A place for reflection and introspection, communication and thoughtful conversation.
Tuesday, 27 October 2009
“When I say that terrorism is war against civilisation, I may be met by the objection that terrorists are often idealists pursuing worthy ultimate aims - national or regional independence, and so forth. I do not accept this argument. I cannot agree that a terrorist can ever be an idealist, or that the objects sought can ever justify terrorism. The impact of terrorism, not merely on individual nations, but on humanity as a whole, is intrinsically evil, necessarily evil and wholly evil.” – Benjamin Netanyahu
The death toll in Sunday's twin suicide bombing in Baghdad has risen to 155, making these attacks the deadliest in the country in the past two years. According to Iraq’s Ministry of the Interior, those killed in the bombings included 24 children who were on a bus leaving a daycare centre. About 540 people were also wounded in Sunday’s attacks, which took place almost simultaneously on Sunday morning near the heavily-fortified Green Zone, Baghdad's administrative centre. Once again the outcry within Iraq and also internationally, has been heard around the world, with condemnation of the attacks being almost universal.
Imagine putting your daughter in a school bus in the morning and sending her off to the daycare centre. Imagine the thoughts that go through your mind when you hear that there has been a bombing near the school your child attends. Imagine the heart-rending news relayed to you that, yes, one of the 24 of the children killed was yours. What political or ideological reason will appease the devastation that such a parent feels before this situation?
Imagine the young wife waiting for her husband to come back from work at the Ministry of Justice. The table is set, a celebration is planned. She has wonderful news to tell him – she is pregnant! Instead of him returning home she receives the news he has been killed in the bombing. What religious or revolutionary justification will assuage her loss? How can she not hate the perpertrators, even if before this she was sympathetic to their cause?
Imagine your mother, your brother, your aunt, or your cousin walking peacefully on the sidewalk outside the building of the bombing. All they carry is a shopping bag full of fresh fruit and vegetables, happy that they had got a bargain at the market. Their last thoughts are with their family before they are annihilated by the blast. As their surviving relative, what explanation would satisfy you that they had to die, as innocent victims of an attack that they did not even understand?
And imagine yourself as a survivor of the bomb blast. To have lost a limb, or to have been blinded, or made deaf, or to be completely incapacitated henceforth and be completely reliant on other people for even your most basic needs. What can the doers of such terrible deeds tell you to satisfy your injuries? How can they justify such actions against a human being and a compatriot?
Terrorism by its very nature strikes at the weakest and most unprotected. It is a cowardly act of blackmailers and monsters not bound by any sense of honour or morals. The Al-Qaeda has been blamed for these bombings, as have the supporters of former President Saddam Hussein. Whoever was responsible, it is quite likely that they were Iraqis. Iraqis that chose to cold-bloodedly murder their own people in a struggle of power. A senseless battle for supremacy in order to subjugate their fellows and enforce upon them a religious sect that is loathsome to them, to control their thoughts, their behaviour, their actions. This is not how stable states develop. This is not how leaders make their people love them. This is not how the international community respects and affords your country all the courtesies of a fellow sovereign state.
This is not the end of the bombings. Unfortunately, many more will follow. The withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq will ensure that the power vacuum will need to be filled. As with any struggle for power, there will be victims. More and more of them.
I have been blogging daily on this platform for several years now. It is surprising that I have persisted as the world is changing and "microblogging" is now the norm. I blog to amuse myself, make comment on current affairs, externalise some of my creativity, keep notes on things that interest me, learn something new and to surprise myself with things that I discover about this wonderful, and sometimes crazy, world we live in.
I sometimes get the impression that I am on a soapbox delivering a monologue, so your comments are welcome.