On a more global scale, the oxymoronic war on terror has created a perpetuation of terror. It has continued the globalization of terror. In this world of integrated, instantaneous media platforms facilitating the circulation of communications at ferocious speeds, there are too many conflicts and conflictual events to keep up with, regardless of the selective nature of dominant media coverage. It is all too easy to label perpetrators of violent acts as 'evil' and 'mindless', and equally easy to 'other' those who attack 'us' and 'our values'. As microcosmic examples such as Northern Ireland show, perpetrators can often be victims in a range of ways. It is the reasons behind perpetration that we must scrutinize; how individuals decide that, say, becoming a suicide bomber is an effective form of protest or way of making the world pay attention to a cause. Perhaps rather than ignoring the cause, we could pay attention and try to compromise through dialogue.
The 'attack-as-defence' language of retaliation and the solidification of borders which tends to emerge in response to large-scale attacks (e.g. on Western cultural and commercial centres, as seen in Paris last Friday) only exacerbates the issue. What the rest of us can do is remain critical of every image we encounter, and of every 'fact' we are told. We must remember to earnestly question why, and not assume to know. Violence never stops. Let's never stop questioning violence, including our own.