship.

We also share a pride many consider inordinate about being citizens of our nations. Americans are intensely proud of being American, and the French at least match our zeal in their own patriotism. The spats between us often stem from national pride.

It is also important to note French military forces have probably been as much involved in efforts to degrade and destroy ISIS and other destructive terror groups that hide behind Islam as U.S. troops have been.

Second, we should not over-react, but we should support efforts to degrade and destroy ISIS. Not Islam.  ISIS and its terrorist ilk.

The flood of Muslim refugees from Syria demonstrates clearly that most Muslims are not militants, no matter what some parts of the Quran seem to say.

Most Muslims are the victims the militants seek out when they send human bombs into crowded squares where people are minding their own business in Africa and the Middle East. Most Muslims, I think, would rather work and raise their families, no matter what their opinions of the U.S. and the West might be.

Are militants hiding among the refugees? Of course they are, but that’s reason for caution, not rejection.

Emotions run high after an incident like the Paris attacks. The first reactions are almost always over-reactions, and we have to make sure we don’t let our emotions get the best of us. That plays into our enemies’ hands. They seek to divide.  We should seek to unite.

The response of the U.S. and its allies, however, should be strong and swift, and targeted specifically against the perpetrators.

That’s the response I would hope Quay County residents would favor.

Steve Hansen writes about our life and times from his perspective of a retired Tucumcari journalist. Contact him at:

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