Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Not afraid

You live in a city of about 6-7 million inhabitants. You are going to work in the morning, and you take your normal mode of transport. You get to work fine, but you later learn that about 30-50 other people weren’t so lucky. They died on their way to work, fatally wounded by a terrorist’s bomb. Dozens to hundreds of others are also wounded.

Your reaction? If you are a Londoner, you get up and go to work again the next day, taking your usual route. You can be pretty sure that the events of last Thursday are a one off. That British security forces are making sure that something like this doesn’t happen again soon.

On Thursday, I was listening to commentary on the radio about the attacks in London. As I was driving through France I was subjected to French experts and their opinion, which were pretty enlightening. One guy said, this is a war that will last a century. It’s not something that will be over in the next few years. We can expect a few more such attacks over the years. But really, we shouldn’t worry about it too much, because in the last 4 years there have only been 3 attacks in the west (apparently the school in Breslen didn’t count as the west). And those 3 attacks have caused less than 4000 deaths. And traffic deaths should be more worrisome to our daily lives than terrorism, and we shouldn’t live in fear of attacks. Our security forces are pretty good at protecting us.

I thought what he said made sense. Yes, these attacks will happen, but we can’t live in constant fear of them happening. We’re not afraid.

However, how about if you couldn’t be so confident that it wouldn’t happen again the next day? In fact, if you knew that somewhere in the city there was going to be another bomb? And more innocent victims? And that you could be one of those innocent victims? The first paragraph to this post also refers to a scenario a resident of Baghdad experiences at least once a month. Everyday Iraqis get up and go to work. Every day they have been trying to say they are not afraid, although it’s a little harder there, when they don’t have the security infrastructure like we do in the west.

I can't imagine what it must be like to live in that kind of uncertainty, but to bravely continue despite those dangers. Iraqis have my utmost respect, and many are leading the way in showing us how to not live in fear, from those joining the Iraqi security forces, to those who are up at the crack of dawn to open their market booths. They are not afraid, and they will prevail.


Blogger airforcewife said...

What a great connection to make. When my brother got back from Iraq, he expressed pretty much the same sentiments about Iraqis.

2:14 PM  
Blogger Teresa said...

This kind of thing has been going on for about as long as there have been bombs small enough for terrorists to place and detonate at will. Israel, Britain-Northern Ireland... and many other places, now Iraq and Afghanistan. The people of all these places over the years have made the decision to go about their lives as normally as possible. Not only is it brave, but it's the only way to live. These people all choose to live life despite the depraved souls who would try their best to break them! More power to them. In their own way, they are all heros.

5:55 AM  

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