Sunday, July 24, 2005
Jean Charles de Menezes shot dead in London July 21, 2005
Initial reports stated that the Brazilian man, Jean Charles de Menezes, 27, was escaping from the police (did not stop when ordered) and was connected to the explosions that morning.
On July 23rd the authorities in London admitted that he had no connection with the terrorists.
BBC "Shot man not connected to bombing"
There will be an inquiry to find out what went wrong. Why did Mr. Menezes ignore commands to stop; why did he try to outtrun the police; what was he escaping from? Perhaps answers will emerge. Perhaps not. From published accounts it seems that Mr. Menezes was followed because he came out of a building which was suppposedly being used by suspected terrorists and was under surveillance. His appearance (swarthy complexion) could have been a factor.
Under the present conditions--of fear and distrust--that exist in London such incidents are predictable. Could happen again. So, the late Mr. Menezes was indirectly another victim of the terrorists. Collateral damage. But then in a terrorist attack that is usually the case. The attacks are rarely directed at specific individuals. Their goal is to kill as many as possible, destroy whatever that comes within the range of their weapons. The victims happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The silence of Islamic clergy to take a position and condemn such acts is utterly reprehensible.
On the flip side, there is killing and destruction in the unjust war now in effect. Long before the insurgents in Iraq became a force to contend with our attacks resulted in large scale loss of civilian lives. Now we are battling the insurgents.....and they keep coming. Hapless Iraqi civilians continue to suffer death, injuries, and destruction of property. It has been established that not all of it can be attributed to the insurgents. So, we too have blood of innocent victims on our hands. No wonder that in 2002 we refused to be a signatory to the International Criminal Court treaty.
"REGRETTABLE NECESSITY, n. An avoidable atrocity. The term is often employed by presidents and prime ministers when announcing bombings of civilian targets and invasions of small countries."
"FREEDOM FIGHTER, n. A State Department term referring to: 1) A mercenary attempting to install an authoritarian regime friendly to U.S. business interests; 2) A heavily armed islamic fanatic who wishes to impose his religious views upon others through the use of violence."