Thursday, August 18, 2005

Back In Ireland

18 days and now I'm home. Not back to work 'til next Monday. Drinking my 7th cup of tea today as I type this. Italian coffee is great but how, exactly, are you meant to sit and chill for a while with about 20 mL of liquid in a cup that goes cold in two minutes?

Anyway suffice to say that Italy is class despite the lack of an easily found nightlife that an Irish person would be used to. I say forget the guidebooks - they have you turning around in circles and qualify everything by saying something like "it's too touristy", as if some foreigner speaking a foreign language, and setting foot in a town for the first time in his or her life, can meld seamlessly with the locals with the aid of these backpackers' bibles.

Bought a Guardian yesterday in the airport. So John Charles de Menezes was not wearing a padded jacket, had no wires hanging out of him, did not vault any gate and seemingly did not run from plain clothes police. They've published a picture of him lying dead on the floor of the train. The picture is cropped below his head, understandably so seeing as the police pumped seven bullets into it. His name should never be forgotten - the modern day proof that we are completely failing the challenge of terrorism. The logical end of this mess will be the realisation that intelligence gathering, effective police work and sober, planned surgical military action against visible (and not madey-uppy) threats, rather than blunderbuss invasions that seem to be trying to put out a fire with a flame-thrower, is still the most effective response to terrorism despite occasional atrocities.

Listening to the chilling words of British radical Muslims being interviewed on BBC World (there are no innocent victims of the London bombings as Britain has ceased to be a country that protects Muslims); and watching the Jewish settlers being forcibly removed from Gaza has also confirmed something else for me. Right-thinking people should insist that no one can invoke the name of God to justify their actions, be it Muslim jihadees, Jews in Hebron or the American Christian right, would also help. If your only argument is "...because it is the word of God" then you have no argument.
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