Defending the virtues of liberty, free markets, and civilization... plus some commentary on the passing scene.

Freedom's Fidelity

Thursday, July 07, 2005

London Bombings

The power of blogs is truly amazing. I get into work today about 7:30 am central. I see an email from our London office regarding the bombings there(!) Huh, what bombings?!? I quickly hit the Chicago Tribune's site where I saw a few articles. Then I realize, 'what the hell am I doing?' I bet Instapundit has a link-filled multiply updated post already, and I bet he has several links to eye-witness accounts as well as some analysis that goes beyond the fluff. True enough.

UPDATE: As usual, worthwhile thoughts from Wretchard:
These coordinated attacks are, technically speaking, at far higher level of sophistication than the Madrid attacks of 3/11 which involved a single train. The attack on London was a "time on target" attack which required simultaneity so that one incident did not compromise the subsequent. By implication the personnel involved received some degree of training and planned the operation in sufficient secrecy to prevent British security services from getting wind of it. The six attacks probably mean that a minimum of forty persons were involved, if those in support roles are included. The attackers must have an egress plan or access to safe houses where they can weather the inevitable crackdown.

Insular Britain, which fought a long terrorist war against the IRA is one of the hardest targets in the Western world. There is no reason, in principle, why similar attacks cannot happen on a larger or deadlier scale in some American or Australian city, less prepared than London -- or indeed anyplace in the world -- such as Thailand, India or the Philippines -- where they have happened already. As long as Islamic fundamentalist terror exists danger will exist. Liberals may believe that accommodation, appeasement or flattery can change this correspondence. But terrorism will remind the world as often as it needs reminding that there isn't room enough on the planet for Islamic terror and civilization.

Personally, I think this is a bad strategic decision by Al-Qaeda. Just as the Western World is beginning to get weary of war, and just after Britain announces (based on some contingencies and at least a year away) a troop withdrawal in Iraq, the terrorists send an awfully sobering reminder that they are still out there willing to slaughter innocent civilians.... anywhere in the world. Point taken.

Another thought I wonder if the British will thank the Spanish for cow-towing to the demands of mass transit suicide bombers and encouraging similar attacks elsewhere in Europe? If the Spanish responded with a big FU*K YOU instead of a big apology, would the bombing in London have happened today?

Another update: I certainly have no expectations that this will cause the British to appease as the Spanish did and the French do. Nice to get some confirmation from an LGF commenter:
Just a word. My sister was at Tavistock Square at the time of the explosions, and my daughter and nephew were also in central London. We had some anxious moments, the more so because the cell-phone system was down (probably due to overloading), but we've all spoken now by land-line and email and they're all safe and well.

For those of you who are anxious to know how the UK will react, we've been bombed for years by the IRA, and no-one spoke of quitting. Half of London and much of Coventry was flattened by the Luftwaffe a generation or two back, and no-one ran. Before that, in my grandparents' time, we were bombed by Zeppelins and didn't give in. We gave up appeasing after Czechoslovakia. There's no panic today, and there won't be, but we, all of us, are bloody angry. Al quaeda may think we're going to run up the white flag, but I promise you nobody else does.
The response out of London will be quite interesting.


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