No need to look to US for terrorism lessons

Armed soldiers in the streets; military aircraft hovering in the skies; recurring words like "war" and "retaliation"; weary, dirt-streaked, rescue workers being applauded through the streets; stories of human beings, still breathing, with 70 per cent burns on their bodies, their hair melted into their skin; sobbing relatives cradling photographs of loved ones already turning sepia in the imagination; grim leaders mouthing risibly hollow words about "taking appropriate security precautions" to protect their citizens - the same citizens who are balking at simple, everyday routines they took for granted like going to the shops, buying a coffee, hopping on a plane.

The reality that has gripped Northern Ireland for over 30 years has come home to the land of the free and the home of the brave. As the vibrant images of the missing and confirmed dead multiply and scorch themselves into our psyches, as details of their final moments seep into our nightmares amid reports of 30,000 body bags being ordered into Manhattan, people shake their heads wonderingly and ask - "how could any human being be capable of such bottomless hatred? What kind of monsters cheer such atrocities?"

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