Monday, July 02, 2007

Under Attack

Over the past few days, terrorism has, again, raised its ugly head. Two car bombs were discovered in London over the weekend and a third attack took place at Glasgow Airport which did go off, but did very little damage and no loss of life. Those are the basic facts of the case, and there are a lot of reports and information about them, which I don't want to go into here.

I was more interested in the nature of the public's response to these criminal attempts. We, in the UK, have lived with terrorism and terrorist attacks for a long time - certainly we have had the car bomb since the late 60's when the IRA stepped up it's attacks in both Northern Ireland and the UK mainland. More recently, we suffered, attacks in July 2005 which killed and maimed a lot of people (and incidentally, was the subject of my very first post). We must be one of the most terrorised and fearful countries in the Western World.

So if we are terrorised, why aren't we showing it? We do we always have the same spirit after these attacks - "it isn't going to make me change what I do, or where I go" is the general refrain from people. Even when the guts of Manchester city centre were destroyed by the IRA in the 1996, people were more concerned that the reconstruction of the city was better than what went before (it could hardly be worse!).

What is really fascinating is that there doesn't seem to be any deep-rooted anger or hatred of the perpetrators - in some way, we feel sorry for them - but that is not to say that we don't get angry at all. And when we do get angry, it is because we know that the attacks will provide ammunition to those who want to screw ever more tightly the "security" lid on our society, couched in friendly terms as "protection of the innocents".

Just being alive is a risk, and these sad, stupid people just make that risk a bit bigger, but most of us accept that at a personal level, we can do very little but carry on with our lives. To the security forces, yes, protect me, but don't swaddle me or constrict my freedoms through fear or physical restriction, because if you do, then the terrorist wins. I intend to continue to do the things I like doing, and enjoying the good things this beautiful world can offer. It saddens me, that these people do not seem to be able to appreciate the goodness and beauty of the world that I see every day.

1 comment:

sandegaye said...

My thoughts are w/ you & yours during this scary time.
Bush be damned for creating an even greater # of terrorists in this world.

And I do appreciate that your leaders are much more open & less 'snoopy' in their dealings w/keeping you protected.