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PeteHall
July 7th, 2005, 02:40 PM
Just calling in...

4 bombs (down from initial reports of 7) in central London, 37 confirmed dead so far (up from 33), tube, rail and bus networks at a standstill.

The 5 main TV channels are virtually wall-to-wall rolling news... except for breaks for essentials like soap operas, championship golf and property improvement programmes!

I'm virtually unaffected despite being just a couple of miles from the nearest bomb (the bus)... family are all OK, but I don't drive and the lack of transport means I can't travel too far... and I've only got half a kitchen because the kitchen fitter went home early (the new kitchen meant that I was at home and I'm not trapped trying to figure out how to get home from work)


http://www.bbc.co.uk/london/content/articles/2005/07/07/vanessa_poem_feature.shtml

Lindsey
July 7th, 2005, 03:43 PM
Just calling in...
It's a relief to hear from you! I had thought about you this morning when I heard the terrible news, and had worried how you might be affected. Lucky for you that you happened to have to stay at home today--I'm sure there are a lot of people who are really stuck with no public transportation running.

So much of what I have heard on the news today reminds me of the aftermath of 9/11 in New York, and it sounds as if Londoners have faced it with the same pluck that New Yorkers showed that day. Our hearts are with all of you.

--Lindsey

Judy G. Russell
July 7th, 2005, 08:09 PM
Good to hear from you, Pete. This is all so very horrible... our hearts and thoughts are with everyone there tonight.

chm
July 7th, 2005, 08:54 PM
Appreciate the on-the-scene report.

My thoughts are with you English today...

I got scared about my Brit buddy and E-Mailed him, then realized he's nearly 100 miles from London anyway. OTOH, while he's okay, he's concerned about the people in the London branch of his office.

Damn Al-Qaeda.

The news says it's 'cause of the G8 meeting and that this is the worst attack on London since WWII.

Lindsey
July 7th, 2005, 09:53 PM
The news says it's 'cause of the G8 meeting
That may have been the pretext, but I think that's all it was: a pretext. The authorities have been warning for a long time now that an Al-Qaeda attack in London was "inevitable". So if it hadn't been G8, it would have been something else.

It's funny, my first thought was that it was the decision to award London the 2012 Summer Olympics that inspired the attack. And when I heard Blair say that it was clearly aimed at the G8 summit, I thought at first that they were trying to finger the anti-globalization protesters. "Shades of Madrid," I thought. Multiple coordinated attacks at rush hour--that's almost certainly Al-Qaeda. But now I think they weren't trying to misdirect anyone, they were just being cautious about assigning blame.

It's been a very sobering day.

--Lindsey

PeteHall
July 8th, 2005, 08:56 AM
Damn Al-Qaeda. The news says it's 'cause of the G8 meeting and that this is the worst attack on London since WWII.

Currently all supposition. A group has claimed responsibility, but security services haven't heard of them before

The IRA (and other factions) possibly killed more over their 25 year reign of terror, but they didn't go in for this kind of 'simultaneous' bombing and generally gave some kind of warning, although their warnings were notoriously inaccurate (possibly in an attempt to get people in the wrong place, as they did in Warrington... people were actually evacuated towards the bomb)


http://www.google.co.uk/ is wearing a black ribbon

Lindsey
July 8th, 2005, 11:18 AM
A statement from Ken Livingstone, mayor of London:

ďThis was a cowardly attack, which has resulted in injury and loss of life. Our thoughts are with everyone who has been injured, or lost loved ones. I want to thank the emergency services for the way they have responded.

"Following the al-Qaeda attacks on September 11 in America we conducted a series of exercises in London in order to be prepared for just such an attack. One of the exercises undertaken by the government, my office and the emergency and security services was based on the possibility of multiple explosions on the transport system during the Friday rush hour. The plan that came out of that exercise is being executed today, with remarkable efficiency and courage, and I praise those staff who are involved.

"Iíd like to thank Londoners for the calm way in which they have responded to this cowardly attack and echo the advice of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair - do everything possible to assist the police and take the advice of the police about getting home today.

"I have no doubt whatsoever that this is a terrorist attack. We did hope in the first few minutes after hearing about the events on the Underground that it might simply be a maintenance tragedy. That was not the case. I have been able to stay in touch through the very excellent communications that were established for the eventuality that I might be out of the city at the time of a terrorist attack and they have worked with remarkable effectiveness. I will be in continual contact until I am back in London.

"I want to say one thing specifically to the world today. This was not a terrorist attack against the mighty and the powerful. It was not aimed at Presidents or Prime Ministers. It was aimed at ordinary, working-class Londoners, black and white, Muslim and Christian, Hindu and Jew, young and old. It was an indiscriminate attempt to slaughter, irrespective of any considerations for age, for class, for religion, or whatever.

"That isnít an ideology, it isnít even a perverted faith - it is just an indiscriminate attempt at mass murder and we know what the objective is. They seek to divide Londoners. They seek to turn Londoners against each other. I said yesterday to the International Olympic Committee, that the city of London is the greatest in the world, because everybody lives side by side in harmony. Londoners will not be divided by this cowardly attack. They will stand together in solidarity alongside those who have been injured and those who have been bereaved and that is why Iím proud to be the mayor of that city.

"Finally, I wish to speak directly to those who came to London today to take life.

"I know that you personally do not fear giving up your own life in order to take others - that is why you are so dangerous. But I know you fear that you may fail in your long-term objective to destroy our free society and I can show you why you will fail.

"In the days that follow look at our airports, look at our sea ports and look at our railway stations and, even after your cowardly attack, you will see that people from the rest of Britain, people from around the world will arrive in London to become Londoners and to fulfil their dreams and achieve their potential.

"They choose to come to London, as so many have come before because they come to be free, they come to live the life they choose, they come to be able to be themselves. They flee you because you tell them how they should live. They donít want that and nothing you do, however many of us you kill, will stop that flight to our city where freedom is strong and where people can live in harmony with one another. Whatever you do, however many you kill, you will fail.Ē

Nick Parkin
July 8th, 2005, 01:50 PM
Thanks for the quote Lindsey. I was born in London, & still live & work there (part time), within earshot of Big Ben. I heard Ken say the extract below. I had to smile knowing "Red" Ken's politics to see him up there at the forefront of the battle against subversion. He would have Margaret Thatcher turning in her grave if she were dead. That of course is the irony of Al Qaeda, their actions unite ordinary people against their objectives .....

but then again that lesson passed Bush by totally too.


"I want to say one thing specifically to the world today. This was not a terrorist attack against the mighty and the powerful. It was not aimed at Presidents or Prime Ministers. It was aimed at ordinary, working-class Londoners, black and white, Muslim and Christian, Hindu and Jew, young and old. It was an indiscriminate attempt to slaughter, irrespective of any considerations for age, for class, for religion, or whatever.

"That isnít an ideology, it isnít even a perverted faith - it is just an indiscriminate attempt at mass murder and we know what the objective is. They seek to divide Londoners. They seek to turn Londoners against each other. I said yesterday to the International Olympic Committee, that the city of London is the greatest in the world, because everybody lives side by side in harmony. Londoners will not be divided by this cowardly attack. They will stand together in solidarity alongside those who have been injured and those who have been bereaved and that is why Iím proud to be the mayor of that city.

chm
July 8th, 2005, 02:21 PM
The authorities have been warning for a long time now that an Al-Qaeda attack in London was "inevitable". So if it hadn't been G8, it would have been something else.

Good point. Reminds me of 9/11. There was no obvious reason for an attack on that particular day. Basically these Muslim extremists are after us "Crusader infidels."

England being a strong coalition member in the Iraq War probably didn't help.

BTW, good for Tony Blair yesterday, that while he tended to his country as he should, he tried not to let the bombings disrupt the day's G8 meeting any more than necessary.

Judy G. Russell
July 8th, 2005, 03:23 PM
By the wildest of coincidences, former NYC Mayor Rudi Guiliani was in London at the time of the bombings. He was quoted this morning as having said he wasn't at all surprised by the calm and resolute reaction of Londoners -- after all, he said, they are the children and grandchildren of those who fought and survived the Battle of Britain.

PeteHall
July 8th, 2005, 05:52 PM
By the wildest of coincidences, former NYC Mayor Rudi Guiliani was in London at the time of the bombings.

And he said he was at the bottom of the North Tower on 9/11... too much of a coincidence?


"...When I entered my office to-day, after bombs had fallen two blocks away, and was asked by my English secretary if I'd care for a cup of tea, that didn't come as much suprise. ... To-day I went to buy a hat - my favourite shop had gone, blown to bits. The windows of my shoe store were blown out. I decided to have a haircut: the windows of the barber's shop had gone, but the Italian barber was still doing business. Some day, he said, we smile again, but the food it doesn't taste so good since being bombed. I went to another shop to buy torch batteries. I bought three. The assistant said: 'You needn't buy so many. We'll have enough for the whole winter.' But I said: 'What if you aren't here?' There were buildings down in that street, and he replied: 'Of course we'll be here. We've been in business for a hundred and fifty years.'"
- Edward R Murrow, "This is London", broadcast Sept 13 1940

Judy G. Russell
July 8th, 2005, 08:48 PM
And he said he was at the bottom of the North Tower on 9/11... too much of a coincidence?Well there are a lot of people who really might target Guiliani...

"...he replied: 'Of course we'll be here. We've been in business for a hundred and fifty years.'"What a truly wonderful attitude...

Dick K
July 8th, 2005, 10:27 PM
By the wildest of coincidences, former NYC Mayor Rudi Guiliani was in London at the time of the bombings.
Also present in London at the time of the bombings was Benjamin Netanyahu. After the first explosion, his entourage was contacted by the authorities with a suggestion that Netanyahu remain in his hotel until more was known about what was happening.

The crackpot conspiracy theorists are now claiming that the warning to stay put was given to Netanyahu before the first explosion, thereby "proving" that the Israelis had advance knowledge of (or actually directed) the attacks.

Sheesh. Remember the whisper campaign alleging that Israelis and other Jews had been told to stay away from the WTC on 9/11/01?

Judy G. Russell
July 8th, 2005, 10:52 PM
Sheesh. Remember the whisper campaign alleging that Israelis and other Jews had been told to stay away from the WTC on 9/11/01?
Only too well... sigh... people never learn, do they?

Lindsey
July 8th, 2005, 10:53 PM
I had to smile knowing "Red" Ken's politics to see him up there at the forefront of the battle against subversion.
On a day like this one--9/11, 3/11, 7/7--there are no politics.

--Lindsey

Nick Parkin
July 9th, 2005, 03:09 AM
On a day like this one--9/11, 3/11, 7/7--there are no politics.

Sadly for some people this is politics. They feel that they have no other voice.

Indeed in the 1970s, 80s, & 90s the US felt the same over a number of groups such as the IRA and most ironically of all Al Qaeda.

As a teenager I lived through the IRA letter box bombing campaign of the 1970s, I remember my mother going to post a letter, she was right by the box when the Tight St. bomb went off, but fortunately - a different Letterbox. Nevertheless to me at home it sounded like our Letterbox.

My point is that this is nothing new to us, it seems new to you because until 2001 you didn't have terrorists, only freedom fighters. Indeed I would expect Al Qaeda to be much easier to deal with than the IRA. It was easy for the IRA to hide amongst thousands of people from the same community, ethnic group, religion, language, who lived & worked in London/England/Britain. They had powerful financial & political support from the US. Al Qaeda will be much easier to identify & isolate.

Having said that AQ will be easier to deal with, I think the lesson Governments have to learn from experiences so far (Ireland, Caucuses, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Basque, Zimbabwe ...... ) is that terrorists are never defeated without some form of accommodation.

Judy G. Russell
July 9th, 2005, 07:01 AM
Al Qaeda will be much easier to identify & isolate.
I have very serious doubts about this, given our pluralistic society.

Nick Parkin
July 9th, 2005, 09:51 AM
I understand you, & you may even be right, but what led me to write that was that London had large numbers of Irish fleeing Northern Ireland's troubles, or just excercising their right to come & live here because they wanted to. It was fairly easy for IRA members to come here to commit terrorism, because they looked, felt, smelled, & acted like all the innocent Irish coming to London. Yes there are large numbers of Muslims in London, but I would suggest they are nearly all 2nd generation UK citizens, and 1000 times more likely to be victims than terrorists. Any terrorists flying in from an Al Qaeda camp are going to stand out like a sore thumb.

That was my theory, I hope I am right.

I have very serious doubts about this, given our pluralistic society.

Judy G. Russell
July 9th, 2005, 10:50 AM
I hope you're right, too, Nick. But there have always been "sleepers" ... and time is not on our side on this sort of thing.

Dick K
July 9th, 2005, 02:20 PM
Having said that AQ will be easier to deal with, I think the lesson Governments have to learn from experiences so far (Ireland, Caucuses, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Basque, Zimbabwe ...... ) is that terrorists are never defeated without some form of accommodation.
No; I cannot buy that. The defeat of the communist uprising in Malaya demonstrated that accomodation was not necesary, and I am not quite sure why you include Afghanistan in the list of places where "some form of accommodation" was necessary to defeat terrorism. (By the way, I, too, was living in London during the IRA bombing campaign of 1975, and I remember it well.)

I rarely find much I can agree with in "Slate," but this piece (http://www.slate.com/id/2122246/) by William Saletan on the London bombings is definitely worth reading. I was particularly struck by his closing paragraph:

Bin Laden's whole game plan is to turn the people of the democratic world against their governments. He thinks democracies are weak because their people, who are more easily frightened than their governments, can bring those governments down. He doesn't understand that this flexibilityóand this trustóare why democracies will live, while he will die. Many of us didn't vote for Bush's government or Blair's. But we're loyal to them, in part because we were given a voice in choosing them. And if we don't like our governments, we can vote them out. We can't vote out terrorists. We can only kill them.

Judy G. Russell
July 9th, 2005, 06:17 PM
We can't vote out terrorists. We can only kill them.
Amen, brother. Amen. Nor can we reason or negotiate with them. There is no answer to terrorism except to stomp on it.

Lindsey
July 9th, 2005, 11:55 PM
There is no answer to terrorism except to stomp on it.
It does, however, pay to stomp in the right place.

--Lindsey

Nick Parkin
July 10th, 2005, 08:42 AM
I am not quite sure why you include Afghanistan in the list of places where "some form of accommodation" was necessary to defeat terrorism.

Well "Accommodation" is a bit of an understatement really, the Taliban thoroughly defeated the Government & it's Soviet support. We are yet to find out whether the new Governments of Afghanistan & Iraq will be able to survive without a foreign military occupation.