How do we get our minds around this?
Two doctors were among five people being held as terror suspects last night after the bomb plots in London and Glasgow. One was one of two men who tried to drive a blazing Jeep packed with petrol, gas canisters and nails into Glasgow Airport on Saturday.
Police are still investigating the precise links between that attack and the two Mercedes car bombs left in the West End of London early on Friday.
Both doctors were working at UK hospitals and were apparently here legally…
“These are highly-educated, articulate and intelligent people,” one security source said. — Daily Mail, UK
Imagine spending the day curing disease and patching up accident victims, closing wounds, comforting people in distress, doing whatever is possible to keep the elaborate and finely balanced mechanism of the human body functioning evenly, hearing “thank goodness you’re here, doctor”, receiving the trust and respect that very few professions are honored to receive, because — even though we know that they’re people like anyone else — in a sense they are different, set apart because they dedicate themselves to the well-being of others.
And then you get into your car and try to create a burning hell for as many man, women and children as you possibly can. You include explosives and nails so that the bombs will tear flesh and embed bits of metal in the brains, guts, eyes, and livers of the arbitrary people — Christians, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Hindus — that are unlucky enough to be in the Glasgow airport. You add a few canisters of propane in the hopes of creating a fuel-air bomb of sorts, in which the propane will mix with the air inside the building before it ignites. When it does, the immediate blast wave will most likely blow the walls out and collapse the roof; then, after that, a massive negative pressure resulting from the consumption of almost all the atmospheric oxygen will rip the lungs out of anyone who survived the initial explosion.
It would seem that only an insane person could do both of these things. But there were two doctors. Were they both insane in the same way? The Mail reports that one is a Jordanian, with a wife and baby. Another was an Iraqi who had been granted asylum in Britain. There were two doctors and numerous others, who will probably also turn out to be more or less respectable citizens.
I think we need to understand that we are facing something here that — at least before 9/11 and all the other terrible attacks since then — we really didn’t have the categories to deal with. By now we need to have those categories set up. It’s not a question of mentally deranged individuals, nor people that are “hopeless” because of the poverty or oppression that characterizes their homelands. It may not even be people who are agents of a well-organized conspiracy like the al-Qaeda of 9/11.
As Daniel Pipes has written, the West could lose this one.
Technorati Tags: terrorism