The chilling pictures from Madrid tell us one stark and terrible truth.
President Bush's War against Terror in Iraq has become an Age of Terror - where the innocent Madrid or London train commuter is just as much at risk as the battlefield soldier.
It is one year since the war in Iraq began. A war that the American President and Prime Minister Tony Blair told us was necessary to make the world a safer place.
A war that cost billions and not a few allied and Iraqi civilian lives.
Saddam may now be in an American prison camp. But when you look at the carnage on the rail tracks in Madrid the world looks a long way from being safer with the former dictator behind bars.
Far from winning a war on terror, we are terrifyingly losing it.
Every Western city, every railway line, every crowded place is now a potential target for a new breed of psychopathic terrorists who make the IRA look like choirboys.
We can no longer feel safe on the journey to work or walking our own streets.
Whether the Madrid train bombings were carried out by ETA or by al-Qaeda, the aim was the same: the brutal mass slaughter of civilians.
A new kind of terror has arrived in Europe.
What is the political purpose in such slaughter?
How could the Basque separatist group expect to win converts for its goal of an independent homeland by such human carnage?
The true answer is: there is no purpose. This was killing for killing's sake.
And that is the most frightening thing of all.
When the IRA bombed London you were sort of sure that some kind of warning would be given. The IRA made "mistakes" and murdered the innocent, but their game plan was never to kill large numbers of civilians.
In the convoluted rules of the Troubles, lots of dead bodies on the streets of England was bad for business at home.
Support for the IRA's cause dropped off, doors were closed and faces turned away from the bombers.
The Real IRA's Omagh bomb in August 1998 killed 29 people, but it also destroyed the evil organization that had planted it.
The Irish were sickened by the killers in their midst and support for the Real IRA killers evaporated into thin air.
BUT these new terrorist armies, be they ETA or al-Qaeda, that hide in our cities do not have a shred of conscience.
Men, women, commuters, tourists are just animals to be slaughtered.
The Spanish government is still insisting that the bombing was ETA's work, even though the nature of the attacks, the number of bombs and their co-ordination bear many of the hallmarks of al-Qaeda.
To the dead and their grieving relatives it hardly matters.
This new face of global terror can strike anywhere. On a plane, a train or in a tourist resort.
Even if it was ETA, it is an ETA that has adopted the nihilistic mindset of al-Qaeda.
It is an ETA that has become a mindless offshoot of terror. An ETA that could as easily blow up a tourist hotel or plant bombs on a crowded Spanish beach full of British holiday makers.
The old ETA, like the IRA, had a goal, a political party. They wanted their own Basque homeland and they planted bombs to try to achieve it.
They may have been terrorists, but they were also rational men. They could be reasoned with.
They even declared a ceasefire in 1998, again like the IRA, to try to achieve that aim by democratic means. That ceasefire failed and the war began again.
But the madmen behind the latest Madrid bombings cannot be reasoned with. They can only be hunted down and killed.
If the bombings were the work of al-Qaeda, we have been given a chilling warning. It is only a matter of time before these fanatics try a repeat performance somewhere in the United Kingdom.
MR Blair's hubris in taking a reluctant British nation to war may yet have a terrible price tag attached.
He and President Bush told us we had to go to war in Afghanistan and Iraq to destroy Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaeda network.
But the Bush-Blair war on terror has merely spread the whirlwind across the globe - from Bali, to Africa and now back to the European mainland.
The war in Iraq has turned into a quagmire.
Instead of crushing terror, the American and British armies have acted as recruiting sergeants for every inflamed Islamic militant willing to lay down their life by suicide bombings just as long as they can kill a few Westerners as well.
The jihad President Bush said he was stopping has begun in earnest.
Bin Laden's poisonous doctrines of hate are spewing their way across the globe through satellite television every day and every hour, just as the suicide bomb attacks in Iraq destroy any hope of an end to the US occupation.
As we have learnt in Bali, and maybe now in Madrid, the seeds of this hatred sprout almost by themselves.
Bin Laden does not need to direct his followers, only inspire them. They emulate his message or his tactics, bringing death and destruction to the innocent.
What we are seeing in the blasted and burned bodies on the blown-up commuter trains in Madrid is a world where human life has no value at all.
And where hundreds can die at the whim of few hardened terrorist leaders. A world where madness and evil have become a part of daily life.