After Nice attack, nothing is sacred and nowhere is safe

No more 'je suis anything'.
All that cute stuff is passé.
We are in peril, so snap out of it.

That truck driver in Nice ran over little children who were just having fun with their families. He didn’t care whom he ran over. He ran over the last tendrils of hope that good would triumph over evil.

In one horrifying act he told us, the world, that we are not safe from the agony of terrorism.

None of us.

You don’t need bombs and suicide bombers. You can create mayhem from behind a wheel. You do not need elaborate planning, you just scythe your way through human life.

Police officers and a soldier stand by the sealed off area of an attack after a truck drove on to the sidewalk and plowed through a crowd of revelers who'd gathered to watch the fireworks in the French resort city of Nice, southern France, Friday, July 15, 2016. A spokesman for France's Interior Ministry says there are likely to be "several dozen dead" after a truck drove into a crowd of revelers celebrating Bastille Day in the French city of Nice. (AP Photo/Ciaran Fahey)

Police officers and a soldier stand by the sealed off area of an attack after a truck drove on to the sidewalk and plowed through a crowd in Nice. AP

This is how vulnerable we are. One man and his vehicle on a deathly mission: Wakes up in the morning, finds his vehicle keys, starts the engine and ploughs through human beings like they were made of plasticine. This is horror beyond comprehension.

In the 1970s when the spate of hijackings made flying scary, we were told nothing could get worse. Airports were the only dicey public place. Then came the bomb blasts on trains and buses, followed by the suicide bombers, the hit-squads, the hostage-taking and the soft underbelly targets of malls, hotels, cinemas, fairs and sports events.

Coffee and carnage.

Now we know the truth: There is no haven, no refuge, no place to be safe — for ourselves or for our children. The planet is a battlefield.

The soldier-to-soldier romance of conflict is dead and gone. Everyone can come in the way and be a bloodied statistic.

Forget about travel. You have to worry about going shopping. Are you scared if your family members do not answer their mobile phone or only get an engaged tone? This is not paranoia, this is real. A searing chill sets in if they are an hour late. Shopping arcades are dangerous.

Anywhere where people gather, fear comes along. Hospitals, once taboo as targets in war by convention, are now cross-haired by choice.

Schools are a favourite and transportation is now a conveyor of death.

Enough with VIP condemnations and the expression of sorrow in the aftermath. This does not wash any more. All that brave sloganeering by elected representatives is papier mâché as a defence against those who kill at will. The world has to wake up to the fact that there is a common enemy out there and it is a disease.

This madness has virally moved from the swampland to the mainstream and a vaccine has to be found. There is nothing here by way of faith or belief or some damn shining path to glory. This is just total insanity and everyone is a possible victim.

We have been let down in this time and place, in this era by those who promise to lead us. Their reneging on civilian safety and refusal to put aside their political agendas for the sake of saving the world from the scourge has emboldened terrorists and made them contemptuous of the feeble and fractured efforts to contain them: They mock it!

With each act of depravity that occurs, these global leaders still don’t get the message: Come together as one or continue to mumble eulogies that have lost their value.

The next meet to counter terrorism is in October. That speaks for itself.

Unless every nation gets on to the same page and begins a concerted effort to strike back and take on this hydra of terrorism — both structured and individual — by creating a global defence this truck will spawn more trucks, more deaths and more fear, because there is no cause to justify such destruction. The random factor is so overpowering now that we can only pray we are not in the way.

It's pointless lighting candles, holding midnight vigils or going to houses of worship to pray. They could all be targets.

There is nothing sacred anymore.

Not even little children.

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Updated Date: Jul 15, 2016 12:11:22 IST

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