Saturday, November 07, 2009

Saturday Night Stirrings

A sobering shower of grey stories, fallen from the margins of headline news, for late-night contemplation on a wet autumn evening.

Generation Of Ingrates: Shocking statistics from the UK, with the infuriating revelation that Britain's war memorials are being increasingly desecrated by thieves and vandals at the rate of more than one a week:
Most of the vandals are never caught, and those who are face little deterrent. Offenders found guilty of criminal damage under £5,000 can only be dealt with in a magistrates' court, where the maximum sentence is six months' jail.
MPs and military campaigners yesterday voiced disgust at the trend and expressed concern that the incidence of desecration is growing when British soldiers are fighting and dying on the front line in Afghanistan.
The figures have been compiled by the Tories. Defence spokesman Dr Liam Fox said: 'At a time when we are honouring those who have sacrificed themselves for our security, this sick and despicable trend is a miserable commentary on contemporary Britain.'

Islamists' War On Women: While US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was visiting Pakistan in late October, a car bomb targeting Peshawar's women erupted in the Mina Bazaar, a market selling wedding dresses, toys and food to the poorer residents of the northern city. Over 100 people were killed, of which at least 60 were women and their children.

This grim figure is double that of the death toll from a car bomb driven by an islamist through Peshawar's busy Khyber Bazaar in early October. 49 people were killed and over a hundred wounded when explosives diabolically laced with bearings and shells erupted next to a bus filled with women and children.

In reading the regional media we can see how the scale of the islamists' attacks may change, but the hatred towards the intented targets remains the same.

Two girls' school were bombed last week in Pakistan's Khyber Agency; it's startling to learn how common such horrors have now become:

Militants have destroyed hundreds of schools, mostly for girls, in the northwest of the country in recent years.
Nearly 200 schools were destroyed in the Swat valley alone during a two-year Taliban uprising to enforce sharia law in the district.
On Wednesday, two women teachers driving home from school were dragged from their car and sprayed with machine gun fire in the Bajaur Agency, in the northwestern corner of the FATA, Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan.

Earlier Saturday, "suspected militants" threw a grenade into a girls' school in a Quetta suburb, injuring two teachers and an 8-year old student.
Grenade and bomb explosions and drive-by shootings are fairly frequent in impoverished Baluchistan province, which is gripped by an insurgency.
16 bodies are still missing from the forementioned late October Peshawar market bombing. It takes a strong heart to read through recent accounts of loved ones still holding out hope that they might recover the remains of their missing families. It is feared that the massive fire unleashed in the crowded marketplace as a result of the bombing has probably burned the missing bodies to unrecognizeable ashes.

"Finding the dead bodies of these missing people is equal to impossible", says a Peshawar public official. Finding a way to understand the depth of the evil triggering these innumerable cruelties seems equally impossible.

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