The Leopold Cafe reopened four days after several customers were killed during the November 2008 urban swarm attack on Mumbai.
The Lindt Cafe in Sydney will, I expect, also reopen. Prior cases suggest a community’s sense of defiance is good for business.
Kabul’s La Taverna du Liban has not reopened after twenty-one were killed there last January. Among those killed was the owner.
The Sandy Hill Elementary School has been demolished, so has the Beslan school. It is too soon to anticipate what may be done with the Army Public School and College in Peshawar.
On the same day as the Peshawar attack fifteen Yemeni children were killed when their school bus happened to intersect a car bombing.
Does anyone else remember the bombing of the My Canh Cafe floating on the Sông Sài Gòn? How about the 1984 purposeful use of food poisoning in The Dalles, Oregon? Last month a kosher restaurant in Paris was fire-bombed while patrons were eating. Just a small fire-bomb. No one was killed. C’est la vie?
Hotels and restaurants. Buses, trains, planes, and subways. Markets, mosques (other places of worship), movie theaters, and schools. Even hospitals. These are notoriously difficult to secure. To impede entry and egress complicates the fundamental purpose of such places.
I am surprised it has not happened here more often. It will almost certainly happen in the relatively near future.
Some trace the origins of modern terrorism to the 1894 bombing of the Terminus Cafe in Paris. The target, according to the self-confessed anarchist, was bourgeois society.
The motivations of those involved in such attacks are often obscure. It is typically not a tactic in our usual use of the word. The purpose is something other than competitive advantage. There is often an odor of delusions of grandeur.
In many cases the motivation may be usefully compared to a frantic outburst designed to attract attention to individuals or an organization, thereby externally validating their power and countering their own self-doubt.
While it is difficult and always context-specific, I hope when it happens here we can respond — and not respond — in ways that refuse to provide the reinforcement sought.