September 1, 2004
I am in shock.
No, not at another pair of atrocities. Like a teenager who sees ‘Pulp Fiction’, we humans get used to anything. Admittedly, it is many months since the last (‘successful’) bombing, but still, it is has become something we are resigned to.
(And I do want to stress that word ‘successful’. Apart from the many attacks that have been actually prevented before they start, primarily because of the security fence, many more have been foiled, interrupted, by vigilant defence forces. One potential bomber was caught at a Gaza crossing yesterday morning, bulk belt strapped into place. This was only 2-3 hours before the 2 buses were blown up).
No, I am in shock because I had already started this letter (nice to use the old-fashioned word). I had entitled it just ‘hypocrisy’. I had not expected the ultimate hypocrisy: the horror.
I do not need to write more on the bombing; it speaks for itself. Perhaps only to add the joy witnessed in the streets of our neighbours. Women ululating, men firing their guns in the air.
In Iraq, the saga of the 2 French journalists held as captives/hostages continues. The hypocrisy is the statements now coming out of the Moslem community, especially their leaders in France, who now find time to condemn these acts. How CAN France be a target? They, who are such close friends of the Moslems. “Islam is against any aggressive acts against innocent people”, one said.
Definition of ‘innocent’, anyone?
And the bitter twist in this story is France’s action against the wearing of headscarves (kippas and large crosses) in schools.
So is France a friend or not?
Or were these hostages just ‘innocent’ victims of daylight robbery (according to a BBC report), and then sold to a militant group (apparently a common occurrence these days), who then really did not know what to do with them. Can’t have pictures of beheaded French on TV, can we? 12 Nepalese workers (in my opinion, far more ‘innocent’ than French journalists) are killed.
And yet another twist is the involvement of Islam in all these crises. Of course, extremist is extremist, whatever the colour. But….I see the crisis in Najaf.
Yet another religious site used like a mother’s skirt or a child’s innocent face. So when the attackers do attack, then they are to blame; not those who hide. I was of the opinion that they should have just surrounded the place and cut it off from the outside world, except perhaps for a trickle of water.
Just like the Israelis did with Arafat in Ramallah, when he shielded a whole band of terrorists who had run in there. Their mobiles’ batteries would soon have run out.
But no, there was a serious danger of there being a calamitous outcome. So call Ayatollah Ali Sistani, and suddenly there IS someone the fanatical Mr. Sadr will listen to. If Sistani has so much power, even over extremists, then surely he has the power to do good elsewhere. That’s a power worth wielding. So wield!!
Well, at least it takes away the headlines from the mess Israel is in….until yesterday.