Thursday, July 07, 2005
Terror in London
London was hit this morning by a coordinated bombing attack, hitting London Underground stations and a double-decker bus. According to Sky News reports (summarized by Smash, among many others), at least 45 people are dead and over 1000 wounded.
Today is a day for flying the Union Jack... and reminding our British cousins that we stand with them.
In this, I speak both as an American and as an Israeli. (Both Israel and the United States began as territories of the British Empire, after all.) Both countries have been hit by terror, albeit in very different fashions... and both countries stand ready to help.
But it's not clear if the British need help. No doubt Tony Blair's government will take swift steps to deal with this; in the meantime, though, Londoners seem to be handling themselves just fine, with traditional British aplomb and dignity.
My hat's off to them. They are made of far stronger stuff than the terrorists realize. As London Mayor Ken Livingstone said:
nothing you do, how many of us you kill, will stop that flight to our cities, where freedom is strong and where people can live in harmony with one another... Whatever you do, how many you kill, you will fail.The terrorists have no idea, no idea at all, what they have unleashed. As Winston Churchill is reputed to have said, in response to a similar outrage: "What sort of people do they take us for?"
I suspect that British involvement in the War on Terror has just reached a new phase. Stay tuned.
In the meantime -- pray for England.
UPDATE: Commenter RonF on Smash's site sums it up far better than I did:
The choice is not one of being terrorized or not. The choice is whether you go down fighting or not. Either Western civilization subdues these people, or it submits to them. Those are our choices.
UPDATE II: Via Kim du Toit, the following sublime expression of an Englishman:
Bombs all over London, very little movement other than the sound of the emergency services rushing to the 7 confirmed blast sites.
And you wonder why we fight?
We fought you in the fields of Flanders
We fought you through the fields of France and in the fields and streets of Northern Ireland.
We will fight you on the streets of Basra and if you decide to come to London, we will fight you there.
All of Hitlers bombers and V weapons couldn't daunt us, neither will you.
Ironic that when the G8 leaders are trying to do something about some of the worlds problems, the barbarians are hammering at the gate. Well, open the gate says I and bring it on...we have seen this all before. We have defeated this all before.
Now if you will excuse me, I am going to try and get home to my family.
UPDATE III: Via Dean Esmay, this lovely graphic. (T-shirts etc. are available!)