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Friday, July 08, 2005

"London can take it."

Brave words, and their context in history is well expressed here and here. Excerpts:

LONDON can take it. That's what they said - our parents and our grandparents - when the murderous bullies of another age were attempting to bomb them into submission.
When the maimed and the dead were being pulled from the rubble, and the survivors were meant to curl up and surrender.
London can take it.


Mr Blair was told of the carnage at Gleneagles at about 9.0am. Before flying to London by helicopter to attend a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee, he said on behalf of G8 leaders: "We condemn utterly these barbaric attacks. We will not allow violence to change our societies or stop this summit."
Singapore, where on Wednesday London won the bid to host the 2012 Olympics, London Mayor Ken Livingstone told the bombers: "However many you kill, you will fail."


Like everybody else, I admire the way Londoners have handled these attacks. As Andrew Sullivan said, stoicism is not an American virtue, but it IS an English virtue. The English are saying the right things. What I don't like is what is NOT being said.

"We condemn utterly these barbaric attacks. We will not allow violence to change our societies or stop this summit."

Mr. Blair, they aren't trying to change your society or stop the G8 summit. Changing your society was not the goal of these attacks. Al Qaeda had such grand ambitions before you helped the US turn Afghanistan and Iraq into democracies. They had such ambitions before Egypt, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia started killing and jailing Al Qaeda members rather than tolerating them or covertly encouraging them- before the Cedar Revolution hotties and the Purple fingers.

Now Al Qaeda just wants some space to breathe. They fear their ideology of hate cannot compete against the alternative you have presented in Iraq. They are right.

Their goal now is to get Britain out of Iraq. Their goal now is to get you to abandon Mr. Bush.

911 was the terrorists attempt to change your society. That attempt failed because you and Mr. Bush MADE it fail. Make this attempt fail as well, Mr. Blair. The surest way to prevent another attack in London is to send MORE troops to Iraq.

UPDATE- Cernig, in the post below this one, (click here if you are not on the UPC site) writes:

We must not be bullied into stifling debate. We must be free, still, to discuss whether involvement in Iraq is being conducted properly, whether the wider war in terror is being wages competently, whether sacrifices of personal freedom for the sake of that war are worthwhile. We cannot let the terrorists railroad us into the worst form of cowardice - giving up that which makes us free. For that would be the ultimate defeat. It would play into their hands by making the schisms in our modern, pluralistic world even wider and more exploitable.

I agree, and I’m tempted to modify my post- to edit out the last sentence. I’ll leave it, but with Cernig’s point noted.


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