By Laurie Kotka
Yesterday passed without an overabundance of media focused on the death of 14 people in a suicide bomber attack on St. Petersburg. The blast also wounded 50 as the bomb detonated in a deep underground tunnel which amplified the impact.
St. Petersburg is Russia’s second largest city with just under 5 million people – roughly comparable to Chicago and Houston population counts as of 2014. The Baltic Sea port city serves as both a trade and industrial gateway and is home to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Associated Press reported, “St. Petersburg City Hall said several foreign nationals were among those killed and injured, but would not provide details.”
Suicide attacks on Russian lands have claimed the lives of over 1,000 people in just under two decades.
Russia’s support of those loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad has put the country at odds with both the Islamic State (IS) and Western troops supporting anti-Assad efforts.
Early this morning, Syrian opposition-held town, Khan Sheikhoun, was overwhelmed by a chemical attack that left at least 58 dead, including 11 children. While the Syrian government denied involvement, witnesses identified Sukhoi jets, warplanes operated by the Russian and Syrian governments.
The world was again confronted with images of lifeless bodies of small children in piles while other photos depicted children and adults clinging to life and doctors scrambling to help those struggling to breathe.
Media calls it heartbreaking. Global leaders condemn it. We vow it will never happen again. And then it does.
Consider your loved ones. Imagine the person that holds a special place in your heart. Then consider the raw, gut-wrenching pain that accompanies losing someone important to you. The world feels like it stopped, but it hasn’t – it…just…keeps…going…
In a world full of so many people, is it impossible to think just one of them would feel your hurt? To see the value of the person whose voice you will never hear again…whose warmth is only a memory. They MEANT something to you. How can they be reduced to a shock-and-awe media rating game?
Even worse, what happens when one of the world’s leaders – who is in a unique position to actually DO something – responds by blaming former President Barack Obama’s weakness?
As I close my eyes and feel the pain of a mother who just lost her child in today’s chemical attack, Trump’s words tear at my ears and turn my stomach. This is not the leader of the free world, but an insensitive monster.
Beyond the failed foreign policy of an inept global leader, we recoil at the shell of a horror so obsessed with a personal gain that it eclipses basic empathy.
To be clear, Trump wants a good relationship with this filth.