We have all heard the term soft target. It is a term which has forced itself into the vocabulary of the 21st Century world. A soft target, in the context of contemporary times is a location that is vulnerable to terrorist attack. Islamic fundamentalists prey on soft targets as the world has seen over and over. Bustling airports, cafes and public gatherings cannot be properly defended from the threat of terror attacks, Especially in a free society.
It is somewhat judgmental to label an entire nation as a soft target. However, with tonight’s attack in Nice fresh in our minds, it would not be unfair to say that France is a soft target. For that matter one can make the argument that Europe as a whole is a ripe soft target. Right now, the death toll in Nice stands at 77, with numerous other civilians wounded to one degree or another. French authorities have confirmed that this was a terrorist attack although the identity of the truck’s driver has yet to be revealed. Sky News has reported that the driver is a 31-year old Nice resident of Tunisian nationality, though that information has not been officially confirmed. Sources that monitor Jihadist social media have been reporting that accounts linked to ISIS were ‘celebratory’ following the attack.
I realize that this is neither the time or place to get into it, but enough is enough. I do not know how many terror attacks it will to take for Europe to recognize and admit that Jihadists have embedded themselves deep into the societies of multiple nations on the continent. Further, I have no idea how much longer it will take the EU to build an effective response to these attacks. EU leadership appears paralyzed when it comes to building an effective response against terrorism. Countering the threat begins with acknowledging the connection between the recent spike in terrorism and the ongoing immigration crisis. Not surprisingly, voters in many countries have recognized the connection and the EU’s reluctance to contend with the problems before they blossom. Britain’s impending exit from the Union has much to do with terrorism and immigration. The urgency of the situation following tonight’s tragic attack will galvanize right wing political groups in Europe into action.
All of those variables can be analyzed and discussed later. For now, the right thing to do is to pray for the victims in Nice.