( I waited a while before commenting on the bombing )
9/11 may be the attack that made the most emotional impact on me in that it is one of the very few events for which I vividly recall my circumstances when I heard the news, also events later that day. I was a little confused by political pronouncements afterward: especially President Bush's
they hate our freedoms
speech which, though not wrong, seemed to miss much of the point: bin Ladin himself had explained in quite different terms the concrete grievances. I subsequently ( learned more about terrorism )
This recent bombing, and emperor
's recent mention of having watched
, reminded me of the line near the end of the movie,
… all those years, did you cry then?
. Though it requires some spoiler context for its full impact, it remains an excellent question that reminds me that I should at least pay proper attention even if I do not cry, and I believe that includes understanding why the bombing happened.
We now have some helpful information: it is reported that the bomber's sister speculates that he
he saw the explosives America drops on children in Syria, and he wanted revenge
though a family friend says how he
grew increasingly angry about what he considered ill-treatment of Muslims in Britain
. Daesh have themselves given the usual mix of motivation: Western acts against Muslims and their lands abroad together with domestic liberalism. Clearly the sister's words point to the former category but Daesh's talk of the
shameless concert arena
suggests some of each. A suicide bomber has considerable choice of target: it would have been no harder to bomb a group of adult professionals but Daesh's
may point to one cause being our failure to impose their Medieval conservatism upon our young women.
Just as I was after 9/11, I have been somewhat bewildered by mainstream politics' response to the tragedy. Bill Maher's comment on
Politically Incorrect (1993)
that the 9/11 attackers were
appears to be what got his show canceled. After the Manchester bombing politicians have again lined up to call the attacker a coward, ( but I doubt that they obviously were )
I do wonder if this portrait of the bomber as a coward is some kind of psychological offense to dissuade imitators. I do not think that it explains targeting the concert.
The political surprises continue. For example, we have Jeremy Corbyn suggesting that foreign policy may be a cause of domestic terrorism, only to face a backlash of criticism and I agree with none of it. First, it is woolly thinking indeed to confuse
: in what now appears to be called the
theory, which many experts deem to have some credibility, our foreign policy may indeed be a relevant factor, but this ( does not make the bomber any less culpable or wrong )
Additionally, Jeremy Corbyn is being criticized for voicing a version of the blowback theory when the bombing occurred so recently. But, the bombing is of high national significance and government policy both foreign and domestic may have a material impact on such events. Surely, before
a general election to determine the shape of our new government is exactly when we should
be examining why the attack occurred? ( if that is exploiting the attack then so be it )