Just days after Paris was hit by a coordinated terrorist attack that killed at least 129 people, French President Francois Hollande announced that his country would accept 30,000 Syrian refugees over next two years to a standing ovation, claiming it was France's "humanitarian duty" to honor its commitments to refugees. Half a world away, Republicans and several dozen Democrats couldn't muster up the same courage, and voted in favor of legislation designed to halt the resettlement of 10,000 refugees from Syria and Iraq to the U.S.
In other words, while ISIL may not be destined to win in the long run, the terrorists have certainly won this round. That's how terrorism works. A bunch of a**holes commit some a**holery, specifically to create fear. And if you succumb to that fear, and allow yourself to become scared of them, they've won.
For all the jokes that Americans love to make about the French willingness to surrender, in this case the United States could learn a thing or two from the French people:
First, the simple fact is, as of so far, none of the Paris attackers have been identified as Syrian nationals, so there's not really any significant justification for the fear that's swept the halls of Congress, unless you're willing to consider fear and religious bigotry as legitimate in one fashion or another.
Second, with more than 12 million Syrians displaced, 6 million of whom are children, and 4 million of whom are currently refugees without anywhere to go, the lack of compassion and humanity shown by our politicians is nothing short of a national disgrace. By closing our door to the Syrian refugee crisis in the wake of the Parisian attacks, our politicians haven't simply surrendered to the very fear that ISIL was hoping to generate. They've surrendered our humanity and compassion as well.
Our politicians need to stop cowering in fear if America wants to retain its title as the "land of the brave." By giving in to that fear, they've allowed the terrorists to win this round, and frankly, it's embarrassing.
Note: This post was originally published on AmericanMillennials.com on 11/20/2015.