There seem to be many areas of the world where the concept of 'live and let live' is anathema to some. On the other hand where a tiny minority who for unfathomable reasons seek to obliterate men women and children who are simply leading ordinary private lives, the natural reaction is to seek to limit that tiny minority from taking such hideous action. A key question however is whether such limitation should be focused on one's own country or should extend to far away lands as well?
It was reported that Barack Obama suggested that USA was more racially tolerant than Europe - presumably implying that this difference was a factor in the recent atrocities in France and those apparently prevented in Belgium. Whether such report or my recollection of the same is correct, one has to recall that the USA today was essentially built from round the world immigration whereas many European countries only more recently are having to contend with cultural changes arising from world wide movements of people and immigration having previously been inhabited by populations which were hardly racially diverse. I am also mindful of the fact that gun law exists in the USA whereas guns are outlawed in the UK even for most (admittedly not all) policemen. Freedom that depends on common ownership of the gun in C21 is not at all attractive - at least to yours truly.
Having said that it is unclear to me at least whether racial minorities are less or more disadvantaged in British society compared with that of our American friends. Certainly racial discrimination exists in England but in London at least the multitude of cosmopolitan attitudes and peoples creates a dynamism and ability to live one's own life as one wishes. Londoners of any race age religion or gender would not I think regard say cultural or racial intolerance as ranking among life's most difficult conflicts. The state of the National Health Service or over crowding of schools or poverty would create more headlines here.
The inhuman killings in France mirrored those taking place almost at the same time elsewhere in the world for example in Syria Pakistan Iraq Nigeria and Afghanistan where the killings unlike those in France and Belgium run into many thousands of people.
The Old Testament traditional reaction to such inhuman actions is that of "an eye for and eye and a tooth for a tooth". Indeed in many of even the less war torn areas of the Middle East that practice seems to have been adopted officially by the State. The New Testament exhortation "to turn the other cheek" is one assumes not absolute in the face of absolute evil as illustrated by WWII. The alternative to WWII is not worth imagining especially for those dispatched to the gas chambers.
Nonetheless ensuring that a free society is adequately policed and on its guard against evil people does not in my view extend to bombing and killing the perceived perpetrators before they act. The action in Afghanistan where the whole female half of the population was being subjugated was justified on that ground alone but the UK population were IMHO correct in pressurising David Cameron and the British Government against any military intervention in Syria. Interestingly the French wished to take military action there but did not in the end do so when the USA perhaps reflecting upon the British decision, also declined to refrain at least at that time.
Civil wars and evil men (and women) cruelty to and far worse the killing of others, have tragically been part of human history for aeons. The Catholic Church too with its dreadful inquisitions has been up (or would 'down' be a better word to use) there with the rest of mankind. Gradually Rome and other parts of the world have become more enlightened.
Guiding rather than compelling is the way of Rome today. Hopefully that way will sooner or later take hold in the Middle East and other world trouble spots. Until it does however I do not see that the UK at least should be going beyond defending its own population. Hideous murders abroad are not for governments thousands of miles away to tackle. Officially killing all those who are not of the same race or subjugating all those human beings who are female would imho be the exceptions.
I hope that 2015 will hold some good news for us all in the months ahead.