The lighthearted tone I was trying to adopt here has fallen marvelously flat in light of recent events.
Last night, in Berlin, someone drove a truck at speed through a Christmas market, killing 12 and injuring 48. This is horribly reminiscent of the attack in France on Bastille Day, and I think it’s most likely that the culprit in this case was inspired by that horrible act of violence. My best friend was there at the time, and I was so glad to hear she was OK, while at the same time I am devastated for those who were killed.
At the moment, an investigation needs to take place to see if this was a planned terrorist attack, a crazy person taking it upon himself to do something horrific in the name of Isis, or someone with a different political motivation or purpose. This time, the culprit seems to have been apprehended alive, so we will probably find out in the next few days.
Given that the Russian ambassador to Turkey was also murdered in retaliation for Russian’s involvement in Syria on the same night, we can say that the escalation is here. It’s arrived. And I have no idea how we’re going to fix it. I can honestly say that I cannot imagine where, when and how this is going to end.
Edited to add: Same day, in Zurich, someone burst into an Islamic Center for worship and shot three people. Monday 20th of December 2016 found itself to be a focal point of deranged killers in Europe. As I said, the escalation is here. Please, enough.