I believe this is going to be an iconic image of something that will be a turning point in Europe and, likely too, the generalised West.
Is this the 9/11 moment for Europe?
Whether intended or not, the government leaders marching in Paris today will tomorrow begin a special ‘war on terror’ in Europe – clamping down on all of us, curtailing freedoms – including the freedom of speech – undermining democracy, survelling Europe’s citizens, etc – all in the name of fighting terrorism.
The only question they will not ask is: Why?
They will only ask: Who? What? and How to look tough now? How to step up counter-terrorism.
Yes, it could well be the 9/11 moment of Europe. That is, over-reacting, seeing it as an attact not on something concrete but on the whole West, thus responding out of proportion and do exactly what some terrorists would like to see: how quickly the democractic, free West can be turning its authoritatian mechanisms on.
We are, I predict, moving into very dark times in Europe – a Cold War with Russia that we could have avoided and counter-terrorism that will undermine everybody’s freedom and privacy. I can only hope that I shall be proved wrong…