Thursday, March 09, 2006

Damned if they do, damned if they don't

People, or rather the media (again), seem forget that fifty-two people were murdered last summer.

For two weeks last summer, here in the UK, we were living in unprecedented times. The first suicide bombings in Europe (in modern times) claimed 52 lives, less than two weeks later a second set of bombings failed by sheer chance and luck to kill many more. The day after the failed attacks Police shot dead Jean Charles de Menezes, a Brazilian man living in the UK, as he boarded a tube train in the Capital. Surveillance mistakenly identified him as a suicide bomber at the time.

Within 24 hours the police came clean and admitted that they had shot the wrong man. They made a public apology, and a private apology to the family of the bereaved. A full investigation, once the threat level in the capital had receded somewhat, then ensued.

Yet still some sections of the society and the media refuse to draw a line under this tragedy. This is understandable from the relatives' point of view, but some forget what extraordinary times we were living in last summer. Within a week London hosted Live8, won the right to stage the 2012 Olympic Games before seeing these dreams ripped apart on that fateful morning. For days after numbers were down on public transport in the capital, people were nervous up and down the country for good reason. Yes the government had put us at an increased risk of terrorism because of the Iraq war, yet some commentators almost shrugged after the bombings and remarked "Well, it was going to happen sometime..."

In Jean Charles had turned out to be a bomber and Police had not taken him out, what then? No doubt there would have been just as much furore that the Police had 'failed' us once again. A terrible mistake was made, but under unique and highly charged circumstances. This is Britain for Christsakes, Police do not go discharging firearms at every passer-by and do not arm themselves as a matter of course.

The fallout from the Jean Charles shooting is now overshadowing the events from 7/7. Media and some sections of society are suffering from a real lack of perspective. We've lived through extraordinary times, mistakes have been made, apologies have been made; we need to learn now and move forward.

Remember the tragedy of Jean Charles, but remember also the 52 other lives that were taken days before. Were it not for that atrocity then Jean Charles as would no doubt have been alive today.

He's not a martyr.

They're all victims of extraordinary times.

3 comments:

*snow* said...

i think you have to ask the question if it was negligense or just an accident because the people like police, firemen, surgeons, etc yeah are all doing there best but sometimes mistakes happen and yeah there would have a been a uproar if like he was a bomber and took a load more people with him.
If they was careless and negligent then it needs to have a stink kicked up but like there is always room for mistakes when people are doing there best in a dangerous job that i wouldnt wanna do. Like ya said, its a crazy world out there. Well, thas my version of what ya said hahaha!
:-)

you know who said...

Babe it is not July yet. Quit freaking my exapt ass out. I just worried about my concept of time. We will talk in Vienna. Or earlier.

Ing said...

Sorry m'dear, you have a lovely expat ass though. ;)

Looking forward to V!