On Monday night, 22 people were killed and over 50 more were wounded at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. The attack was carried out by a suicide nail bomber.
Evil In Manchester
In the aftermath of the attack, Grande was understandably distraught over what had happened.
from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words.
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) May 23, 2017
It is heartbreaking that Grande feels the need to express that she is sorry, as if she did something wrong. She was in Manchester to perform for her British fans. She did nothing wrong.
Rather, Monday night demonstrated that we are surrounded by evil doers.
Imagine going to a concert intending to have a good time, but leaving the concert venue with nails in your leg. Imagine being a friend or family member of one of those concert goers.
Perhaps, it is a basic human instinct to ask what we did to bring this on ourselves. What would drive someone to nail bomb a concert attended by children?
The question we should be asking is this: why does it matter? There is no justifiable reason to nail bomb children. Period. There is such a thing as evil, and it is time we stopped psychoanalyzing and making excuses for terrorists.
The Need to Speak the Truth
There have been certain topics that have been declared off-limits, and that does nothing to help the situation.
If you spend enough time telling others to shut up, they will eventually turn to those who give voice to their frustrations. Those people may be characters that we do not want in positions of high power. We should remember the victims and their families, while acknowledging that we do not all subscribe to a set of common values.
If the words of a politician incite you to nail bomb children, that says more about you and your beliefs than it does about the politician who supposedly incited you.
Improving Western Security
Western policy makers have some questions they need to answer.
Once again, the bombing suspect was known to authorities. How could someone who traveled to Libya, had ties to Al-Qaeda, and who had received terrorist training abroad successfully pull off this attack? By all accounts, it was the deadliest terrorist attack in Britain since 7/7.
In the aftermath of the attack, Prime Minister Theresa May upped Britain’s threat level from “severe” to “critical.” Armed military personnel have replaced police guards at “key sights” as the prime minister warned that “a further attack may be imminent.”
This is not to say that authorities haven’t been working already. There have been seven arrests thus far, including the bomber’s brothers and father, in connection to the bombing. Authorities continue to investigate a network that played a role in the attack.
Over 20 people are dead as the result of yet another terrorist attack. And once again, it appears that we are simply going through the motions. Yes, we should mourn those who lost their lives and those whose lives are now changed forever because of this.
However, we also need to finally acknowledge some basic truths. Monday night showed that evil is a very real thing, and it will take more than clichés to defeat it.