The Boston bomb brutality.Who did it and why it has to happen? Specifically, it was a sporting event that was meant to be joyous and festive and was supposed to bring out the best in human beings. The seeming incompatibility of baseness and viciousness with a world that was pure and lofty, the seeming incongruity of a lapse into savageness and barbarity amid the striving toward transcendence and perfection, drove home the horror of it. The photo of a man losing life and limb below depicts how terrible this act of terrorism was.
The Boston marathon was as best a show of camaraderie and solidarity, of goodness and kindness, of being the best that one could be, as you could get. It had drawn in people from all walks of life. It had drawn in people from all nationalities. Who could possibly wish it ill? Who could possibly want to do something like that? How can the few satanic humans dare to see human sufferings like this?
The bombs were probably lying on the ground, said the authorities, the victims’ injuries being largely in the limbs. Many would not be able to walk again, let alone run. They will miss the Boston marathon forever. What a waste and deprivation this barbaric act had caused. And the perpetrator was supposed to be happy and laugh at seeing how successful his wickedness was? What a sick mind! What an affront to human decency, right to life, right to live in peace and right to enjoy a secure environment.
Who would do such a thing? That was the question Americans asked in April 1995 when a huge blast turned to rubble the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City and damaged 324 buildings within a 16-block radius. It killed 168 people. It was the most destructive act of terrorism before 9/11. Americans asked who would do such a thing, and answered that it must have been Arab terrorists.
As it turned out, it was an American one. Timothy McVeigh, a disgruntled and unhinged veteran of the Gulf War, had detonated explosives from a truck he had parked in front of the building with that catastrophic result. It was an enterprising reporter from InterPress, a Third World wire agency, that led to McVeigh being identified, tracked down and taken in custody. But not before life became a little miserable for foreigners in the United States, especially those of Arabic descent as well as those who wore flowing robes and spoke in strange accents.
Indeed, we would think how man’s hatred for his fellow human could produce such horrible and ugly face of terrorism.
In another side of the world we see this equally, if not more, horrible thing. A savage sight of human carnage in Burma purportedly carried out by Burma’s government or at least tolerated by it. Clash of faith that led to some kind of ethnic cleansing had been going on in Burma and we do not see a conscious effort by the United Nation or its humanitarian agencies to somehow abate this human carnage.
Now, this is no longer a case of the East terrorizing the West or vice versa. This is brutal human savagery happening where the forces of evil abound. There is nothing new except that terror is getting uglier by the day.
And we do not see the world leaders coming out to fight terrorism and terrorists as one mighty force. Divisiveness, indifference and apathy are all that terrorism needs to triumph.
Seeing the horror of one but not another, hearing the cries of one but not another, seething with rage at the one but not at the other; and worst, hating one but liking the other – are all pictures of savage and brute inhumanity.
That is terror too!