July 07, 2005

Bombings in London

Prime Minister Blair has broken off the G-8 summit after at least 150 are wounded following four bomb attacks set off in the London underground, an attack receiving wide ation from world leaders. There's no official count of the number killed, though reports have indicated that as many as 10 people may have died.

Al Qaida has claimed responsibility for the London bombings in a letter released on the internet, as well as for the execution of an Egyptian diplomat kidnapped a few days ago in Iraq.

Fighting those terrorists out in the great, wide abroad is just working out great.

Update: Wording above edited slightly for clarity. Also, FOX News anchor Brian Kilmeade is objectively in favor of the London attacks:

... I think that works to our advantage, in the Western world's advantage, for people to experience something like this together, just 500 miles from where the attacks have happened. ...

And Americans were offended when British news anchors wanted to have a discussion about the possible causes of 9/11 a couple days after it happened. The victims aren't even cold, at least 33, and this ghoul is glad about it.

Kilmeade's statement also included a mockery of the summit agenda concerning global warming and aid to Africa. While those two goals don't have the immediacy of terror bombings, both could result in the long-term deaths of far more people than have died in every terror attack since 2001. Protecting civilians from terror attacks is an urgent concern, but preventing catastrophic climate change and the ongoing decimation of Africa's population remain highly important concerns.

Though of course the third world nations likely to be most affected are unlikely to pitch in and help with the conservatives' pet crusades. Many of them have populations that are busy avoiding starvation or dying in wars and disease epidemics, so we surely can't expect Kilmeade and his cohorts to give a damn about them.

The bombings were enough of a horror. And then there was FOX, just piling on the grotesquery.

Update 2: Kos highlights Steve Soto's observation that when the Bush administration blew the cover of an Al Qaida double agent to help his re-election campaign, British intelligence was forced to prematurely arrest terrorist suspects in Britain working with the agent before they were able to gather enough information about their contacts.

For partisan advantage, someone in this administration compromised a CIA agent working in WMD. For partisan advantage, they prematurely compromised an intelligence asset with invaluable connections to Al Qaida, weakening the counter-terrorism efforts of this country's closest ally.

This country, and we all bear some degree of responsibility in a democracy, doesn't just owe the British our heartfelt sympathy. We clearly owe them our apologies.

Also, Avedon says there were seven explosions, and links to George Galloway's response to these terrible attacks.

Update 3: Brit Hume's response to the London attacks is that it's 'time to buy' into the futures market. What the **** are they putting in the water coolers at that station?

Posted by natasha at July 7, 2005 08:31 AM | War on Terrorism | TrackBack(2) | Technorati links |

To those who still stand firmly behind President George W. Bush. Last October during debates with John Kerry, the President downplayed any threats from Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden, saying that they were on the run and "contained."

The pictures from London speak otherwise.

I suppose this will be a rallying point for those in the US who can't see the forrest for the trees -- and that US policy (post 9/11) has failed to make the world any safer.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Great Britian and Londoners as a whole... ALong with our troops who have been suffering under this Administrations warped logic for years.

Posted by: John F at July 7, 2005 08:42 AM

... causing Prime Minister Blair to call off the G-8 summit and receiving condemnation from world leaders.

Just for the record, neither of these two statements agrees with what I've been reading, in the link to the CNN article or otherwise. Is it possible that you read that a bit fast?

My heart goes out to the people in London.

Posted by: Chris W. at July 7, 2005 09:50 AM

Karl who?


Posted by: grannyinsanity at July 7, 2005 09:57 AM

Dear Natasha . . .

There is much to say of our fight and that of the terrorists. Ironically, this morning I tuned into Public Broadcasting this morning. As the world watched the current news, I was exposed to minutes of a piece on the incidents leading up to World War I. Quotes of Woodrow Wilson were spoken. I changed the channel so that I might know what was going on today, here, and now.

I was struck, as I heard of London. I needed to release, to write. I, as are all authors wrote of the most recent bombings, not those in Iraq, but those in Britain.

I invite you to read my words, share your thoughts on these. There is so much that we all wish to say, so much to consider. I offer, TERRORIST ATTACKS, BUSH PROTECTS US ©
Liberty has never come from Government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of it . . . The history of liberty is a history of limitations of governmental power, not the increase of it. Woodrow Wilson

Betsy L. Angert Be-Think

Posted by: Betsy L. Angert at July 7, 2005 01:46 PM

Umm, Blair breaking off the G-8 was in the first link. Also, when I said condemnation, I meant condemnation for the attacks, not for Blair's decision to head home and deal with the problem.

Posted by: natasha at July 7, 2005 02:41 PM

I was surprised and impressed that Blair used the phrase "we know that these people act in the name of Islam" when referring to the terrorist attackers, a refreshingly direct statement from a European (or U.S., for that matter) leader. Heaven forbid we should identify the enemy ideology correctly by name. In this postmodern age of misguided "tolerance", it's rare indeed.

Posted by: Michael at July 7, 2005 09:10 PM

Michael - "we know that these people act in the name of Islam"

Yeah, it's funny how you leave out the rest of his quote:

"We know that these people act in the name of Islam, but we also know that the vast and overwhelming majority of Muslims, here and abroad, are decent and law-abiding people who abhor this act of terrorism every bit as we do."

Interpreting that statement to mean that Islam is broadly responsible is a novel interpretation of the text at best, willfully ignorant at worst. It would be like Muslims deciding that since Bush claims to be acting in accord with his faith, that Christianity is broadly responsible for his decision to attack a country that didn't (and couldn't) attack us.

Posted by: natasha at July 7, 2005 11:08 PM

I wish to express my apology or realization. On the morning of July 7, 2005, after the terrorist attack in London, I was engrossed in the thought “terrorism will happen, if terrorist desire to create it.” I offered my words for others to read; however, belatedly, I realized I did not write of London.

I did not discuss the life, death, and injuries in England. I neglected mentioning how similar and different these are to those in Iraq. I overlooked the oblivious parallels between Bush, Blair, and bin Laden. In the evening, I wrote a missive discussing these.

I invite you to visit my site again and to read a more recent and relevant treatise. I thank you for your understanding and comments!

Betsy L. Angert Be-Think

Posted by: Betsy L. Angert at July 8, 2005 05:17 PM

update: Natasha, you're right. I didn't see the rest of his quote until later in the day, I apolgize if it was misleading. I didn't exclude it on purpose, it was my mistake, I too quickly quoted an incomplete fragment of the statement.

To my disappointment, as the full quote suggests, Blair bowed respectfully to the typical politically-correct, apologetic, overly-tolerant script that any public speaker is obligated to adhere to when daring to utter such words.

"Interpreting that statement to mean that Islam is broadly responsible is a novel interpretation of the text at best, willfully ignorant at worst. "

Willful ignorance and casual hostilty is pretty much built into the Mission Statement here, so I wouldn't rush to judgement against a fellow observer. I just plain goofed. I'll accept the 'novel interpretation', it's a more charitable characterization of my error!

Perhaps the larger point I'd suggest is that Blair shouldn't have to make distinctions between good or bad Islam in the first place. Islam itself should be at the forefront of denouncing these acts, and unfortunately, it's not. It's not "tolerance" that we need more of. In this case, intolerance is what is required.

We aren't seeing the condemnation from the "Moderate" Muslim community anywhere near the degree we should expect. Certainly no where near what the western Christian establishment (the Pope, Billy Graham, even the guys we don't like and disagree with on other issues, etc.) would unleash in a similar circumstance. If Christian Terrorist Extremist groups were intentinonally killing innocent people in random suicide bombings, the unified outrage of groups than normally don't even talk to each other would be swift and overwhelming.

I dont say this to elevate the western Christian or Democratic establishments (there currently are no Militant Christian Separatist Extremist groups engaged in suicide bombings) My point isn't to disparage Moderate Islam, but to support it. We should support Moderate Islam, and we should expect them to stand up and denounce these acts, to be completely intolerant of it, on a large scale. The failure to do this is problematic.

We've seen small examples of condemnation from the Islamic community, but too small, too few, too ambiguous. Moderate Islam has yet to stand up and denounce it in a united voice, if for no other reason than to defend and preserve its own interests, as well as reclaim its virtues and principles more courageously on the world stage, by standing up to the bullies who misuse its name. Moderate Islam--if it exists, and can be empowered--is our best hope.

Posted by: Michael at July 9, 2005 12:26 AM

Michael - "I'll accept the 'novel interpretation', it's a more charitable characterization of my error!"

That's why I allowed that it was a possibility. Though considering that you believe willful ignorance to be part of our mission statement here, especially in light of the rest of your comment, it makes me wonder if I should have been that charitable.

You say that you've found a few small examples of Muslim denunciations of the attacks, and I'd suggest in response that you go to the website of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and see what they have to say. Go look at some of their statements calling on imams to preach messages of peace, or at their petition signed by over 680,000+ individuals and organizations to unambiguously declare as Muslims that these acts are not done in their name.

Or you could travel abroad to look for the condemnation you seek. What about the statement of the King of Jordan. You could even go look at what the 'America hating' Aljazeera site is running, and find the condemnations of several Arab leaders, and even those of ordinary Iraqis (who oppose the bombings but are understandably less willing than others to offer unqualified sympathy.)

You want them to be in the 'forefront,' but I wonder what you really mean by that. Do you want the major news organizations to run hourly statements of various Muslim leaders declaring their abhorrence of these acts? Do you want them to apologize for things they had nothing to do with? Should they get together as a community and hire people to grovel before us daily to protest their innocence?

Or is it just that if they condemn something and you're too lazy to go look it up, you'll just assume that they haven't. Did you really not have an extra 10 minutes to spend on Google to prevent this embarassment?

"If Christian Terrorist Extremist groups were intentinonally killing innocent people in random suicide bombings, the unified outrage of groups than normally don't even talk to each other would be swift and overwhelming."

Yet another egregious strawman. When Christians do bad things, no one ever bothers to blame their faith. Not when Promise Keepers lose it and blow away their whole families, or when the IRA was setting off bombs all over the damn place, or when Americans claiming to be Christian kill gays because they think God wants them to, or when our government headed by a guy who can't shut up about his faith decides to take Jerry Falwell's advice to heart in Iraq and "Blow them all away, in the name of the Lord."

No one blames their faith, at least no one important. And no representative group of Christian leaders felt compelled to respond to these incidents as if they had anything at all to do with them. Maybe because the assumption is that Christians are individuals like ourselves, autonomous and responsible for their own actions, but Muslims are some sort of hive life-form that all act in lockstep until proven otherwise.

That last sounds pretty far-fetched even to me, but I'm all out of rational explanations for why anyone would want to hold a billion people responsible for the acts of a few nutcases. If we're going to get deep into the shady realm of ethical calculus, I think it would be unreasonable to hold some random imam more culpable for the London bombings than we as citizens of a democracy are held to account for the innocent Iraqis blown away by the government we elected.

Posted by: natasha at July 9, 2005 05:31 AM