Thursday, July 07, 2005


There are so many things I want to say about the terrorist attacks in London, but most of it wouldn't be particularly insightful, and I'll leave the political commentaries to those more informed and intelligent than I. Not that I'll read much of it - I don't have any patience for rhetoric or grandstanding right now.

But watching a little bit of BBC News as I was getting ready for work today, I was impressed by how calm and composed the people were in the face of tragedy. At the same time, it didn't surprise me. I lived in London for 3 years during the height of IRA bombings in the UK but as far as I could tell, they never allowed fear to affect their everyday lives. I did not see any panic or rush to point fingers. The "stiff upper lip" might sound cliche, but the British people truly embody it during challenging times. Not at all shocking from a nation that survived the Battle of Britain.

As Mayor Ken Livingstone said addressing the culprits, "Nothing you do, however many of us you kill will stop that life. Where freedom is strong and people can live in harmony, whatever you do, however many you kill, you will fail." Come Monday, London will be back to being London again, and I hope that no one else allows fear or anger drive their actions, understandable as that may be. Patriotism does not require jingoism. Vengeance does not equal justice.

My sympathies go out to the victims and everyone else affected.

Update: David Plotz of Slate has been posting Dispatch From London - it's worth the read.

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