Thursday, July 07, 2005


A Letter To The Terrorists, From London

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.
I've only been a tourist in London, but it owns a piece of my heart. The city has survived being burned, besieged, and blitzed over the centuries, and remains one of the world's treasures, home to people from all over the world. I hurt for the people who were wounded today, and the people who lost loved ones. I also know today's violence won't make a dent in the spirit of London. As the letter says: "Whatever you're trying to do, it's not going to work."
Amen to the concern for those injured and the families of those killed.

And agreed that this is highly unlikely to deter the British from pursuing the "war" on terror. Instead, it's likely to unify them and make people willing to support more violent countermeasures.

And it's a great big victory for bin Laden because his primary target is the western economies and especially the freedoms that make them possible. He can't in any way win militarily, but he can scare people into surrendering their most precious territory.
The thing is that the areas hit by the bombing are multicultural and heavily Muslim. Al-Qaeda committed an own goal by alienating a lot of the people whose support they most want. (And besides, since the main target is America's economy, I'd think that they'd want the UK to pull out so that the US could shoulder all the burden. But perhaps bin Laden thinks he can take down both nations.)

Reading what the letter writer wrote, and talking with other Brits, the general impression is that not much has changed. This doesn't make them any more likely to support the invasion of Iraq; it probably makes them, on the other hand, more willing to do what they've been planning to do for some time, which is to pull out of Iraq and go after bin Laden in Afghanistan.

Another thing is that most Brits have a perspective that was lacking in the US coverage of this event. At least two different Brits told me today that while this is horrible, the Iraqis have faced the equivalent of one of these incidents every single day for the past three years.
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