A tale of two cities

ON MONDAY the Massachusetts city of Boston was rocked by at least two bombs placed near the finish line of the Boston marathon race.

So far reports say three people have died — one an eight-year-old boy — and at least 140 have been injured. Another two bombs were found in nearby rubbish bins and safely defused. So far no one has claimed responsibility and there is a wide spectrum of possible culprits, ranging from extreme right wing fanatics like Timothy McVeigh and Anders Breivik to Middle Eastern or Third World desperados.

Much earlier on the same day a series of explosions shook Baghdad, resulting in 55 deaths and over 300 injured. This is the worst day of violence so far in the run-up to the first elections in Iraq since the United States occupation forces left two years ago — though no doubt their “advisors” will still be present, keeping a low profile. This pre-election violence has so far claimed 270 lives.

Predictably the western media has reacted with shock and horror at the Boston explosions but has hardly mentioned those in Baghdad, where the people are expected to put up with this level of violence as if it were normal.

No normal human being wants to see ordinary citizens blasted to pieces in the streets of either Boston or Baghdad.

If the two terror attacks had been given equal weight they might have elicited equal outrage and sympathy for the victims that could be the basis of better understanding and peace. But the western media does not want the American people to feel any empathy towards their Middle Eastern counterparts.

If they did it would be impossible for the US government to get away with the terror strikes, bombings and drone attacks that it so casually inflicts on the peoples of the Middle East, Africa and other places, bringing the same horror and grief to innocent people around the world that the people of Boston are feeling today.