Forty-eight hours ago, I checked in at the British Airways counter at the Brussels airport. I was returning to Washington after attending the Brussels Forum, a foreign-policy conference hosted by the German Marshall Fund. Tuesday morning, I awoke to the horror that unfolded at the airport and a metro station in Brussels. At least 31 people are dead, and scores are wounded.
The Belgian capital’s status as a new front in the war against terrorism was apparent before this morning’s carnage. Military personnel with assault weapons slung over their shoulders and held close were visible when I took head-clearing walks around Brussels on Friday and Saturday.
The coordinated attacks on Tuesday and the capture of Salah Abdeslam on Friday in Brussels in connection with the November terrorist attacks in Paris will feed the growing sense of terror gripping Europe. And they will make sensibly solving the concurrent migrant crisis the continent’s leaders have been trying to address that much harder.
And Lord only knows the nonsense it will inspire on the presidential campaign trail in the United States. This is a time for clear thinking and resolve to ensure the world’s leaders do everything possible to keep their citizens safe against a force that has little care or concern for law or humanity.
In the meantime, prayers for Brussels. Prayers for Belgium. Prayers for all of us.
Follow Jonathan on Twitter: @Capehartj