Saturday, July 09, 2005

London Under Attack (I don't know who wrote this but it's pretty good)

We watched the scenes of mass murder in the heart of London yesterday with a cascade of emotions, starting with raw outrage. Memories of Sept. 11, 2001, flooded back - the slow realization of the magnitude of that crime, the nagging worry that we had not seen the end of it. The images were tragically familiar: the bloodied faces as survivors trudged to the light through smoky darkness, screaming sirens and terrified onlookers.

But the familiarity does nothing to mitigate the pain of those who lost loved ones, of the many injured and of the millions of Londoners who watched as the weekday morning calm in their city was shattered by the bestiality of people capable of setting off bombs in packed subway trains and a crowded bus.
The anger and pain mixed with admiration for the strength and calm of those who live in a place that has seen more than its share of domestic tragedy: the bombings by Nazi warplanes more than a half-century ago, and the mindless terrorism of Irish militants more recently.
Sadly, this attack came just at a moment when there were glimmers of hope and unity. The day before, London had won the right to be host of the Olympics, that great display of international understanding and peaceful competition. And on the morning of the bombings, Prime Minister Tony Blair, President Bush and the leaders of six other rich and powerful nations were meeting in Scotland to work out a common plan to help those who live in despair in places like Africa, where poverty and disease breed resentment among those have nothing for those who have so much. That juxtaposition of hope and fear is an integral weapon of the terrorist, who seeks not only to destroy life and property but also to disrupt our lives in ways that bring more destruction.
Fear was another inescapable response - the natural fear that this kind of attack, carried out by people with no regard for their own lives or anyone else's, could happen anywhere.
There are no easy answers to these questions, just as there is no easy defense against acts of terrorism.
Terrorist acts are meant to show us how thin the veneer of order and decency in the world is, but they can demonstrate just the opposite if we use them to deepen our commitment to the richness and civility of our lives. That sends a message to the terrorists: You have failed again.


Anonymous neil said...

good article. isn't it terrible that it seems like the world at large doesn't respond with sadness and outrage when Israel is attacked? i couldn't help but think of that as i read.

Monday, July 11, 2005 3:09:00 AM  

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