What next? – On how to deal with terrorist attacks: “It takes a pause and reflection”

by Dieter Sprock

The murder of Hanau has stirred up things. Beyond the borders. Grief, indignation and questions about why dominate the news. And before people have found their way back to everyday life, the next terrible deed in Volkmarsen, Hesse. A car crashes into a group of spectators of a carnival procession and injures more than sixty people, including many children.
Still not forgotten are the attack on a synagogue in Halle, the assassination of Kassel’s district president Walter Lübcke, the attack on the Christmas market in Berlin, the attack on two mosques in New Zealand, and the terrible bloody deed in Norway.

Always the same procedure

After the crime has been committed, special police units secure the crime scene. Offenders are shot or shoot themselves. Paramedics and firefighters rescue the dead and wounded, sometimes at risk for their own lives. These are devoted operations, but they cannot prevent the next crime.
Perpetrator profiles are drawn up and the motives investigated. Stunned. Experts have their say. It is the “hour of the drummers “ for more police, surveillance and bans, for calls for the strong man. The rule of law is under threat.
For years, the perpetrators have charged their sick minds with hatred against foreigners, Jews, Muslims, Christians, gays or anyone else in their forums on the Internet. They have trained the final head shot in their first-person shooter games and are leaving the traces of their cruel deeds on the Internet. They value publicity. They want to become famous and they succeed. Their presence in the media spurs them on. The patterns are the same.

Trust in politics and the rule of law is dwindling

Fear takes hold. Trust in politics and the rule of law is dwindling. Distrust and intolerance are on the rise. They are politically exploited and fueled. “He who is not for me is against me.” It’s about voting percentages and power. The citizens see their concerns less and less represented in politics.
You only have to look once into a session of the German Bundestag: Nobody listens to anyone who has a different opinion. But that is not all: to make their disapproval clear, people do office work, use their mobile phones, read the newspaper or talk ostentatiously with their neighbours, and if that is not enough, they make a name for themselves by shouting loudly. Truly, a school of intolerance. Disgusting!
In this climate of intolerance and hostility that is now dividing society into irreconcilable factions, sick brains hatch out their acts of horror – often alone and only networked on the Internet with like-minded people.
A divided society is the breeding ground on which extremism thrives. Since the last federal elections, more than nine million voters who voted for a party on the “left or right margin” have been excluded and ostracised in Germany. This is more than Switzerland has inhabitants.

What next?

The defamation and exclusion of those who think differently must stop. It takes a moment of cessation and reflection. Acts of terror may no longer be used for political purposes. Extensive media coverage increases the danger that paranoid personalities will be incited to imitate and even try to outdo their role models in the madness of cruelty. Although the police can protect individual endangered objects or remove individual “endangered persons” from circulation, they cannot offer protection against the deeds of mentally ill, egoistical perpetrators, regardless of their political mindset.
Political prudence is required. There is a need for personalities who will dismantle hatred and bring citizens together again. The concerns and worries of the people – also in questions of migration – have to be taken seriously and the tasks at hand must be tackled without any party political calculation:
Children’s upbringing, schooling and education must once again take their rightful place. Specialists must be trained who are able and willing to make a constructive contribution to upkeep society. There must be enough secure jobs and beautiful homes. Where necessary, the health system must be rehabilitated, pensions must be secured and poverty in old age must be eliminated. Every person should be able to live a life in dignity.
A climate of conciliation and reconciliation is necessary. Even then, life will not be a “rose garden”. It is, after all, fraught with difficulties and mistakes. But it is worthwhile to think about how to go on and to bring in one’s own ideas.             •

(Translation Current Concerns)

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