Sunday, March 27, 2016

      Belgium Blames its Government

      The tragic events in Brussels have prompted a backlash against the country’s Security forces. It is apparent that the three men involved were known to the authorities yet were being allowed to travel in and out of the country without difficulty. The public, in a state of shock are asking for explanations and accusing the government of failing to maintain a high enough level of vigilance. It is the first occasion that Belgium had experienced a terrorist attack of this magnitude although as a neighbour of France they were well aware of what had befallen Paris not such a long time ago.
            Should they have been more prepared?  Do we learn from the experiences of others and can we know what we didn’t know.
These and many other questions will be asked over the next few months.  In this blog I would like to deal with the two questions I posed.

1 Do we learn from the experience of others? 
History is full of examples where governments have failed to learn from the past and have repeated the same errors. The UK’s failure to act when Hitler was rearming Germany contrary to the League of Nations and their 1918 agreement, the USA invasion of Afghanistan, the removal of dictators without having any structure to replace them, etc etc

So why are we surprised if the Authorities in Belgium did not react to the attack on Paris.

2 We don’t know what we don’t know or the wisdom of hindsight?

If a thing hasn’t ever happened to you before why should you prepare against it?  In theory there is no limit to the things you should prepare against. 

So much as we want to blame those who govern us, we must I think recognise their limitations.