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World can present united front against attacks like NYC
President Trump has called for “Merit-Based Immigration” and abandonment of the “Diversity Visa Lottery Program” he says brought the New York City attacker to the United States from Uzbekistan.
Certainly America can learn from the example of other nations which face similar threats, and our immigration system should be under continual review.
But it’s easy, following such attacks, to adopt an “us vs. them” stance, lumping radicals with the rest of the world and crawling into a nationalist bunker in our minds.
The attacker drove a delivery truck through a popular bicycle path near the World Trade Center, killing eight and injuring at least 11, jumping out of the truck with two pellet pistols and leaving behind a note pledging loyalty to Isis. He’s in critical condition after being shot in the abdomen by police.
The attack illustrates that terrorism isn’t just an “us vs. them,” however, it’s barbarism vs. the civilized world.
It also shows just how diverse New York City already is.
Five of the victims were from Argentina, among a group of friends celebrating the 30th anniversary of graduating from college. Another of the victims killed was from Belgium.
A female German citizen is among the injured.
Messages of support and offers of help in the investigation have come in from around the world.
The French prime minister checked security measures at the Eiffel Tower and then said authorities must remain “as humble as we are determined” to fight extremism.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry condemned the truck attack and said: “a serious approach coinciding with honesty and transparency of all nations” is the only way to “uproot” terrorism.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, wrote on Twitter: “Horrified at the evil terrorist #ManhattanAttack. Our hearts go out to the victims + families. From Berlin to NYC: We stand with you.”
Saudi Arabia said it strongly condemns the attack and offered its condolences to the families of the victims.
Similar sentiments came from Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar.
The president of Uzbekistan sent condolences to Trump and offered assistance in the investigation.
We shouldn’t be naive enough to believe other countries aren’t looking out for their own interests ahead of ours when issuing such statements, but all have been victims of terrorism in general, and increasingly, truck attacks specifically.
There have been nearly 40 terror-related truck-ramming attacks around the world since 1981, as terrorists take advantage of a relatively easy means of inflicting maximum destruction.
Preventing such attacks will be a difficult, if not impossible task, but one against which the civilized world can present a united front.