Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Moment of Sad Reflection


It's so cold, there's snow on the Sun.  This is the fourth real snowfall this year, which is unheard-of for Philadelphia.  (You Canadians can stop giggling now.)  So I shall spend the day alternating between writing and shoveling.

And a moment of sad reflection . . .

Two days ago, some terrorist group or other exploded a bomb at Domodedovo Airport, outside of Moscow, murdering thirty-five people and grievously injuring many more.  They haven't even identified themselves or their cause.

You have to wonder what they -- whoever they are -- think they're accomplishing.

A bit of perspective:  IIn 1812, Napoleon invaded Russia with 690,000 men, at that time the largest European army ever assembled, and made it all the way to Moscow, which his forces accidentally torched.  Only ten thousand soldiers made it out of the country alive.  In 1941, Hitler invaded Russia with 4.5 million troops, in the largest military operation in human history.  The amount of destruction and suffering caused was almost unimaginable.  They were driven back from Moscow and out of the Soviet Union and back through their own nation whose cities were pretty thoroughly destroyed.  This is a country that's had more than its share of sorrow, and yet it's still there.

Russia is not going to be brought to its knees by people who are afraid even to say who they are.

Everybody is, or should be, familiar with the concept of "security theater" -- that all the inconveniences and petty humiliations we endure at the airport are not designed to catch terrorists but to make us feel safe enough to get on the airplane.  Those responsible for the Domodedovo bombing are engaged in terror theater.  They are accomplishing nothing, and they probably know it.  But it plays well to their local constituency.  And so thirty-five people are dead and many more lives have been ruined.

To achieve, literally, nothing.

My thoughts and sorrow are with the survivors and the families of those affected.  And with the people of Russia.  Who will endure, as they always have.

Above:  The back wall of my backyard.  The wall is somewhere between a hundred and a hundred and fifty years old, all that's left of the old police stables, now a parking lot.


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