08 July 2005

London Bombings and Mass Killings

Details of the London Blasts
Four blasts tore through London's transport system during the morning rush hour in a choreographed series of terrorist attacks.

Police said at least 33 people were killed, 21 near King's Cross station, and the ambulance service said it had treated around 350 people, with more than 40 of those in a serious condition.

Three of the blasts were on tube trains and a fourth was on a bus. Explosives were said to have been found at two blast sites.

[ Guardian Unlimited, Jul 7 2005,
The Times, London]

Until this time, after 9/11 and all those news about suicide bombings, I still cannot fathom why a person or an organization would resort to mass killing of uninvolved and innocent civilians just to prove a point, or just to get noticed.

Here's an excerpt from an article about justifying horrendous acts like the one above:
As the argument goes, it is not murder to bomb innocents, or to kill them during an invasion, so long as the killing is incidental, and the primary target of the attack is a genuinely bad man or regime.

If you are striking at an evil network of terrorists, and some innocents die in the process, it is justifiable, since it was not your intention to kill the innocents. And we should not hold the attacking State --- especially if it's the United States --- responsible for the unfortunate, but excusable, deaths of innocents. After all, "collateral damage" is inevitable in war. Innocents die.

Here we see the contradiction imbedded in this argument that invalidates it entirely.

When you bomb a city, innocents die. When you wage war on a country, innocents will die. Whether or not you wanted them to die does not enter into the consideration that laying waste to a neighborhood, a city, or a country will predictably result in dead innocents. If you know that doing something will kill innocents, and you do it, you cannot exempt yourself from responsibility.

[ 'Collateral Damage' as Euphemism for Mass Murder, Apr 30 2005]

The article from which this was taken condemns the concept of "collateral damage" with reference to the US war on Iraq and Afghanistan. An interesting read which I recommend to you.

The current London bombings itself, might one day, be made a reason for more retaliative bombings. My point is, more killings beget more killings. The cycle does not seem to stop.

I see no justification whatsoever in killing people.

As an anonymous author once said: "If you murder an innocent man you are responsible for the blood of his unborn descendants, and the weight of this responsibility is yours to carry to the end of time."

For me, even claiming responsibility to the vile act does not justify it.

Ken Livingstone, mayor of London said:
"This was not a terrorist attack against the mighty and the powerful. It was not aimed at presidents or prime ministers.

"It was aimed at ordinary working class Londoners, black and white, Muslim and Christian, Hindu and Jew, young and old. Indiscriminate slaughter irrespective of any consideration for age, class, religion, whatever.

"That isn't an ideology. It isn't even a perverted faith. It is just an indiscriminate attempt at mass murder."
My deep sympathies to all the victims and their loved ones.

Sources: Images courtesy of The Times, London and CNN TV grabs.

8 reactions:

mikey said...

This is happening because we allow it to and we're kind of fighting the wrong war. We are too concerned of fighting the methods terrorists use on us when we should be focusing on cutting the roots--their ideology.

The only time we can rid the world of terrorism is when we cease to be afraid of it and allow it to affect our everyday lives.

rolly said...

Innocents dying are mere collateral damages in war is being pedalled by war mongers who are hypocrites hiding their selfish intentions under the guise of heroism.

may said...

i will never get it. to me, it is an implication of extreme arrogance. how can you take lives when you didn't give it? whether the reason is "reasonable", NOBODY has the right to kill somebody.

bayi said...

This is an extremely interesting article indeed. After reading it, I can't seem to see the beginning or ending of all the mass attacks on the innocent bystanders and uninvolved civilians. Even the question of ethics is blurred if one takes the stand that it is not murder when civilians and bystanders are killed as long as they are not the primary targets. Not murder, duh? Read it forwards or backwards, I still see it as plain murder.

So when the Americans bomb Iraq and civilians die, it is not murder. They had set their sight on Saddam's soldiers, not the civilians.

Now the Islamic militants have carried the war further, into the homelands of those countries who have aided the Americans. What are their specific targets? NO one really knows. I supose they just want to inflict damage but innocent people are killed along the way. Is this murder? If it is not, I don't know what is.

I will tell you this. Those who insist that it is not murder when people who are not the primary targets die, they belong to the asylum. They have twisted minds that work out twisted reasoning to justify the murderous deeds they have planned.

That's why wars and urban terrorism will never have my support. All these people are sick, and Bush who started it all is really sick. I don't think this is the end. It looks like there will be more, many more, bombings. Whoever said the world is now safer to live in? Duh??

bayi said...

My deepest condolences to the victims and their relatives and loved ones. My heart is with you.

bayi said...

My take is that it is a matter of time before Australia is hit. The pattern looks that way. I shudder to think of it.

Dr. Emer said...

Mikey: I agree with you. Understanding the differing ideologies might prove to be one great step to resolving this problem.

Tito Rolly: I can sense your frustration.

May: NOBODY has the right to take lives. I agree with you. No matter what the reason is, it is simply abominable to kill people wantonly.

Bayi: Murder is murder, my friend, no matter what side of the fence you belong in. It is simply not an option. But if you analyze it, maybe these people also realize it. They must have really exhausted all other options to get the world's attention to no avail. The option to kill might have been their last straw. In the Philippines, we have a saying, "pag nagigipit, sa patalim kumakapit," which means something like when you are pushed to the wall, you tend to resort to desperate measures.

I think those who are doing this feel deeply marginalized with their ideologies and complaints about the society they live in. Add to this whatever torment they get from obvious persecution.

Clearly, a good step in solving this would be Mikey's suggestion to understand the whole story behind it. Have you read Maria Ressa's "Seeds of Terror." I just bought this book. I have leafed through the initial pages, and I sincerely think there is really more than meets the eye. There's a big, big problem beneath all these killings. Unless that is found and addressed, I guess we will always be living under a threat of more unwanted killings.

bayi said...

Thanks, Dr Emer. Looks interesting. I have taken note and will try to get a copy. I notice that you are quite well read and well informed. Thanks for sharing.