It's Monday... time for school, work. Everything should be back to normal, except that nothing is. New names are printed in our memories: the Kouachi brothers, the Abdeslam brothers. After the Buttes Chaumont network, we now have the Molenbeek in Belgium.
In order to understand what happened, we turn to the same experts, the same warnings we heard back in January; "Terrorism could strike again," Valls repeated this morning. But we do not find the same spirit of harmony. The spirit of November 16 is not that of January 11.
The race to increase security is in full swing. Posing realistic, applicable, or useful measures doesn't seem to be taking first priority; instead, there's talking for talking's sake, and the publishing of words that seem to echo the fears of the French.
Is it really that important to emulate Guantanamo and the American Patriot Act and enact unrestricted emergency measures? Or to amend our state of emergency law, which dates back to 1955, by riddling it with new flaws? And how important is it to give electronic tracking bracelets to the 11,000 people we've deemed to be a threat to national security, or, as David Cameron said, to gather all the necessary intelligence to prevent another attack? All these actions needs to be evaluated, right?
It would be a serious affront to our freedoms, our only asset in the face of terror. "An open society is a vulnerable society," Daniel Cohn-Bendit told French radio station Europe 1 on Monday morning. I can't ignore the weakness of this argument, which is ineffective against those who, sincerely or not, say "war is war" -- that old adage that seems to justify everything.
So it would be better to demonstrate that these measures would be particularly impractical and ineffective. These "S" cards, which are used by French intelligence to flag suspicious individuals, can also be used to track hooligans, traffickers of any kind, or anyone investigators feel like cracking down on. If we confuse the intelligence with the judiciary, we will soon find ourselves quite helpless.
In our communication-based society, the temptation is to occupy space, to saturate the airwaves. In our noisy, loquacious, criticize-before-you-think society, where everyone has an opinion on everything, and in which both those who are competent and those who are not are allowed to speak, let us resort to being humble. Let us listen to the experts, take our time, but please, won't everyone be quiet for a bit? That's the meaning of a minute of silence.
This post first appeared on HuffPost France. It has been translated into English and edited for clarity.