There is no better example of this than what is happening in Belgium. The army is patrolling the streets, searching people going into public spaces; the government has clamped down on the Belgian peo- ples' daily lives. France's 3-month state of emergency, reinstating money to previous cuts for military spending, the installation of a curfew, and the complacency of the French people after the Paris Attacks all show a similar pattern to the United States after 9/11. (Click the "Read More" link...)
You would think the reason for such complacency is because the French and American people were afraid of other attacks, and wanted their governments to protect them from terrorism, but there are statistics that show otherwise. After 9/11, The Washington Post conducted a survey throughout the 5 months succeeding the attacks of 1,600 Americans measuring their emotions since it occurred. What they found was that while New York residents felt more anxious and depressed, many other members of the American public felt angry and wanted to strike back against the perpetrators.
In anger, it's incredibly easy to forget your morals. Your blood is boiling, you become blind to your common sense of humanity and only desire that which will bring your people to the top. In today's world, it is fighting for your nation and letting nationalism trump anything else. That said, what the French peo- ple need to look at is not how afraid they are of future attacks, but the dynamic interplay between a desire for revenge and the morals that they hold near and dear to their hearts.
However, if reason prevails, then the French aren't putting nearly as much on the line. Not only are they keeping in line with their na- tions truth, but they are avoiding the mistake of trading liberty for security and are also playing an active role in lessening Middle Eastern conflict.
In order for the French to prevent themselves from going down the same path as the U.S., they must remember who they are, both as humans and as a nation with princi- ples. They must remember that bad things happen, that they are not in control, and what they risk sacrificing for the sake of vengeance. Nationalism can't trump our common humanity.