The enemies of humanity struck in London today. The enemies of democracy. (Incidentally, on BBC news reports I've heard, those responsible for today's bombings are being referred to as 'terrorists' - not 'militants' or anything else more dignifying, but 'terrorists'. Why the change of policy?) Before I heard the awful news this morning I had a couple of items from the newspaper (and which I'll get to) marked down for comment. Then the news broke.
Across the globe, the enemies of democracy have shown themselves ready to commit any crime, to use any means, violating every human norm, every civilized code of warfare, one way and another killing people at random: the innocent, the old, the young, people of any class, any faith, any colour, with only the common feature of being in the wrong place when the appointed time comes, and of being human beings - with their lives, with their hopes, with the people they love and who will grieve for them. The murderers strike regardless. Count the ways...
1. They attack Red Cross personnel.
2. They murder people working for the UN.
3. They kidnap and kill care workers.
4. They bomb holiday-makers, in nightclubs.
5. They blow up people travelling on trains - civilians.
6. They target people on buses - civilians.
7. They take civilian hostages.
8. They decapitate them.
9. They murder trade unionists.
10. They kidnap diplomats.
11. They kill people for being... barbers.
12. They fly aircraft full of civilians into skyscrapers where people are at work.
13. They take schoolchildren hostage and murder them.
14. They bomb synagogues.
15. They kill people shopping in a market.
16. They kill people queuing at a medical clinic.
17. They murder children in Baghdad.
18. They murder people on their way to work in London.
(And what have I forgotten?)
They are the enemies of democracy and the enemies of all humankind. They must be fought till they have been defeated.