Thursday, December 3, 2009

Cowardly attack?

The recent suicide bombing in Somalia's capital was quickly condemned by the West with the phrase "cowardly attack". This is a phrase that has been used time and again when it comes to suicide bombings, in Iraq and Afghanistan for example, and one I find rather confusing.

I'm a pacifist and coward. But it seems to me that while blowing yourself up could be described as many things, cowardly isn't a good label for it. Stupid? Sure. Deranged? Yup. Depraved? Despicable? Deluded? Mind-bogglingly crazy? All of those. But cowardly?

If I was going to describe any form of attack as cowardly I'd go with piloting drone attack aircraft from the safely of a country hundreds of miles away. That seems cowardly.

It's so removed from the actuality of combat. Sipping a Coke and eating a Big Mac in air-conditioned comfort, the game on a widescreen TV in the background, and Johnson telling that story about the time he met Madonna, while blowing up some 'bad guy', and anyone in the vicinity, half a world away. How is that noble and heroic?

Sensible? Safe? Clever? Maybe. But also cowardly.


  1. Channeling Roger Waters again I see...

  2. And as if on cue ...

    US looks to expand drone attacks in Pakistan