Jean Charles de Menezes
- a victim of circumstance?
...the lives of innocents...
Please read what Raed in the Middle has to say, with biting irony and deep anger (like we are so many that feel about this horrid incident) to this murder by a "police" squad clad in civilian clothes!
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The message that this "incident" sends us is:
In Today´s London, if you´re not "white", don´t run or you might be shot!
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London Mayor Ken Livingstone blamed the bombers:
"The police acted to do what they believed necessary to protect the lives of the public," he said. "This tragedy has added another victim to the toll of deaths for which the terrorists bear responsibility."
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Any way you twist it around, this was caused by a disasterous error of judgement - or was it caused by feelings of frustration, rage and revenge? (I can envisage - especially after looking at photos and reading about the victims of the bombings) - by someone in that police-squad. Of course the responsibility lies with the adminstrators of the police that sent that squad armed on it´s way into a highly explosive situation in the city, with orders to shoot to kill, no questions asked! Not the British way of doing things, from what I believed myself to know, up to now.
Then again we can question how such judgements are made, on what background, what prejudices and so on...what is the cultural background of the British policeforce and their ablility to make unbiased instant decisions? I don´t think that anyone envies those men of performing their tasks, in the job they chose as a living, these last few weeks!
Of course this act of terrible misjudgment was set off as a direct result of the sheer horror and strain of living under the threat of further bombings. The anger of the deaths and injuries and the despair of how things are becoming. And also, like Raed points out in his post, it proved the danger of sending out an armed squad, unidentified as such, amongst civilians innocently going about their buisnesses. (He points out too that a suicide-bomber would have blown off his bomb long before the police had pinned him down!)
One cannot foresee what is going to become of our western civilization, (nor the arabic, for that matter!) as one views ideals and morals crumble in the face of threats to our society. A devastating fear and the threat to the life of an otherwise peace-loving nation was what set off this tragedy, which cannot be, after learning how the whole thing happened, described or called by any other name than a public execution.
Regardless of mr. Blairs war-mongering, I believe that the common British citizens are peace loving folk. Regardless of the past histocal glory of the British Empire and all that. But maybe that´s what twisted mr. Blair´s way of thinking.
P.s. An addition: A comment I made and mean from the bottom of my heart, in answer to comments, in a blog called An escape form blogland, that upset me quite a bit:
I was going to write an answer here, because I cannot see how the English public is supposed to know that it is the police stopping them, when they are not in uniform, but dressed in civilian clothes. I think I would be dead scared and try to run away too, if I had the chance, if sombody in an ordinary suit got out a gun and told me to stop! Whereas I would stop if it was somebody in a police uniform.
But, as I am a foreigner living in a (still, at least) very peaceful country and cannot fully comprehend what life must be like in London right now, I will refrain from making further judgement about this matter and leave it at this.
Anyway, I think this whole thing of the bombings and the aftermath thereof is terrible. I must say that I am happy to live in a peaceful country where the only fanatics are Jehovas Witnesses and one only hears about Jihad in the foreign news. A country where most people still respect human value and think that every human life is sacred.
But still, of course, an island where rules of entrance into the country have been made far stricter and security measures upon entering and leaving it have been much tightened.
(I have never been asked for my passport as often as I was upon leaving the country for going to England last summer!)