Stiff Upper Lips
For a number of reasons, it was fascinating to be in
The first is just how close
In fact, the only reason the first bomb was even detected was that an ambulance crew that just happened to be driving by the car noticed some smoke and fumes coming from the vehicle and alerted the police. It was that close of a call for the city.
It was reported as we left
The fact that these men, and the other six (so far) accomplices, were able to plan and all but execute this plan wholly undetected is chilling. It has come out that there were reported links to Ansar al-Islam, a group with ties to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was killed by the
The second thing that the American press couldn’t capture is the steely resolve of the British population. Perhaps having been hardened by the Blitzkrieg and IRA Troubles, as well as the 7/7 bus bombing, the ease with which everyday life in and about
Of course there is the argument that if you let the terrorists affect your daily lives, then they’ve won. But try telling yourself that when you are riding the Tube or walking along streets crowded with tourists and people going out about their business in high profile areas.
Security was obviously stepped up, with very visible contingents of police walking about with laser-scoped Heckler and Koch G36 semi-automatic assault rifles. It is a very different picture then when I lived here twenty years ago, when even seeing a policeman with a sidearm was a rare sight.
But through it all is a sense in the local population of a refusal to be deterred or paralyzed by these types of events. I‘m just not sure that the same sense would exist at home in a similar set of circumstances. I certainly hope that it would. More so, I hope that we never have to find out.