Horror has broken out on the streets of small towns and in the countryside surrounding Washington DC. A single person with a single weapon is not only spreading death but also spreading a terrible fear like a mist of poisonous gas through the minds of men, women and children in schools, gas stations, malls and along country roads throughout the State of Maryland. A maniac serial killer? A lone nut with an inexplicable hatred, good aim and a high-powered weapon? The world and the USA in particular had better hope so.
The alternative, that the Al Qaida has taken their war to the streets of peaceful villages and towns of the USA and could extend that war to anywhere world wide, is ALMOST too horrific to imagine. And yet, why not? What if this gunman is exactly what Bin Laden warned about in his latest message? What if the next lot of random killings take place in Chicago, San Francisco or Miami? What if week after week such attacks continue to occur across the USA and also start happening in other parts of the world in the suburbs of London or Leeds, in Bonn or in Paris or in the legendary and peaceful garden surroundings of Grenada and other places in Spain?
Is anywhere out of reach? It could be Portugal, Italy, Australia or anywhere in fact where it is seen that westerners - and even secular Moslems have a comfortable life. A war against us, all of us! His campaign can consist of a single weapon held by one of his suicidal adherents in any country in the world. They don't care if they die! What we in the West we who are born, grow up and live in the relative wealth and security of today's post World War Two era - have to begin to realize is that the seeds for such a war are already sewn, and not just among Bin Laden's followers but also among the poor and the dispossessed everywhere.
Every time a Palestinian is killed by an Israeli bullet with an approved in the USA tag on it, every time another child dies of hunger in Iraq, every time accounts appear of the death of thousands of Africans (of hunger and war created by western greed for mineral and oil wealth) and every time more and more of the dispossessed and impoverished people of South America or Asia confront the reality of their lives mortgaged to Western Banks by old and punitive loans, the seeds of hate for the USA and the West sprout and grow. These seeds are watered and fertilized whenever George W. Bush opens his mouth and preaches his religion of world rule by the USA (and damned be all who disagree!) and likewise whenever his cohorts preach their divine right to imprison, judge and make war against anyone they decides they do not like. It is not the weapons of mass destruction, Saddam's or anyone else's, which the world has most to fear. It is the individual snipers we have all helped to create by our all too willing embrace of materialism, by our polite yawn at the fate of dying Palestinians and Afghans, and our lack of care about the world's poor and starving. It is our mindless acceptance of a global machine which cares more about company profits than about human beings, and by our unquestioned subservience to a new world order which has neither substance nor moral base other than the greed of a few. How ironic if the threat to the new world order of globalisation to suit the rich, which has been so carefully nurtured by successive US administrations (with help from friends in London and elsewhere), is not to come from those crazies protesting at Seattle, Genoa and Stockholm but from those Frankensteins the U.S. themselves created - Bin Laden and his followers!
Make peace, George, not war.
Is there any post service in Maojrca?
Between my husband and I we sent 20 postcards whilst on holiday in Santa Ponsa in August. I would like to report that the last of the cards were finally delivered 4 weeks after our return (in total they took 5 weeks)! OK Majorca, lesson learnt. We won't be sending any postcards next year - we'll spend the money on an evening out - it costs about the same as the cards and stamps!
Unhelpful and arrogant
We have visited Majorca for over 30 years and owned a house in Sant Elm for 20. On reading the Bulletin of Oct 2nd I felt some further comments necessary on the tourist industry.
This week we have seen the two faces of Majorca. A few days ago we asked a gentleman the way to a Palma store; he spoke no English and got into our car and took us to the store - our thanks were enough.
The next day my wife bought some post-cards in the card/paper shop in Sant Elm. On asking for two extra stamps she was refused in the rudest way possible by the unhelpful arrogant shopkeeper.
In the past, we used to expect and got service with a smile in Majorca, sadly no longer given in some establishments.
I predict that if the latter trend continues, the visitor will no longer be there to serve!
PS. Why cannot shops/stores sell books of stamps as in the UK and other countries?