Distinction in travel journalism
Is independent travel journalism important to you?
Click here to keep it independent

19 Apr, 2013

Bomb response refreshingly honest – Commentary – Sydney Morning Herald

Let’s clear something up: our responses to terrorism are not about the loss of innocent life. We think they are because that’s the first thing we talk about. We use the suffering of victims to emote, and we look at the attacks through that prism. But it’s never really about the victims. It’s about us. It’s about the magnetic trauma of watching these attacks repeat on our news services. It’s about the fact each of us is entirely interchangeable with the killed and injured; that we can so easily transpose ourselves into the situation. It’s about the brutal unpredictability of the violence.

This is partly why the Boston Marathon bombings have attracted so much more of our attention than the much deadlier bombings that struck Iraq on the same day. It’s not just that we don’t value Iraqi lives as much as American ones (although this is true, given our ability to rationalise away the mammoth loss of civilian life during the Iraq war). It’s that there is nothing surprising about them. They do not shock us. And for that reason, they cannot truly terrorise us.

Read the rest: Bomb response refreshingly honest.