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July 08, 2005

Response to the recent London transport bombings

First i'd like to add to the large echo of respect to affected families, which is around the Internet at the moment.

Due to the time zones i woke up to this news after it had all occurred and initial reports had come out. It was certainly very shocking news to wake up to.

People have individual ways of dealing with extreme situations, particularly ones involving grief. Some people people are very passive in their response, others very active. Some people make jokes to lighten what is otherwise despressing, others are sullen and serious.

Not that I intentionally want to trample on a certain styles of reponse, but there are a few that I found hard to agree with.

The most simple case of this being people who respond with in a blatently insensitive or immature manner. Enough said on that.

Ones that are more difficult to classify are ones like this… (sorry forgot the link so no direct quote)

Condolences… respect… . You have had your 9/11 and for that I am truely sorry … etc

This air of self pity is, in my opinion a bad thing.

  1. This was not a 9/11, from a statistics perspective, one was several thousand people dying, the other was around 50. Human life is certainly not a numbers game I hasten to add, but the descrepancy is undeniable.

  2. Having a 9/11 is not a club, and if there every was a club for victims of terrorism, 9/11 was not the founding member.

Fortunately the current resolve of public statements in the UK has the right focus. This is no more than a blip on the radar, we will grieve for those who have been lost, but it will not change us. This act of terrorism should not be allowed to succeed by manipulating the 'British way of life' or anyone's way of life for that matter.

Terrorism is the use of extreme violence to generate fear. The act itself is only the 'seed', as such, and the details of it are almost irrelevant.

The act of crashing planes into buildings back in 2001 killed alot of people and then developed very successfully in inciting a culture of fear. The U.S. government even picked up the reins and continues to perpetuate it.

By being phased you are instantly giving victory to the terrorists. Active defense of your way of life can be a neccesary response at times, but the key is to 'attack' back by being unchanged, by carrying on.

Of course there is a fine line between doing this in ignorance and doing it in thoughtfulness… but making a diversion out of fear is to lose your battle.

We should not be making war on terrorism as that is a misguided approach, and the words don't even make any sense. We should be resisting and absorbing terrorism. We should be re-evaluating our effect on other people in our world to make sure that we are right before we start blaming other people of being wrong.

Above all else though, we should not be letting this sway our focus and perspective from much more important issues which are being discussed in the G8. Making poverty history and protecting our environment.
Death and suffering by terrorism is a drop in the ocean compared to death and suffering caused by poverty, and further more environmental issues will impact everyone.


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