Europe Goes Back to Sleep

Back in late February I reported (“Be Like France”) how the French appeared to be taking the problem of Islamic terrorism seriously, as opposed to Obama, who thinks it a risk somewhere not far above infection from hangnails.

You can call it all off. Europe is going back to sleep. From yesterday’s WSJ:

Hollande Retreats from Plan to Change French Constitution

PARIS—French President François Hollande abandoned a plan to strengthen his hand in fighting terrorism by amending France’s constitution, showing how political pressure at home is undermining his law-and-order response to the Nov. 13 attacks.

Mr. Hollande said Wednesday he would no longer seek to pass two constitutional amendments that would have enshrined the government’s power to declare a state of emergency and to strip some convicted terrorists of their French citizenship. . .

The groundswell of public support that buoyed Mr. Hollande in the immediate aftermath of the Paris attacks is fading. . .

Meanwhile, Belgium, whose interior minister admitted Wednesday that the government has cut security forces “too much,” is planning to respond to the terrorist threat with a new $448 million effort at . . . outreach:

After the Paris attacks, the Belgian government announced a €400 million ($448 million) investment in counterterrorism measures, which include significantly increasing counterradicalization efforts in Brussels’s most sensitive neighborhoods.

Good luck with that.

Like France, Belgium seems unable to pass its own version of the Patriot Act:

Four months ago, the Belgian government also announced other legal measures to fight terrorism more efficiently, such as creating a better database of foreign terrorist fighters and allowing house searches 24 hours a day, and not just between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. as under current law.

Belgium’s parliament is still in the process of making the necessary legal changes needed to put those measures into effect.

The interior minister also said, “We will not change the rule of law in this country to be able to interrogate terrorists in a different way.”

Paging Donald Trump.

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