In retreat

I really don’t do well with timezones and it takes me a while to recover. I was up early yesterday morning and nearly asleep by noon so the first few hours of the day are a bit of a blur. Something odd happened. I scrolled through my news update early that morning as I was having my morning constitutional (coffee) and read with some horror of the suicide bomb in Kabul, Afghanistan. I registered 60 dead and 350 injured with both the French and German embassies damaged in the blast.

Fast forward 18 hours and I was scrolling through Facebook because I couldn’t sleep. I must have scrolled through a dozen pages before it hit me. There was no mention at all of Kabul. Not in personal posts. Not in sponsored posts. Not in sites I subscribe to. So I thought to myself that I must have imaged what I’d read that morning. Perhaps I was more spaced out than I thought?

The site of a huge explosion in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, on Wednesday. Credit Shah Marai/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

So I checked. And yes.

In one moment, more than 80 lives ended, hundreds of people were wounded and many more were traumatized, in the heart of a city defined by constant checkpoints and the densest concentration of Afghan and international forces.

CNN  reported it. The Guardian had it, too.  Myriad news outlets from around the world carried the story and yet there’s no mention at all by anyone on my feed in Facebook. No standing in solidarity. No denouncements. Have we reached the stage where we are so inured to terrorism that we don’t feel anything unless it’s within radius? Or have we come to expect this from Afghanistan, so therefore it’s simply business as usual, just another day in a country that has seen 40 years of violence. But I took heart because I woke this morning to a FB post… asking Where is the minute’s silence.

This week’s latest terror attacks remind us that most of Isis’s victims in fact belong to the religion it claims to represent. It is important to note that the vast majority of Muslims not only condemn Isis but bear the brunt of its brutality. There is a sad irony in how the group which has the largest number of victims of terrorism are often blamed for it.

And then yesterday, arguably one of the world’s most powerful men told us how ‘loaded’ America is – more oil than Saudi Arabia, and more gas and coal than Russia. That he represents Pittsburgh, not Paris. The message I heard was ‘we’re alright mate – we don’t need the world’. The mind boggles at his logic, at his pulling out of the Paris Agreement, at his denial of climate change. And were he but one man, I’d say – whatever. Each to his own. But seriously?

I’m cranky. I’m hot. And I’m still jet-lagged. So today, I’m going back to the village where life is uncomplicated, the air is pure, and hopefully the painter has been making progress. Thank God, I have that option.

2 Responses

  1. Mary, I’ve had similar feelings, when I heard of the Kabul travesty, the insatiable desire on the part of some to cause unaccountable amounts of pain, heart break and tears in buckets loads, equal probably to the quantity of blood shed. yet the reaction is muted.
    The smaller scale tragedy in Manchester engendered a response across the Western world that was heart warming, comforting, sharing and humbling in it’s sincerity.
    The size of any such tragedy, crime against innocent humanity, is of no consequence, whether its 20 or 100’s or a 1000.
    Like you, I asked myself why does such a event of such immeasurable horror, trigger a true feeling of empathy in one part of the world, while in another, it passes, (it appears) as just another new’s item (story ?) Forgive me, but that’s no “fucking” story.
    Then we have the Selfish Ignorant, Imbecile who currently occupies the position of the President of the United States of America, threatening to totally jeopardise the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, will he, won’t he ? wait until 3pm est,in the Rose Garden next Thursday, when he will tell us, If he decides to withdraw the USA from that agreement, won’t that be as gross an act of International terrorism, far in excess, an with implications far beyond any of the act’s committed by any of the Worlds terrorist organisations ?? I despair,
    Fortunately I don’t have to retire to my Country Retreat, as that’s were home is and where I am.
    But one remains on this Planet, and the tentacles of hate and ignorance are far reaching.
    Clive x

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