Jul 8, 2005

my quickie thoughts on the london bombings...

1. the american media's over-the-top reactions to the attack show just how valuable life in the west is... and how cheap it comes everywhere else.

as juan cole puts it... london's thursday is just like EVERY day in iraq. not to mention darfur and to a lesser-extent the west bank. where's the outrage when american bombers kill innocent civilians in afghanistan? (which happened only a few days ago.)

2. it's not fun to say this, but the horrible state of our education system and lack of informative public discourse have caused this country to devolve into a culture based on unreflective and unthinking knee-jerk reaction. most people still don't know that al qaeda (and its compatriots) are motivated by the israeli apartheid of west bank and the presence of western troops in the middle east and the dominance of the middle east by western capitalists. yet there's no talk ANYWHERE of what we can do to stop the recrutment of new terrorists, just this blind assumption in a static number of "barbaric terrorists that we will chase down." the truth is that the number of terrorists is dynamic and somewhat based on the actions our government takes.

3. we are a weak nation in the face of adversity. do you really think people in YOUR city would be as calm if four bombs went off? we have come to define our world by the precautions we think we can take. yet if terrorists want to strike, they'll ALWAYS be able to strike, whether we plan ahead or not. there is no 100% guarantee of safety. 50 people died in london yesterday. los angeles has more than 50 murders per month and hurricane dennis could very likely kill FAR MORE than 50 people in the next couple days. our paper ran a story yesterday that quoted a boston commuter saying she was nervous about takign the train to work and would rather drive. she's FAR, FAR, FAR more likely to be killed driving to work than be killed by a terror bombing. this is EXACTLY the kind of thinking that terrorists hope to plant in our minds.

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