Is a 'surgical strike' in Afghanistan any more palatable than a surgical hacking in Woolwich?
24 May 2013 John Hilley United Kingdom
In essence, is state killing not terrorism? Would the bloody outcomes of Nato strikes ever appear so graphically on front pages the way they have for the Woolwich killing?
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By John Hilley
23 May 2013
Would the bloody outcomes of Nato strikes, like the one that killed this child, ever appear so graphically on front pages the way they have for the Woolwich killing?
A man, a soldier, is brutally murdered on a Woolwich street. Politicians rush to emergency meetings.
Reporters survey the scene, run 'terror warning' front pages and ask how such an atrocity 'could ever happen here'.
Yet, beyond the standard political condemnation and media 'examination', what more humanitarian thoughts and questions might be invoked over this horrific death?
The first compassionate thought should always be with the immediate victim, the person or persons killed, the life taken. That means all persons killed, all life taken, whether in Afghanistan, Iraq or on 'our' streets.
The next thought, equally human, but of more compassionate purpose, should be to ask ourselves why these kind of violent attacks are happening.
Is it enough, or even useful, just to feel appalled by such violence? Is it remotely helpful just to condemn?
Or is it more productive and humanitarian to ask what compels or encourages it?
An ITN report on the killing noted: "A British soldier killed not in war, but at home" - war, presumably for such journalists, being something that can be visited upon others, in their countries, but not here in 'ours'.