New York City was in rush-hour chaos Monday, as an ISIS-inspired terrorist detonated an improvised explosive device — a pipe bomb affixed to his body with wire tie-type fasteners — in the heavily traveled Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan.
And with that, officials started selling the idea that this is now part of American life.
“I do fear more attacks,” said Howard Safir, the former New York City police commissioner, on Fox News. “It’s not possible to stop every one of them. … This is the new normal.”
In a press conference a few minutes later, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said similarly.
“This is New York,” he said. “There reality is we are a target … that is at is the reality we live with.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio? Similarly resigned — this is how the ball rolls when you choose to live in New York City.
“The choice of New York is always for a reason,” he said. “We show that many faiths and many backgrounds can work … so they yearn to attack New York City.”
And New York Police Department counterterrorism official John Miller said during the same press conference: “This is a fact of life. … It can happen here.”
The problem with all these statements is that yes, while based in truth — ISIS has set the West on notice, New York City is indeed a top target, and indeed, it’s truly impossible to stop all attacks — they are nonetheless tinged with a sad sort of resignation. And that just should not be.
President Donald Trump rode into office atop a wave of promises to eradicate ISIS. That’s the line we need to be focusing on — the one where America fights back, fights hard and fights to win.
But the one where we admit, oh well, this is the new America — this is the “new normal?” Not so much. It doesn’t have to be America’s new normal. We shouldn’t be quite ready to cede that point just yet.
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