>Some Thoughts On The UK Terror Scare


Josh Marshall (via Atrios):
Scotland Yard detective John O’Connor described the botched UK bombings as “So incompetent as to be almost laughable,” and unlikely to be Al Qaeda.

First of all: to our friends in the UK: know that Americans are with you, praying for your safety.

Second of all: WTF?

Two Asian men slam a burning car into a building, causing a lot of panic but no injuries or deaths–except their own. Two car bombs in London fizzle out worse than a soggy Fourth of July firecracker.

Does this sound like the highly-precisioned, destructive attacks we’ve come to associate with Al Qaeda? This sounds like a slightly more competent group than the crackpots who wanted to take out the Brooklyn Bridge with a bunch of Bic lighters. It’s all extremely puzzling.

I have some questions:

1 – How impressive that within hours of the attacks, British counterterrorism officials had made five arrests. How many 9/11 planners do we have in custody? Where’s Osama? Just wondering.

2 – To Homeland Security’s Peter King, who favors racial profiling at airports: the Glasgow attackers were Asian. “Shoe bomber” Richard Reid was half-Jamaican, half-white. Australian Gitmo detainee David Hicks is white. This is why profiling “Middle Eastern” looking people doesn’t work. There is no Muslim body type. I know it would make things easier for you if you could make all Muslims sew a yellow crescent on their clothing, but we really don’t want to go down that road, do we?

3- To the media, especially you folks at Fox News, why are you ignoring all of the good news out of the U.K. today? Don’t you think you’re emboldening the terrorists? No?

4- I thought we were fighting them “over there” so we don’t have to fight them “over here”? You mean fly paper doesn’t work? I guess that explains why they invented DDT.

5- To the chest-thumping wingnuts who blather on about “nuking ‘em all,” please be more specific with your target. The Islamic world encompasses large parts of the globe. Unless you want to nuke a third of the African continent, the entire Middle East, and large portions of Southeast Asia, and deal with the subsequent fallout from that action, please STFU.

I realize fear is the media’s stock and trade, but I long ago decided to boycott fear. I’m just saying no. I’m going to have to trust that the people who are responsible for keeping us safe are going to do their jobs. This is a tremendous leap of faith, considering the incompetence of the Bush Administration, but there really is no alternative.

It sure beats being scared all the time.


Filed under terrorism, UK

3 responses to “>Some Thoughts On The UK Terror Scare

  1. >From Neal Boortz:”U.S. Intelligence agencies are apparently concerned about plans by Islamic radicals to bring a terrorism spectacular to America this summer. Me? I say we just sit around and worry about climate change.”

  2. >Good for Neal. We’re probably more likely to do something about climate change than terrorism.Not to mention you can count on the terror alerts to escalate as elections near. We still have a few months to go.

  3. >These latest attempts do seem rather bumbling in nature, but it is a shame that our British cousins are continuing to be threatened by terrorist attack. No doubt you remember the successful bombings in the tube and on the buses a few years ago.As to Bin Laden’s whereabouts, I think that Bush promised the Saudi royals that we would not capture him. What else could explain the dismal failure of the U.S. military when they allowed him to escape through Tora Bora into the mountains of Northern Afghanistan?If we had concentrated our military efforts in Afghanistan instead of this evil oil war, we probably could have pinned down that country in the old-fashioned post WWII manner and prevented the potent resurgence of the Taliban. All that heroin production can pay for a lot of attacks.I don’t have to tell anyone how we squandered the goodwill of the world and provided recruitment fodder for Al Qaeda by invading Iraq, but here is a tale I have to tell…Early September of 2002, I visited London. This was when the Congress was hashing out the War Powers Authorization Act. Not surprisingly, I had heard next to nothing from our own media. But in Hyde Park, I saw a huge banner, surrounded by British Iraqis, protesting U.S. involvement in Iraq. I sort of scratched my head, wondering what it was all about. I was there for the anniversary of the September 11th attacks. Although our U.S. media was not as bed-ridden and terminally ill as it is now, the difference in the British coverage of 9/11 was astonishing. The television was filled with insightful, thought-provoking commentary and genuine sympathy and love for America. The contrast to our own maudlin, yet sensational television news was unmistakable. Everywhere I went, people treated me with kindness and respect, yet in particular, September 11, 2002. That afternoon, at the precise moment of the attack on the World Trade Center, the entire city of London observed a minute of silence in honor of the victims. The entire city was hushed. Not a bus or a taxi was moving on the streets. Not a whisper. You could hear your own heart beating. That evening, without even realizing the significance, I dined at an Afghani restaurant in South Kensington. My wife and I were treated like royalty.