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Thursday, July 07, 2005

Black Thursday II

It's a dark day in London, made all the more somber by the contrast with yesterday's Olympic jubilation in Trafalgar Square. Looking out my window, at Blackfriars in the southwest end of the City financial district, the chaos is just now subsiding. You've read all of the headlines**, and you may think it's surreal, but being here, I can tell you it's even weirder -- there is definitely something in the air. The rumours are flying fast and furious; everything from reports that marines at Canary Wharf have shot somebody who is alleged to be a suicide bomber. The British Army has apparently taken control of the Tube, and the death toll is mounting. Who knows what's happening out there. Tony Blair was on message in his address to the nation. First thought was, thank God I don't take the Tube to work. Second, incredibly, there's no panic, possibly because the IRA campaigns of old have innoculated Londoners. People here are more pissed off about the inability to get home than freaked out about the blasts. How much more do I love this city now. Third, I can't shake the thought that this was inevitable, in a society as free as this, with a metropolitan transport network so complex, and with the burning hatred of those who despise our way of life.

As this unfolds, the question is, how do we react? I'll need some time to think about that. But right now, all I can say is, I'm coming to work tomorrow morning. Al Qaeda be damned. For now, Tony Blair says it best, as he almost always does:

It is important however that those engaged in terrorism realise that our determination to defend our values and our way of life is greater than their determination to cause death and destruction to innocent people in a desire to impose extremism on the world. Whatever they do, it is our determination that they will never succeed in destroying what we hold dear in this country and in other civilised nations throughout the world.

**(If you're looking for info on today's events, check out this unbelievable Wikipedia page.)

2 Comments:

Blogger Mike McNair said...

Very surreal to hear about all of this. Am currently on vacation in Kingston, Ontario where it is absolutely impossible to wrap my head around 90 casualties at Aldgate tube station.

Everyone's been waiting for this very type of incident to happen, now that it has - now what.

Cooper, be sure to keep us in the loop on what's going on over there.

10:12 AM  
Blogger Expat said...

I am so glad that you are safe and amazed at how Wikepedia covers current events!

10:57 AM  

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