Saturday, December 18, 2010

First North Korea, Now Sweden?

I am so unplugged from the news that I don't hear about suicide bombings in my future adopted homeland until days after the fact from other people. (And not even from my Swedish boyfriend/fiancé-type-creature who lives in Stockholm!) And since no one on Facebook was posting about it, I had to hear it from my boss here in the States when I dropped in to return a work shirt.

Only the bomber himself was killed, apparently—guess he failed the "massive explosives" course at terrorist training camp!—but obviously it's still a bit of a shock. Between this and escalating North-South tensions on the Korean peninsula, it seems like everywhere I want to go has recently been under threats of violence.

I'm not frightened about it. I'm not angry. Those are the kind of responses that actions like this set out to trigger; you give into those, and "the terrorists* have already won." I will still go to Stockholm in January, and I will still move there after another year in Korea. Likewise, the Cheonan sinking or military shelling in Yeonpyeong won't keep from going back to Korea. If South Koreans aren't living in fear, then why should I?

I think the only appropriate response to political violence is disappointment. Sadness. There's one fewer person on the planet, that much less potential for good and kind things in the world—though arguably that was lost long before Taimour Abdulwahab Al-Abdaly blew his guts out, people can turn around. Can change. He also left behind a wife and three kids to live with what he did. What he wanted to do. "Oh, your dad was the guy that blew himself up in Stockholm back in 2010, that's right." What a crap legacy to leave behind for such cute kids!

My condolences go out to his widow and children.

*why I hate the word "terrorist" and go to great lengths to avoid using it is another blog entry altogether; just making my dislike of the word vocal, here.

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