a VirtualTourist member from Minneapolis
What are the internal security authorities doing about attacks like the train to Burgas. I was feeling pretty bum about that because I did a tour guided by a nice guy who lived in Burgas and always told my wife we should go there. Now I'm thinking "drive ourselves there?" I sure hope the government can root out the cells that plan bombings. Most tourists do not wish to gamble on being a target.
Are you thinking about the bombing on the bus a while ago, or the bomb threat on the Varna-Sofia train? I don't know of a bombing on a train recently in Bulgaria...and the bomb threat was pretty weird - "In the name of Al Jazeera, there is bomb on this train; it will explode and all will die in its name." Uh, "Al Jazeera" is the name of the news network based in Qatar...this makes it sound like the note was written by someone who wasn't even a Muslim. (novinite.com/view_news.php?i...">novinite.com/view_news.php?i...)
The upside (for you, anyway) is that the Bulgarian authorities are almost certainly not only getting assistance from EU authorities (Bulgaria is an EU member) but also from Israeli authorities, given that the bus attack appeared to be aimed at Jewish tourists. And since it is believed that the attack was at the instigation of Iran, this means that the US and the entire Sunni Arab world are also probably helping the Bulgarians.
This is not to say, of course, that these things won't happen again, but there are a lot of people who are motivated to prevent another one...
Besides, for all I know, the number of casualties on Bulgarian roads may be a lot higher than casualties from terror attacks. Not to be flippant, but it's like flying - you're more likely to die driving to the airport than flying on the plane...
A news quote: "Bulgaria has turned over to Europol the names of the two Hezbollah-linked suspects in the bombing of an Israeli tour bus in Burgas. The suspects' names have not been made public, however, and the identity of the bomber, who died in the blast, has not been firmly established.";
That one. My tour was on a bus. Of course, it wasn't Israeli, so maybe that's important. But to me the very idea that suicide bombers are in Bulgaria is alarming.
Again, not to be flippant, but suicide bombers can be anywhere. Will you never visit New York again because of 9/11? Madrid because of 11-M? London because of 7/7? I lived in Italy in the 70s, when terrorists on both sides were bombing and killing - with the worst being the murder of former Prime Minister Aldo Moro in 1978 and the destruction of the Bolgna train station in 1980 which killed 85. But it would never occur to me not to go back to Italy because of that.
I don't have any personal experience with the Bulgarian police forces, but I have to believe that they have no more desire to see foreign-directed terrorists bring their misdeeds to Bulgaria than the police in any other country.
Indeed, it seems to me that in Western countries, the terrorists don't tend to aim for the same place twice, because of the intense police pressure. Not to go someplace because something bad happened there once...well, it seems to me that at that rate, you'll never leave your house...that's no way to live...
Very good said Bill!
Truthfully, I never had ambitions to go to NY before the attack. Neither less nor more motivated now. The places I am motivated to go have been pretty far from this sort of action. My wife and I are drawn to the Black Sea coast. But after I caught a virus in Bulgaria and was sick for the last half of my trip, I'm not sure I want to go back. Probably never could happen again, but when I inquired about the likelihood beforehand, people had been CONVINCED it wouldn't happen. When the Bulgarian doctor came to see me in my hotel room, he just shrugged as if to say "Summer flu? Big deal, everybody gets it". Which cast a suspicious light on the "experienced" voices who scoffed at the possibility. But after Boston, I think we're in a low-intensity world war. And people are making a huge fuss about having to give up freedoms to fight the war. So it is a certainty bombs will continue to go off, but who knows where next?
Yep, "but who knows where next?" My point isn't that it can't happen again - indeed, it will somewhere so long as people are full of irrational hatreds and have access to the technology - but the question is whether or not you are at an undue risk by traveling to places where terrorism has happened before. Frankly, you are more likely to get bed-bugs by traveling than suffer from terrorism.
But I want you to consider another effect of your traveling...by going to places like Bulgaria, you are showing a solidarity with the people of Bulgaria that you won't let terrorism cause you to abandon them. Developing countries often rely a great deal on tourism for income - thus, a showing by foreign tourists that they will come anyway enables the country to stabilize it economy. No, I don't want you to be a guinea pig on the front lines, but since the front lines are everywhere now, why not show our allies in the war on terror that they really are allies?
I don't mean this as a political statement, but merely as a statement that people need to support each other in trying times...