Those of you of live or have been in Warsaw know how busy is the main train station (Dw. Centralny), right in the center of the city. Thousands and thousands of people walking in and from the trains, in and from work or in and from the shopping center nearby. In a way, such scenario represents the pinnacle of the western world, our western lifestyle.
As I walked through there today, with yet another shocking terrorist attack in mind, I couldn't avoid to think: What if some terrorist attack would happen, right now, right here? What would I do? What could I do? And I looked around, searched for potential exits and looked at the people, kind of trying to exercise my eyes and train them to detect potential threats. And I realized that it's all random, that if something were to happen, I would just either be lucky or die. There's is literally nothing I can do to be safer or to protect myself from being killed in a terrorist attack.
So i started thinking if all those scary things we watch almost daily now on TV happening in Europe are instilling fear in me. As I don't know what it means to live in fear, I couldn't really answer that so my thoughts flew towards a wider perspective that compelled me to write here.
Most of us probably grew up in a war free society. We grew up watching the world change through a TV screen. We were observers of a reality that seemed so far, almost unreal. And we never really connected with it, we'd just move on with our lives, enjoying our amazing and peaceful European lives. We heard tales or visited monuments and museums about world wars, about terrible dictators trying to conquer the entire continent, holocaust. It all seemed terrible, shocking and unreal at the same time. We were almost sure it would never happen again. The end of the Cold War and all the advances made in our western civilization even gave the very naive idea that we were living the end of history (Fukuyama, anyone?). That we, as a society, have reached the last stage of our evolution and all would be smooth sailing from then on.
How ridiculous does that sound now?
The clash of civilizations has been a constant throughout History. And that's what we are living right now. It's here and it's going to get much worse before it gets better. It won't be just on TV anymore. It's not going to affect just the distant people in the Middle East. It's gonna affect, it is already affecting our communities, our neighbours, our own families . But we, as a society, are in some kind of unrealistic state of denial and numbness that it's frightning. I see France being crushed by terrifying attacks on it's own people, on it's own values, our values and all I see is Hollande saying how sorry he feels for the victims and that we'll stand strong and united against terrorism. And Germany, how is the most powerful country in Europe handling this? I don't really know. And they keep stricking us, right in the heart of what make us europeans, right in the core of our values and beliefs.
Let me be very clear. For me this is not about religion. i respect everyone, from all faiths. It's about a group of terrorists, who use religion as an igniter, that needs to be dismantled. It's fucking war, a whole new kind of war, that will be fought not only far away but also in our own neighbourhoods, in our own streets . However, Europe has been the champion of peace, human rights and all that shit, so no one is able to get dirty and just do something about it, we are once again waiting for the so called "police of the world" (USA) to come and do something about it. And then we can blame them for not respecting the Geneva Convention or for just having their own interests in mind.
And to me, that's just unacceptable. Combine an overall numbness of the people (who have lived their entire lives in peace) with the hypocrisy of european politics and you have the perfect ingredients for a nightmare, for a story with a terrible ending.
We can talk about values, about love and respect, but we passed that phase already. Now it's time to fight for survival, to ensure that our values and beliefs (whichever they are, that's another topic) overcome the heinous attack they are suffering. It's time for leaders to show up and guide us. And frankly, I don't see anyone in Europe doing that.
So please, let's all fucking wake up. Seriously.