Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Tale of two cities

The last time I checked, the death toll stood at 52. It was expected to rise further.

Personally, I was initially quite surprised and thankful of the low number, when compared to the Madrid and Bali bombings, which were close to 200 deaths each.

Killing innocent people to make a point ("If you bomb our cities," Osama bin Laden said in one of his recent video tapes, "we will bomb yours.") or achieve an objective (pull out of Iraq, similar to Madrid) clearly won’t draw sympathy or support, but instead anger and revenge.

And what a stark contrast of reactions from the two leaders on opposite sides of the Atlantic. One was 'let's kick some terrorist ass' and another was to bring them to justice, as humanly possible.

Tony Blair reacted very level-headedly on this, when he said on Saturday that “the basic reasons for terrorism must be ‘pulled up by the roots’”, unlike another who put on his cowboy hat and said dumb things like the axis of evil.

It is painfully obvious that Bush's so-called war on terror is more bark than bite and he is firing his missiles into shadows.

I have read somewhere, during the US Elections 2004, that if Blair were to run for president, he would have won hands down.

Unless world leaders heed what Blair has said, the world will continue to be at risk of these terrorists. The human spirit is difficult to defeat and people will always bounce back from tragedy.

For sure, no one doubts that the bombings would be the last.

Recent investigations showed that the four bombers were suicide bombers and at least three were British born. From the reports, they were described as normal. One was “a keen local cricketer and sports science student, he lived with his parents” and another “a nice lad”.

It now seems like terrorism doesn’t have a profile, despite the search for one. It could be anyone and anywhere.

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