Thursday, March 11, 2004

Spain suffered its bloodiest day of terrorism on Thursday when at least 192 people were killed and 1,430 injured by bomb explosions on packed early morning commuter trains in Madrid.

Thousands of Spaniards protested against the attacks in cities throughout Spain and millions more were expected to take to the streets on Friday in response to a call by José María Aznar, prime minister, and opposition party leaders for a massive show of support for the victims.

The Spanish government blamed Eta, the violent Basque separatist group, for the massacre after police investigators linked explosives used in the attack to material stolen by supporters of the group in France.

However, the interior minister later announced that a van had been found near Madrid containing detonators and an Arabic tape. He ordered the police to open a new line of investigation, but added that Eta remained the main suspect.

Subsequently, a London-based Arabic newspaper, al-Quds al-Arabi, said it had received a letter purporting to come from Osama bin-Laden's al-Qaeda network. The letter was signed in the name of the "Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades". Similar letters were faxed to the paper following last November's attacks on two synagogues in Turkey, and after last year's bombing of the UN headquarters in Bagdhad.

(Source:The Financial Times -- Full story)

Pretty bad stuff. I wanted to go study in Madrid next year. Then again, is living close to NYC any different? What's the appropriate response? Is there an appropriate response? What's so hard to understand about valuing human life -- whether it's Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Atheist, Theist, Buddhist, Hindu, or you name it?

When I was seventeen I bought a pair of glasses with rose coloured lenses. I wanted to see everything around me in the most beautiful possible light. Since then I've been through different times in my life, thinking at some point that such an attitude was simply hopelessly optimistic and even a little foolish.

I hate cliches and I hate inspirational talks. Yet since those days I've come to realize that life is simply the most beautiful thing we can ever hope to have -- whether you live in Colombia, in France or in Canada. Whether one lives in abject poverty or in riches. We all have just a little bit of time, some are lucky to have more than others. I think our main preoccupation should be in how to use it wisely, how to make the most of it -- how to find happiness, how to enjoy the small things, how to enjoy the people in our lives, how to discover the world, how to discover knowledge, how to learn to see life through a different pair of cultural lenses, how to learn to see life from a different age, how to learn to give back and become involved with our surroundings. How to live and let live.

It simply escapes me why anyone should deliberately cut another person's time short. How one person can deprive another of existence.

And what's more -- the blame game starts again. Rainbow coloured warnings, politicians riding on security, mass hysteria and more media lunacy feeding fears and irrationality. Sometimes it's hard to follow it all and still keep a smile on your face.

It's time for my rose coloured glasses again.


Post a Comment