The bombings in London today reminded me how vulnerable we truly are, but more to the point, how appalling the behavior of one person to another can be. I look at the carnage, the twisted carcass of metal, and wonder, "how on earth could any human being do this to another human being?" It's a purely rhetorical question, because there's no answer out there that would satisfy me on any level.
The bombings certainly got the world's attention. Striking at London, that romantic and ancient city on the Thames, once the greatest city in western civilization, and the capital of an empire where the sun never sank below the horizon. It came on the day after the announcement London would host the 2012 Olympics, it came on the morning Tony Blair, that poor embattled prime minister, was going to chair some meetings at the G8. There's no question Al-Qaeda -- or this European version of it --has some sense of timing.
The bombings in London and elsewhere -- how can we forget this many people (40) and more die every day due to suicide bombings in Iraq? -- convince me that the 'war on terror' is not winnable. That's not pessimism, but reality. It's impossible to fight people who have no fear of death, who have no ethical bounds or conscience and who seem to have nothing better to do with their time than dream up increasingly innovative ways to kill the maximum number of people.
Somewhere along the line, we ticked someone off and these are the consequences. It doesn't matter if we go into Iraq and Afghanistan or Palestine and say, "We're here to help." It doesn't matter just how much purple ink you make available, how many jobs women can now hold, or that a country is no longer under the rule of despotic and cruel men. What matters is there are people out there who find it easier to hate and kill than to be productive and energetic to further themselves and their own in this world. The tragedy of that mindset has been clearly shown to all of us --from Bali to New York City, from London to Kashmir.
It never ends.
Link of the day: British reaction to the bombings