THE barbarism and the black-or-white savagery, and a slick online presence, has made Isis the organisation the West has been forced to recognise as a threat, even if a moderate one.
The savagery and randomness of its attacks in Euorpe and California mean it, literally, punches above its weight and uses the possibility of attack to even better effect than actual attack. This is confirmed by the heightened security at events staged all around the world to ring in the new year.
That national security organisations prevailed — so far — and prevented any attack is a victory of sorts but one that must be put in context. Even an organisation as insane, as evil, as Isis would hardly launch an attack on its targets when defences were at their most alert and robust. No, Isis will choose a much more mundane, everyday setting for its next atrocity. And it would be naive to hope that there will not be another attack on ordinary people going about their ordinary business in another western city. These attacks are the very lifeblood of jihad. Without them they are denied the sustaining, energising oxygen of publicity.
It is a victory of sorts for Isis that this conversation is even necessary but that is the reality of our world. Unless we prepare for the worst we may have to endure the worst and we should not be shy or apologetic about doing so. How that imperative is balanced with the need of the great majority, especially those refugees fleeing Isis, will define this society.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved