Atrocity won't weaken resolve to defeat terror
Published 13/01/2016 | 02:30
Isil has once more left its grim calling card. Ten more innocent people were cut down as the terrorists again brought darkness and death to the heart of Europe. It is the goal of the group to strike at the unprotected and the weak. It seeks to elicit a response which will serve to recruit more people to its twisted cause by provoking a backlash.
In the wake of the Bataclan massacre and other attacks in Paris, Antoine Leiris, who lost his wife Helene in the theatre, responded by saying: "I will not give you the gift of hating you."
President Francois Hollande also said that France would not be bowed. The City of Light would not be blinded by hate.
Yesterday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, reacting to the murder of nine Germans in the suicide bombing, said: "International terrorism is once again showing its cruel and inhuman face today ... Today it hit Istanbul, it has hit Paris, it hit Tunisia, it had already hit Ankara." Germany will not wilt.
It has been determined that the bomber entered Turkey recently from Syria. It seems especially twisted that Germans may have been deliberately targeted because of the country's generous policies on accepting Syrian refugees. The goal of Isil would seem to be to make Istanbul, one of the world's most-visited cities, a no-go area. Last year, 12 million people went to visit Istanbul. It is the hope of Isil to put an end to the freedom to move around and drive us backwards.
One witness said that he ran towards the scene of the blast but stopped when he saw a severed arm wrapped in the sleeve of a red dress. Sending suicide bombers in attacks that tear through crowded places is intended to harness horror and revulsion towards a diabolical end.
Turkey has carried out a wave of arrests of suspected Isil militants in recent months. It is also involved in a bloody conflict with the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK).
It is the aim of Isil to take away freedom. It was Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi who warned that the only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear. Europe will not give up its freedoms lightly.
Terror will be defeated, and each new atrocity will strengthen, not weaken,that resolve.
Insurance firms owe us answers after floods
It's been 40 days since the flood crisis began. By all accounts, even Noah had things under control by then. Taoiseach Enda Kenny has given insurance companies one week to come back with a report on why they are refusing to insure some homes even after flood defences have been put in place.
Insurers admit only 67pc of homes and businesses have access to insurance where "demountable flood defences" are operated. Such defences require some kind of human input.
The State put them in place and it is up to insurers to find them wanting before refusing cover.
Such systems are used effectively across Europe and are considered sufficient by the EU.
Mr Kenny has rightly asked insurers to think again.
Threats of a levy have hung over the talks to fund defences and provide compensation. It is hard to see how such a penalty would not ultimately rebound on policyholders. As the two sides argue, flood victims understandably feel they have been let down by both Government and the insurance industry.
Surely they have already waited long enough. Concrete answers are overdue.