On Monday there was a bomb attack. A coordinated series of bombs set off in a probable terrorist attack suddenly and unexpectedly killed people and wounded dozens. People lost limbs, blood stained the streets and chaos and carnage ensued. The bombs killed 33 people and wounded 160 more. The bombs were in Iraq.
Elsewhere in the world, the bombing of the Boston marathon naturally devastated the city and sent shock waves around the world, and the loss of lives - including that of an eight year old boy - and appalling injuries sustained is tragic and terrible. Thanks to the efficient emergency services at the marathon and the close proximity of a hospital, the death toll so far stands at only three, but dozens are injured and many have lost limbs.
Thirteen British newspapers led with the Boston bombings the following day, which occurred not only on the same day as the Iraq attacks, but also on the day that Syrian warplanes carried out air raids on Damascus. It would appear that the Western media portrayal of bomb attacks around the world is skewed, and that we've become almost numb to the sheer amount of news stories on car bombs in Iraq and the Middle East week in and week out.
Does the deluge of car bombs in Iraq dilute their significance? Are they now boring to Western media consumers, or less worthy because of their frequency? If anything, the car-bombing deaths in the Middle East should be cause for more coverage, not less, but the opposite seems to be the case. Why are men and women and children in Iraq or Afghanistan less important or less newsworthy than those in America or the U.K?
Shortly after the Boston bombings, the ever steely and assuring Obama made a prompt and laudable speech, promising every possible resource to help those in Boston "in the wake of this senseless loss". But according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, US drone strikes in Pakistan have killed 411-884 civilians between 2004 and 2013, including up to 197 children. In Yemen drone strikes have killed up to 45 civilians including two children. Many would argue that this loss of life too is senseless.
How would those in Boston, or New York or London or Paris feel if "terrorists" had the money and resources to command a series of unmanned computer-controlled precision aerial bombs, which are designed to cause the utmost destruction to human life as efficiently as possible?
One Yemeni blogger attacks Obama and his administration's use of drone strikes and says: "Our children's blood is not cheaper than American blood and the pain of losing them is just as devastating".
In Boston people are hurt and angry, and rightly want answers. Who did this? Why? How could anyone carry out such an act? There are fearful whispers and rumours of Islamic terrorists and heightening security: 9/11 and 7/7 are still raw, and the Boston attacks are too close to home.
'Homeland' is a powerful word, and when it is attacked it accurately evokes the added shock and terror of being attacked by an intruder in one's own home, instead of somewhere far removed in a rough part of town.
But an attack is an attack, wherever it happens. All bombs are terrifying, and victims of terrorism can also be the perpetrators.Suggest a correction