Speaking of terrorist attacks (as I was in my last post) I watched the move Patriots Day very recently. It stars Mark Wahlberg and covers the bombing of the Boston marathon on April 15, 2013 , when three innocent people were killed, including an eight year old boy. Hundreds of people were injured, including 16 who lost limbs.
Although based on the events of the day, and the few subsequent days, it is obviously not a documentary. And even though you know what happened, it does make compelling viewing.
One of the things which comes across very strongly in the movie is the unified way the people of the city reacted to the atrocity. The phrase “Boston Strong” began to be used, and almost immediately became a popular hashtag on Twitter. For me this reaffirms what I was saying in the last post: if the intention of these attacks is to frighten people and weaken their resolve, then it actually seems to have the opposite effect.
There seem to be a number of differences between this attack and the recent ones in the UK:
- The two attackers (whom I will not name) were brothers
- The elder brother was married, with a young daughter
- The two attackers had no intention of being killed in the attack. The investigation uncovered lots of CCTV footage of the two men, and one shows the younger brother running away from the scene
- The attackers intended to continue their campaign, and were apparently intent on going to New York to commit another atrocity
Three days after the attack, the brothers killed a MIT policeman, and the elder brother was killed, having been shot several times by policeman and (incredibly) run over by his brother.
The younger brother remains on death row.
I would like to blog about my usual trivial topics, but I cannot in good conscience do so with addressing the terrorist atrocities which have taken place in the UK:
- March 22 2017 London: An attacker mowed down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, killing two men and two women and injuring about 40 more. He then crashed his car into the railings outside Parliament, got out and ran into New Palace Yard where he stabbed a brave police officer to death. He was shot dead by armed police.
- May 22 2017 Manchester: An attacker killed at least 23 adults and children and injured over a hundred others at an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena.
- June 2 2017 London: Three attackers killed eight people and 48 more on London Bridge and in nearby Borough Market. They were shot dead by police after mowing down pedestrians on the bridge and going on a killing spree at pubs and restaurants at 10 pm.
Like right-thinking people everywhere, I was sickened and saddened by these depraved acts. I can’t even imagine the impact on the people who were injured, and the friends and families of those killed and injured.
While all three attacks are contemptible, the Manchester one is the most shocking because of the huge number of people who were killed and injured and the age profile of those people.
The Manchester attacker (I have no intention of naming any of these sick individuals) decided, using some kind of warped thinking, that there was some justification for attacking a pop concert which would be attended by children and young people, and by their parents. And indeed the dead included ten people under 20, the youngest an eight-year-old girl.
There are two very specific elements which mystify me about all of this:
- These suicide killers seem to believe that there is a place in paradise for them because of these acts? I cannot imagine there is any version of God who would welcome anyone whose last act was to murder innocent men, women and children
- I cannot understand what these attacks are supposed to achieve? Are they hoping to frighten people, to keep them away from concerts, off the street, and locked up in their homes? This is simply not going to happen. Surely Ariana Grande’s subsequent One Love Manchester Concert was ample evidence of that? Are they hoping to affect the behaviour of the UK government? Again this is not going to happen.
To my way of thinking, these acts are not just horrific, they are also senseless.
Here is a picture from the Mirror newspaper of the 22 ordinary, innocent people killed in the Manchester attack. My heart goes out to their families and friends, and all of those who were affected by the attack.