I love London. British people are my favorite--what with their snappy accents and tendency to adopt American slang that just sounds terribly wrong. Even pub food--often notoriously bad--is delicious to my London-loving palate.

Last Thursday, London narrowly escaped another crude set of terrorist attacks. The day before, my sister and I were zipping through the underground while in transit from Germany.

This island nation that for so long was protected by it's isolated geography has officially come into the fold of a real terrorist target--not just a place that pundits spin around as a potential hit, but a transformed city where fear is real.

Instead of annoyance that the disruption in the Piccadilly line had severed most of central London, it appeared to me that Londoners expressed an indescribable sadness. Two weeks after the attacks that chopped up the city's transit system, Londoner's had adapted to their new routine of more transfers and indirect bus routes. Under and above ground, the platforms teemed with commuters and the overburdened trains chugged forward.

My most interesting observation took place on my way to Victoria Station to catch the Gatwick Express a few hours before the second set of bombings rattled the city. My Lebanese cabbie casually mentioned the effects of the bombings after we spun around our first roundabout. As a Muslim, he could not understand the motivation for such senseless attacks.

Without even prompting his thoughts about the War on Terror, he supplied his belief that the bulk of the British population remained ignorant. He felt that the BBC twisted information and painted US foreign policy in an unfairly negative light. To him, it was past time to address the atrocities committed by Saddam Hussein and those that continue to take place in nearly every Arab country.

His last comment was jarring. To paraphrase he said, "You're an American. I'm sure you think that you are just in Iraq for oil. My friend, you are not. Your country liberated Kuwait--an oil rich country! What are the Kuwaiti's doing now, my friend? You certainly do not control their oil. They are selling it to you for $60 a barrel! Your country was right to act. Saddam Hussein was evil."

After my 8-hour flight and seemingly equally long time trudging through customs, I was greeted by airport televisions blaring the news of the attempted attacks. Instead of fear, I felt hope. The view amongst the British people is slowly evolving to accept the world--the challenge--we face. With a stiff upper lip, I hope we will continue forward.

Were that this could be true.

The reality is the bobbies had to shoot someone dead because the British reserve wouldn't allow them to actually help officers stop the coulda-been bomber. Should one of the public tripped, hit, or otherwise struck the fleeing suspect _they_ would have been subject to prosecution as well as the coulda-been bomber. Under those conditions would _you_ stick _your_ neck out? As the Brits would say - not bloody likely.

This is the reality the Brit police force wanted, and now they have it - they must protect Queen and country on their own, with no help from the average citizen. Rotsa Ruck in that endeavor, Chuckles!
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Click Here  View My Public Stats on MyBlogLog.com Subscribe in NewsGator Online Subscribe with Bloglines This site is certified 78% GOOD by the Gematriculator