Topic: Breaking News
London: What to Say?
The only news Thursday was from London -
The first real hurricane of the season is moving in, sharks are still biting people, that pretty blond girl is still missing in Aruba, oil is staying above sixty dollars a barrel and the chief economist at Goldman Sachs sees over a hundred dollars a barrel as likely (December options are running around eighty), that New York Times reporter is now in jail for not saying who knows what, the reporter who printed the name of the CIA agent and destroyed her cover and her career is still a star on CNN, the man who master-minded the deal to "get" a fellow who embarrassed the president with the truth is still somewhere in the administration, and may be the presdient's top advisor - but the story Thursday is London.
Following the London story is easiest using the BBC News Front Page as it has maps and all, and a link to their live television feed.
What is being said about all this? Peter Daou sums it up:
That's about it. But Kevin Drum over at the Washington Monthly, in a post with a photo of the Union Jack at half-mast is a bit put off -
No. Apparently not.
Digby over at Hullabaloo replies with this -
Harsh? Well, Bush did say, "We are fighting these terrorists with our military in Afghanistan and Iraq and beyond so we do not have to face them in the streets of our own cities."
Question. Is London one of our own cities, or doesn't it count? If it does, Kos has a question. "Well, that didn't work out quite as planned, did it?"
He elaborates here in Flypaper:
Disclaimer: I too have used Edgware Road Tube station - five years ago when off to the West End to see Ralph Fiennes do Richard II - and those were different days. It was a twinge to see it today on television.
But to the main point, that this war has made things worse. Has it?
The short answer? It seems so.
Reuters a few months ago (April) - Major terror attacks triple in '04 by U.S. count: Intelligence briefing renews debate over war on terrorism -
And then the Financial Times the day before the bombs went off in London -US Raises figures for terror attacks to 3,200 -
But who's counting? Is this "flypaper" idea just not working out, or could the Bush administration argue that there would have been even more of these attacks if we hadn't invaded and occupied Iraq?
The endlessly acerbic - and hero to contrarians everywhere - Christopher Hitchens argues that the London bombing had nothing to do with Iraq.
The Anticipated Attack
Christopher Hitchens - Thursday, July 7, 2005, at 10:39 AM PT ? SLATE.COM
The idea here all this could have to do with this:
So it could be a local matter, having nothing to do with Bush and flypaper and whatever. That is possible, of course.
And in London now? Andrew Sullivan, another expatriate Brit, has been compiling reactions.
The London News Review -
And this email he received -
And this -
But then there is this -
So be it.
This: "... it should be clear to everyone that we are losing the war on terror.... I've grown so weary of listening to the president and his minions pretend as if they are the only adults in the room who have any sense when they castigate liberals for wanting to use police powers in order to catch these people rather than armies."
This: "Let's be clear. The bombings today in London's subway system show how bullshit Bush's priorities are in the war on terror. Even as we pour hundreds of billions of dollars into Iraq and the military, vulnerable infrastructure like the New York City subway is underfunded and left vulnerable."
This: "... people aren't paying attention to how little things have really changed since the War on Terror began."
And on it goes.
A cynical friend just suggested that perhaps the French are behind the London bombings - a fit of pique over losing the 2012 Olympics. I suspect we can reject that theory, but he was calling from lower Manhattan, waiting for a bus home, near his office, at the corner by the big hole where the World Trade Center towers used to stand. He's earned his cynicism.
London in happier days - a swan in Round Pond just north of Royal Albert Hall, June 2000 - not that far from the Edgware Road Tube station -