SPARE A THOUGHT FOR LONDON: A phone call woke me early and told me about the terrorist attacks in London. This is my second home and I have good friends there, who I haven't heard from yet. The moment I turned on the television, I instantly recognized Edgware Road and the hotel I stayed in on my very first visit. That whole area where the attacks happened...Kings Cross, Aldgate, Russell Square...I know them all well. I've travelled that part of the Circle Line more times than I can count. Somehow it makes it worse knowing these areas so well. I can only imagine the hell on the tube. My sympathies and prayers go to everyone in London.

UPDATE: Just heard from my friend Carrie and her husband Roger. She works at Tavistock Square where the bus exploded and can see it from her office window. Had she not overslept, she might have been on that bus. There was about an hour where Roger didn't know where she was. She said it's raining steadily and things have calmed a bit, but the city is basically shut down.

Al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the "blessed" attack on London via some website. I hope this will refocus the fight no terrorism away from Iraq and back to the search for Osama bin Laden and the cells that are obviously working secretly in cities around the world. Neither America or Britain can fully fight the threat of Al-Qaeda, which is obviously alive and well despite what Dubya might say, while we can't get out of Iraq. All the resources should be focused on finding the terrorists who have money, are well networked and can plan these kinds of barbaric attacks on innocents.

UPDATE 2: Thirty-three confirmed dead in the London terrorist attacks at this update at just past noon. Carrie is considering spending the night at her office, since the entire Underground is closed. Zone 1 bus service is starting up again, but is spotty and running way behind schedule.

This coordinated attack of four bombs must have been well thought out. The stations hit are massive and busy, with many connections. King's Cross is a main hub, not only the tube, but mainline trains. The bus that was blown up in Bloomsbury is a very busy tourist and student area, with the British Museum just a few blocks south.

While Blair's speech was emotional and supportive, Mayor Ken Livingstone, still in Singapore after London's triumph of winning the 2012 Olympics yesterday, said this:

"This was not an attack against the mighty and powerful. It was not aimed against presidents or prime ministers. It was aimed at ordinary working class people...Black and white, Muslim and Christian, Hindus and Jews, young and old. It was an indiscriminate attempt to slaughter irrespective of any considerations for age, class, religion. London will not be divided by this.

I wish to speak through you directly, to those who came to London to claim lives, 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."

UPDATE 3: Death toll stands at 38 as the investigation begins into who is repsonsible. Blair says its al-Qaeda, and it probably is. Has all the hallmarks, esp. echoing the bombings in Spain. London is keeping its stiff upper lip. This is my favorite reaction (From the London News Review)

"What the fuck do you think you're doing? This is London. We've dealt with your sort before. You don't try and pull this on us.Do you have any idea how many times our city has been attacked? Whatever you're trying to do, it's not going to work.All you've done is end some of our lives, and ruin some more. How is that going to help you? You don't get rewarded for this kind of crap.And if, as your MO indicates, you're an al-Qaeda group, then you're out of your tiny minds.Because if this is a message to Tony Blair, we've got news for you. We don't much like our government ourselves, or what they do in our name. But, listen very clearly. We'll deal with that ourselves. We're London, and we've got our own way of doing things, and it doesn't involve tossing bombs around where innocent people are going about their lives.And that's because we're better than you. Everyone is better than you. Our city works. We rather like it. And we're going to go about our lives. We're going to take care of the lives you ruined. And then we're going to work. And we're going down the pub.So you can pack up your bombs, put them in your arseholes, and get the fuck out of our city." - London News Review.

My sentiments exactly.


Anonymous said…
Love that quote at the end. I finally had to turn the TV off. Couldn't stand to watch it anymore. Glad your friends are ok.

Teamaster said…
Needless to say, this is horrible. The illusion of randomness and the haunting of the unknown or unseen work to change people: make them less confident, make them more malleable to demands or crackdowns, make them susceptible to distrusting their own effectiveness and worth (since everyone seems just another potential piece of torn meat).

If London's Big Brotherly surveillance couldn't detect suspicious activity prior to these coordinated blasts, then the problem is more verminous than ever. Whether part of a large ring or small groups or copy-cats or even political saboteurs, peace of mind and liberty always suffer or fall as a result.

The quote you pasted is a cool bit of hopeful toughness, but I fret for our general regard for liberty, sound laws, and resistance to hysteria and government consolidation of more power as well as to murderous swine.

Someone on TV suggested expanding the Patriot Act, for instance. I often wonder: "Who really benefits each time these horrors happen?"

I shiver to think...

May a protective spirit provide Londoners with rest and healing - and maybe a new or renewed idea about humanity's/life's ultimate worth.

Lisa Allender said…
Yes, Collin, our thoughts & prayers are with London, & You, too!

Teamaster makes a very valid point--we certainly do NOT need the so-called "Patriot Act" expanded.
Our liberties are being eroded every DAY, & if we allow ourselves to become overl-y paranoid, even if the terrorists don't manage to put all of us to death, they will have managed to kill the most important part of who we are:
that part that lets us trust, experience & know freedom.
Collin said…
I also don't believe in extending the Patriot Act either. Obviously, America and Britain's attempts to prevent terrorist attacks are not working. You can't prevent people from getting on public transport with bombs in their bags. Putting up metal detectors at subways and buses just isn't possible. I just don't know what the answers are. Getting out of Iraq is a step, but that won't stop Al-Qaeda and its wannabes.
Barbara said…
I always say, I'd rather live like an American and take my chances.

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