Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Butcher's Bill

This travel journal has always been about our experiences as we travel along and through the countries that make up the fabric of the ancient Silk Road. We want to bring to you, in living color, the sights, smells, cultures and characters we encounter as we wander…and for that reason we have worked hard to avoid the politics of the day as we weave our way though Turkey and on through Central Eurasia.
This last week I have written and deleted thousands of words expressing our thoughts and feelings after the cowardly attacks against Turkish families and children in Istanbul on Sunday evening. 17 people were killed after two explosions rocked Istanbul, 5 of the dead are children. After letting this simmer for a few days to try and keep my “tone” somewhat bearable… here is the view from our corner of Asia.
The terrorists that committed this crime used the bait-and-blow tactic, setting a small but loud explosion to attract a crowd, and then detonating a powerful, nail and ball-bearing laden explosive that would rip through those who ran to rescue.
One of the stories we heard from Sunday evening was that of a 12 year old girl who heard the first explosion and ran to her balcony to look down to the street…she died moments later when the second bomb was detonated. Another image indelibly burned into our memory is that of a mother whose feet had been blown off, ignoring her own life-threatening trauma to tend to the minor injuries of her children.
As I have said before experience is the best teacher…no degrees, university course work or eloquent discourse can impart some of the lessons that life has to offer. 3 days later Istanbul is still somber and shaking the bone chips, blood, and images from its shock-waved senses.
I have been besieged this week by my Istanbul friends and family to both write and refrain from writing about this hate driven attack. Some are concerned that standing for what we believe would endanger us, others say that if we ignore this, we are ignoring the people we love. I agree with the latter, if we won’t stand to be counted now, will there ever be something worth standing for?
Our bottom line? Turkey has shown amazing restraint against the almost daily acts of terror against its core, beliefs and people. At the urging of our own country and others in the EU, Turkey has had to tread a fine line to defend their borders. They should be praised for their calculated, patient, and careful response. Once again Turkey pays a costly butcher's bill in the search for peace.
Those who should be condemned are the hate-filled and terror-driven cowards that have to resort to targeting the young and defenseless because they lack the strength of conviction in their own beliefs to engage in reasonable and peaceful discourse. Fear will work for a season, but you cannot live by it or enact lasting change through it. Fear is the weapon of the weak.
Today along with our Turkish brothers we stand as family and friends in the face of those who hate. We grieve with you.

1 comment:

Glory Revealed said...

My heart is with you. I love reading about your lives in Turkey and knowing more what you are going through. Thank you so much for taking the time to update your blogs so often.
I have a quick question. My dad mentioned something about the possibility of you guys coming to the States sometime this year. Are you going to be able to make it for the big event over New Year's Eve?

Living, Traveling, and Wandering on the Far Side of the World

Living, Traveling, and Wandering on the Far Side of the World