I have been to Brussels, the capital of the small European country of Belgium three times. It is my 14th favourite city out of the 185 cities I have visited across the globe with a population of 100,000+ I have flown out of Zaventem the city’s airport. I have ridden the Brussels metro, enjoyed Belgian food, drink, art and culture. And I am a massive Tintin fan.
On Tuesday, at 8am two coordinated bombings at that airport and one at Maelbeek Metro (subway) station at 911am killed 34 people (including the bombers). One airport bomb reportedly exploded near the American Airlines check-in desks, and the other next to a Starbucks. Another bomb was found during a search of the airport.
Brussels airport is now closed until Friday Starbucks closed all 15 of its coffee outlets in Belgium and the country has been officially placed under a three-day mourning period.
What do these bombings achieve? The thing they are designed to do. Create fear, loathing and suspicion. Do they create a better world? No. A real army fights soldier to soldier on a battlefield -not by sending brainwashed disaffected people to blow up women and kids on metro trains.
The world needs to find a way to respond to this barbarism. I am not convinced that our current responses are what is needed. It feels like we keep going in the same cycles. We need to find a way to re -set what is going on – and I am not sure it is not bombs.
For those in Brussels, we grieve with you and for those who died Rest In Peace.