This is not an analytical “perspectives” type post. Just a number of bitty threads that seem in one way or another worth noting (small pieces loosely joined). They could basically be grouped together under the following headings: photos, suicides, explosives and origins.

Maybe I should also point out the obvious: that living in Spain while coming from the UK gives me a rather unusual perspective on what is happening. I lived the days surrounding the Madrid bombings intensely, now I am doing the same with London (where I had my home for many years). In some ways I can’t help but see this in terms of similarities and differences.

The big difference is of course in the government reaction, and the way that this is transmitted to a wider public. The British official reaction is one of ‘containment’ in every sense of the word. I think this is a good approach, since I think that excessive shock and panic only serves the purposes of the terrorists. The overall sensation was that London was as prepared for this as it could have been, and that many of those working in the crisis management and emergency services areas were following through on already well rehearsed roles.

Things in Spain couldn’t have been more different.
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If You’re Surprised By This You Shouldn’t Be

Really, much as I would like to see a marked and rapid improvement in the democratic climate in Iraq, forgive me if I can’t help considering most of the discussion about the possibilitiesof this occuring in the near future a bit like a contemporary revamp of ‘innocents abroad’. At the end of the day all these endless ‘corruption indexes’ that you see published from time to time in the press do actually mean something. Having lived in a society that was relatively less corrupt (the UK) and one that is relatively more (Spain), I do get to note some important differences. One of these relates to the social standing of politicians.
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