Friday, July 08, 2005

London Morning After

Random thoughts on the London bombings:

  • During and after horrible events like this, it's hard to keep things in perspective. But if you take a long-term view, it's the terrorists who must be frustrated. Yes, they've proven that they can strike anywhere, anytime. What they can't do is accomplish their goal of taking us down. Even after all of these attacks, they have not been able to have a major impact on The West. Of course, any injuries and loss of life are horrible -- but if we were a car, we haven't been totalled in a crash, we've been dinged. Democracy and capitalism still thrive, our culture hasn't been thwarted, most of our people feel safe and haven't changed their daily routines a bit, nor have we had to make major sacrifices. In other words, despite repeated murderous attempts, Al Qaeda and its splinter groups continue to fail.
  • There's no reason for fear in cities like St. Louis. Al Qaeda has attacked London, Madrid, New York, Washington, Riyadh, and Bali. What do these cities have in common? They're either the capital or largest city in their countries. While St. Louis is a big city, we're about 20th on the US list. Could an attack happen here? Sure. Is it likely? No.
  • London has more outdoor video surveillance cameras than any other in the world, and yet they didn't help deter or stop these terrorists from doing their deadly deeds. They just moved them underground, out of sight of the security facade.
  • Brits displayed their notorious unflappability, remaining calmer than anywhere else we've seen terrorist attacks take place. Maybe they got used to occasional carnage during the IRA terrorism of the 1970s and 1980s.
  • Prediction: when the perpetrators are eventually identified, they will turn out to be Saudis who grew up in Wahabist madrasses, where they were taught to hate us.
  • Whenever events like this occur, we're always reminded by our government to "be more vigilant." I've never known what that means, or how I'm supposed to implement it.