Another quick catch up post really, but the attempted terrorist attack on an airliner on Christmas Day has attracted so much international press that it's difficult to ignore. However, my thoughts are mainly in a jumble about the whole thing so rather than take time might a cogent think piece I thought I'd make a list of 'things what occur to me'.
- Fail to blow up a plane, you get wall to wall coverage for your cause in every nation on Earth. Actually blow up dozens or even hundreds in Pakistan, Iraq or Afghanistan and you're lucky if you get into the inside pages once let alone over and over again. It's obviously news but the response feels disproportionate.
- What would the world be like if we rewarded non-violent protest with this kind of media coverage? Does the international media actually, inadvertently, make violence more attractive than democratic avenues? The media's approach is certainly what leads Al Quaida to see airplanes as their targets of choice over other possibilities.
- Despite protestations to the contrary the bomber's failure is down to security precautions working. The fact that he had to resort to complex equipment that let him down is entirely down to the fact he had to circumvent airport security checks. No system can prevent people who want to blow up planes trying to do so, but the current system did prevent the bomber using a weapon that would have actually achieved the job.
- The bomber's motivation was religious. Any involvement he'd ever had with any national liberation struggle (if any) came directly from his religious convictions he'd held from an early age. His prosperous upbringing insulated him from real hardship and allowed him travel and get a decent education - it's difficult to this young man as a victim driven to extremes rather than a zealot whose personal beliefs led him to the conclusion that the murder of many innocent people was a worthy act.
- Terror attacks equal excuses to bomb. This time the US have been given the green light to openly make attacks in Yemen for the first time. CNN, Guardian.
- Prior to this the US has been active in the Yemen and this has been a contributory factor in these events.
- These events have also raised, once again, the specter of torturing suspects. The Republicans don't even want to learn apparently. Guardian.