Sunday, March 27, 2016

27-Mar-16: A playground filled with children is mercilessly attacked. That's suicide?

Devastation in Lahore, Pakistan today
[Image Source: Arif Ali/Agence France-Presse]
Incomprehensibly terrible events are unfolding in Pakistan today. Reuters reports:
A suicide bomber killed at least 52 people, mostly women and children, at a public park in the Pakistani city of Lahore on Sunday... The blast occurred in the parking area of Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, a few feet away from children's swings. Around 150 people were injured in the explosion, officials said... Eyewitnesses said they saw body parts strewn across the parking lot once the dust had settled after the blast. The park had been particularly busy on Sunday evening due to the Easter holiday weekend... "Most of the dead and injured are women and children," said Mustansar Feroz, police superintendent for the area in which the park is located.
[The toll is still rising. At 8:40 pm Israel time, Reuters says it's 65 dead, 280 injured. Unspeakable.]

According to the New York Times
The blast, apparently caused by a suicide bomber, occurred in a parking lot at Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, one of the largest parks in Lahore, the capital of Punjab Province, said Haider Ashraf, a senior police official in Lahore. The park is frequented both by residents and visitors to the city, and is popular with families. “It was a soft target. Innocent women and children and visitors from other cities have been targeted,” Mr. Ashraf said. “Apparently, it seems like a suicide attack.”
Oddly, neither that Reuters report nor the NY Times mention that "The area was crowded with Christians celebrating the Easter holidays, and many families were leaving the park when the blast occurred, Ashraf said." - [Source]. Could they be thinking that this has no relevance?

The people who executed this carnage certainly viewed it as an attack - the kind of thing you do in a war. They set out to murder as many people as possible, to inflict maximum despair and pain. From familiarity with previous such savagery, they did it willingly, utterly indifferent as to whether they would survive or die. The satanic culture in which they are immersed and the value-system they embrace and propagate make them very, very different from normal people.

Our attaching the word suicide to what they do adds a degree of understanding and perhaps even, Heaven forbid, respect for their motivations. This is a huge mistake.

Why do Reuters editors - and virtually the entire news reporting industry - call the person carrying the explosives a suicide bomber? How did suicide feature in his or her thinking? It didn't. Living or dying was a matter of complete indifference to that person.

The site of the explosion: the car-park of
a Pakistani playground [Image Source]
Focus instead on the unspeakable pain, the carnage, the body parts, the lost lives, the dead children. Then realize this was a human bomb attack that likely involved more than just the human bomb alone. There may have been planners, drivers, engineers to assemble the explosive package, others. We know what guided missiles are. And hydrogen bombs. And rocket-propelled grenades. They are put together by people in order to inflict extreme misery. Sometimes, more and more often, the explosive is delivered to the target by a person - who in doing so has forfeited his claims to mercy and consideration. The life of that person has been weaponized.

That's how our daughter Malki was murdered. That's what a human bomb is. We should insist that reporters and editors call it that. To whatever extent it affects the way we deal with the onslaught of the savages who do it, it's important we do it right.


Yehudah P. said...

Calling this a "soft target" reminds me of the Har Nof Massacre, where two Arab terrorists started hacking away at people in a shul in Har Nof. The Hamas spokesman (i.e., official bullsh*it artist) Osama Hamdan appeared on Lebanese television saying that it was justified, because synagogues are typically used to plan attacks against Arabs!
The truth is: there is no place more vulnerable that a synagogue in Har Nof: almost no one there has any military training, and no one is armed to defend themselves. And the Arabs chose an hour when it was packed full of people. Another "soft target".

This Ongoing War said...

You make good points. But it's always worth reminding ourselves that taking seriously the self-justifications of terrorists is always a mistake. They don't share any of our values - certainly not about the sanctity of life. Engaging with them already gives them some degree of respectability and credibility. We should not ever grant them any of that.