Axver (axver) wrote,

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The two year anniversary of the Bali terrorist attack.

A lot of people ask others if they remember where they were on 11 September 2001, though what I'd like to know is whether anyone remembers where they were on 12 October 2002. My best guess says that almost no-one does. I'm surprised, because I actually do remember the day quite well. It's just a shame my actions weren't worth remembering. My grandmother rung me up and asked me if I'd seen the news, and I hadn't, so she told me to put it on because there had been a bomb blast in Bali. One of her friends was over there and she hadn't been able to contact her (as it turned out, I think the friend was on the other side of the island at the time). I flicked on the TV to try to find some coverage, and caught part of a story showing some rather inconsequential footage. I quite frankly found it boring. It didn't sound very serious, so I turned the TV off and returned to doing whatever it was that I was doing.

Only a day later did I realise the enormity of the blast. The attack on a Bali nightclub frequented by Westerners killed 202 people, 88 of them Australians (though I think the news this morning actually said 100, which is intriguing because I was SURE only 88 were). It was the attack that seriously put Jemiah Islamiyyah on the map, and had the explosives gone off to their full potential, I understand deaths would have been in the thousands, up to 10,000.

A year ago, the blast felt fresh. I could remember the news coverage that went on for the following week. I could remember the bravery and heroism. It did not feel like a whole year had passed. This year, it feels as if it was two decades ago. The stories and memoried have significantly faded. The details aren't so present in my mind. No-one connects Bali with terrorism any more.

Really, that's where I think some of the fault is. I don't think most people ever seriously appreciated Bali. Maybe they did, once, but now, the pre-Bali attitudes have returned. Terrorism is not seen as a threat and people don't believe it will happen here (and the cynic in me says of course it won't). In my opinion, people have quickly forgotten their own history. Bali has left the radar and its significance is no longer felt.

I'm honestly not sure what to feel about that. On the one hand, people should not neglect their own history. It's important, and Bali had massive implications. We need to assess our dealings with the south-east Asian region and broader world community, and when we take action, we need to consider the implications and consequences. We need to realise terrorism is a threat and we're not immune in this distant corner of the globe. That's the feeling Bali gave us - it was a wake-up call, but we've drifted back to sleep. However, I'm not so sure that's a bad thing. I do think the fear of terrorism in our society is vastly exaggerated. The terrorists have succeeded, because they have inspired a terror in some elements of Western society that means they don't have to resort to attacks. There is a rabid hysteria about terrorism that, to me, resembles the anti-communist hysteria of the Cold War. People, have some perspective. Terrorist attacks in the West are EXTREMELY rare. Remember the fear of SARS? Even at the height of the SARS 'epidemic', more people died each day from falling down the stairs, and more have died from SARS than from terrorism, so I think the point speaks for itself. It seems, however, that society needs a target of hysteria and hate. I'm not saying we should become lax towards the threat of terror, but the way it's being handled now is, quite simply, embarrassing. I find it a joke. The media and governments are creating more terror than the terrorists themselves.

But speaking of terrorists ...

... I received a letter from purplicious today, and on the back of the envelope, I found the clear evidence she is a postal terrorist.

To be serious, I must say I'm somewhat bothered by that. I thought our country was above checking the mail. Yes, they left their nice little pamphlet saying that nothing was taken and some detection machine noted that some of the contents MIGHT be a risk (but upon inspection, were found to be safe), and that they need to do this, but ... it still bothers me. And I really don't think they need to. A simple, normal envelope isn't going to contain anything dangerous. Bah. Stupid dictatorship democracy.

Now, will I do work? Will procrastination permit me to apply myself? Time will tell.
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