Thursday, July 07, 2005

Cool Britannia

Today, we are all Britons. The attacks in London touch us all. Fortunately, the British are made of hardier stock than the Spanish. The British will not cut and run. Tim Worstall gives some insight into what he believes will be the British reaction.

"You will, no doubt, by now heard of the terrorist bombings in London. The BBC's site gives a general overview and Nosemonkey at Europhobia has been blogging the different sources and rumors far better than my attempt. There is also a pool of photos at Flickr and Wikipedia is up and running on the subject.

As I write the general outline is that there were six bombs set off on the Tube (London's version of the subway) during the morning rush hour, just before 9 am (yes, it's a late starting city by American standards) and then sometime later, after that system was closed and the buses jammed instead, a suicide bomber blows up a double decker. The latest reports are of 40 to 45 dead, the hospitals claim to be treating 300 injured and there are slightly more dismal rumors of 60 dead and a thousand injured.

Tony Blair has made a speech from the G8 summit:

"It is important, however, that the terrorists realize our determination to defend our values and our way of life is greater than their determination to cause the death and destruction of innocent people and impose their extremism on the world. It is our determination that they will never succeed in destroying what we have here in this country and in other civilized countries around the world."

The details of what is happening are obviously still changing, as we learn more, from blogs, the mainstream outlets and so on. So I'd just like to add a little personal experience, a few notes from the past, to give you an idea of what the British reaction is and is going to be.

A jihadi group has already claimed
responsibility on the internet:

Jamaat al-Tandheem Al-Sierri (secret organization group) Organization of Qaeda't al-Jihad in Europe In the name of God the most merciful... Rejoice the nation of Islam, rejoice nation of Arabs, the time of revenge has come for the crusaders' Zionist British government. As retaliation for the massacres which the British commit in Iraq and Afghanistan, the mujahideen have successfully done it this time in London. And this is Britain now burning from fear and panic from the north to the south, from the east to the west.

The claim posted on the Internet has been withdrawn. This attack has all the hallmarks of al Qaeda, multiple strikes designed for maximum casualties, using mass transit as the target. The new name used, could be an attempt to have people believe that there is another groupout there, that is an offshoot of al Qaeda.

"Yes, we do believe a better world can be built. The third song is always thought to be a little too jingoistic for this modern age, it being Rule Britannia. It does indeed grate in some of its verses but the second line of the chorus is:

Britons never will be slaves.

And I think that's true. I don't think we ever will be slaves. I have no doubt that we can be killed, that we could even be conquered or beaten, but not that we would cower like slaves, give in to threats of further violence. Far from the "fear and panic from the north to the south" there is something very different going on. Yes, of course, there will be the usual idiots making asinine political points (just read the comments sections of the various blogs for that) before the blood of the murdered has even cooled, I have no doubt that fools will blame all Muslims, or those wearing turbans (given the state of the education system it is difficult to blame those who do not realize that Sikhs are not Muslims...a few years back a crowd was so enraged over a child molester that they tried to burn down the house of a paediatrician), when the responsibility belongs to those who carried out the murders, that extreme minority that have twisted Islam so grievously. But my fellow Britons? Give in, give up? No, I don't think so. We'll bury the dead, comfort the bereaved and carry on in the way we know best. The police will chase the terrorists, the military will continue in the War on Terror and us? The last word to Nosemonkey:

God, us Brits are great. Hardly any panic -- more just getting pissed off that it's going to be a bugger getting home. I love this country sometimes.

There will be the usual blame America rhetoric to be sure. No doubt the terrorist loving and ass kissing Geroge Galloway will get on his soapbox. In the end, though, the Brits will do as they always do, refuse to surrender. - Sailor

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