The attacks in London I had mentioned briefly this morning were, indeed, terrorist bombings. Whether these were planted or suicide bombings is still being determined. The mass transit system was the target, and the attack was timed to do the most damage to the civilian population. I'm quite sad, and I extend my sympathy and support to the people of London and their indomitable spirit.
It was heartening to read the words of PM Tony Blair later; Mr. Blair showed empathy and sadness along with strength and determination. The comments of PM Blair and also those of President Bush can be located many places. Will Franklin summarizes and puts them in perspective. Blair's line in the sand: "We shall prevail, and they shall not."
In 1990 I traveled to the U.K. with my family, about a year and a half after the terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, on which my brother, an overseas Syracuse University student, perished. It's hard to put into words the warmth and humanity of the Brits and Scots as they embraced us during our visit. I felt a kinship with them, a brotherhood that made that sad journey tolerable. During our time in London and in Lockerbie the people could not seem to do enough for us. And as a result, when we left, I felt that I certainly would be happy to do all I could for them were the circumstances reversed. They are now.
At this point I am heartened by the fact that the death toll is 37. It certainly could rise. I will not say "only" 37, as any number above zero is too high for my taste. It is also heartening to see the dogged determination of the British people rallying together to in solidarity against the terrorist threat, as exemplified by PM Blair's words.
When they try to intimidate us, we will not be intimidated. When they seek to change our country or our way of life by these methods, we will not be changed. When they try to divide our people or weaken our resolve, we will not be divided and our resolve will hold firm. We will show, by our spirit and dignity, and by our quiet but true strength that there is in the British people, that our values will long outlast theirs. The purpose of terrorism is just that, it is to terrorise people, and we will not be terrorised.
We in the States stand with you. We've got your back, as you have ours.
UPDATE: Similar sentiments from the Conservative Princess, E.M. Zanotti. Agreed.
UPDATE: A collection of these at Mudville Gazette.