Thursday, July 07, 2005

Terrible Bombings In London

Gee, bad news from the newest Olympic Games designee. At least seven bombs have exploded on the Underground and a double decker bus. Three hours after the blasts the death toll stood at three. Two and a half hours later I heard that it had reached double figures. Half an hour later there were reports that 50 fatalities had been recorded and hundreds, perhaps thousands, were trapped underground.

It is not nice to see any of this. The worst thing I experienced on the Underground in London was having to go through a station slowly as there was a suspect package on the platform. No explosions or deaths.

Some Al Qaida-affiliated group has claimed responsibility. As yet I don't know how far apart the bombs exploded. The Madrid bombings were pretty much simultaneous. It looks to have been well planned. And striking the double decker is hitting one of the symbols of London.

I expect that if only the 50 fatalities are recorded there would be at least 10 nationalities affected. London is a cosmopolitan population in a state of flux. Apparently anything up to 300000 Australians are in Britain at any one time. It's lucky that they don't have any stadia built for the 2012 Games so they couldn't be considered a target. Only this morning they were saying that one thing in London's favour was the fact that they hadn't been the target of terrorists. Spoke a little too soon.

My earlier post today may take on a greater meaning.

Britains are used to the seige mentality. They've had to put up with the terrorist activities of the IRA for over 25 years and this will disturb them in the short term but I don't think that it will greatly affect them in the long term. It's as if al Qaida wants to bring on another fight, which isn't such a bad tactic. What did the Germans learn about fighting battles on two fronts? It is very difficult to achieve victory. Guerilla warfare is here to stay.

I would be fascinated to see how Scotland Yard have reacted to this. The searching for the operatives would be frantic, I imagine. And I fear that new laws will be enacted to take away some of our freedoms. There has already been talk of mobile phone networks being affected or shut down. The authorities suspect that mobile phones were used to detonate the bombs. Just how far will the governments of the free world go to stop the terrorists?

I'd say we're in for a long fight.

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