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Update London 07/07

Things look pretty normal round here but then I am stuck in the North London ‘burbs and the carnage is all concentrated around Central London and the West End.

My mobile telephone appears to be working just fine but the public transport network has been shut down entirely.

The MSM is still reporting 2 fatalities which seems mercifully low given the timing, location and nature of the attacks. Maybe this figure will rise as the day passes, but I profoundly hope that it doesn’t.

Tony Blair is winging his way back to London from the G8 summit in Edinburgh and George Bush is about to make a statement.

More later.

UPDATE: Unconfirmed reports that death toll has risen to 10.

ANOTHER UPDATE: The MSM is now reporting ‘many fatalities’ but no numbers. Either they genuinely don’t know or do know and won’t say.

54 comments to Update London 07/07

  • pommygranate

    Today is one of those days you feel immensely proud of being British. No talk of pulling out of Iraq or of trying to “understand” these people. There’s just one thing on the minds of Londoners right now – how the fuck am i going to get home.

  • I think the Islamic community has an opportunity to show where it stands on Islamist terrorism. If it shirks the opportunity or gives the impression that its loyalties are divided, it will never be forgiven.

  • Ian Grey

    I experienced it on a train from Wakefield to London which stopped at Stevenage. We knew something had kicked off shortly after leaving Peterborough as phones started ringing & people got onto their WAPs and Blackberrys. The Train Captain also kept us informed, both offficially and unofficially.

    It was interesting to compare the sources, news and rumours. It became very obvious quickly that Blair’s Broadcorpsing Castration was feeding us spin and even their newsroom got fed up with the pretense as the Web journos started putting words like “power surge” and “explosion” in quotation marks.

    The lady sitting next to me was relaying stories from Sky News from her Boyfriend and the Bloke in front of me had talked to an MP who confirmed that there had been six major incidents in London (at the time the BBC had not even mentioned the buses).

    I got back to Wakefield five hours after I left, a rather long-winded journey travelling 40′ from Platform 1 to Platform 2!

  • Relugus

    French intelligence calls London, “Londonistan”, because MI5 lets terrorists come into the UK with impunity.

    Mass sackings at MI5 should follow…incompetence is unacceptable.

    The BBC have showed themselves to be Government stooges.

    “Power Surge”…how patronising and arrogant our ruling elites are.

  • Sky(Link) now reporting at least 45 deaths. This is very bad.

  • Brendan Halfweeg

    I think the Islamic community has an opportunity to show where it stands on Islamist terrorism. If it shirks the opportunity or gives the impression that its loyalties are divided, it will never be forgiven.

    Do we really need a terrorist act for decent people, irrespective of race or creed, to condemn one?

    Anyway, libertarians, if anyone, should be wary of attributing collective responsibility on any group. The average muslim individual has nothing to condemn, any more than anyone else. The criminal individuals responsible for these acts, however, should be shown no mercy.

  • Pete_London

    Relugus

    Thankfully, the security services don’t yet have a say in who gets to reside in the UK. If MI5 has been hiding information over who has been entering then let the sackings, and prosecutions, begin.

    What I want to know is who the terrorists are, who their backers and acolytes are, where they live, everything. I also want to know exactly when they came into this country, by what route and from where.

    If it transpires that terrorists have waltzed in because of our come one, come all immigration policies, I want Blair in the dock. If this government has allowed these bastards in then they are criminally negligent in my view.

  • I was deep in the heart of darkness (seriously – in the basement at BBC HQ) during this morning’s chaos. In the Digilab with Euan Semple, we were unable to get the Beeb’s own streaming video feed off the website. I rang my dad in Ohio from my iMate JAM, woke him up, and he turned on Blair’s statement and told me what he was saying.

  • How does an open society mesh with security, when borders are closed/open to both those with ill intentions and those looking for a better life?

    The US-Mexico border could be made a lot more secure if _more_ people were allowed to legally enter, and gun & drug commerce was fully legalized. That way you know anyone crossing is a criminal worthy of extreme measures.

    Thoughts?

    How does the island control immigration?

  • Brendan

    I am very far from suggesting collective responsibility for the crime. The full support of the Islamic community though would help in the battle against Islamist terrorism and in bringing those responsible to justice. If you recall the “walking angel”(Link) and the less than helpful response of Gloucester’s Islamic community, you will understand why I am not optimistic.

  • Verity

    Exactly what Pete_London said.

    Obviously, the fact that these terrorists have breached an island nation is the fault of the government. If they are some of the legions the government “knows about” and is “keeping an eye on” – a policy which has always struck me as deranged – then Blair should indeed be in the dock.

    But who will put him there?

  • Are all of you except for David are traveling outside London? Please let us know that all of you and yours are fine.

  • condolences to all affected, and I hope you guys are ok.

  • I live in Westminster and am sitting at home. I was scheduled to go to two events this evening one near Charing Cross the other near Liverpool Street. Both have been cancelled which is sad for both the group organising the first one and the band playing at the second one.

  • It was not part of their blood,
    It came to them very late
    With long arrears to make good,
    When the English began to hate.

    They were not easily moved,
    They were icy-willing to wait
    Till every count should be proved,
    Ere the English began to hate.

    Their voices were even and low,
    Their eyes were level and straight.
    There was neither sign nor show,
    When the English began to hate.

    It was not preached to the crowd,
    It was not taught by the state.
    No man spoke it aloud,
    When the English began to hate.

    It was not suddenly bred,
    It will not switftly abate,
    Through the chill years ahead,
    When Time shall count from the date
    That the English began to hate.

    – Kipling 1914

    God Bless

  • Contemptible response (Link)from George Galloway:

    “We argued, as did the security services in this country, that the attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq would increase the threat of terrorist attack in Britain. Tragically Londoners have now paid the price of the Government ignoring such warnings.”

  • Verity

    Ken Livingstone must feel like a chameleon placed on plaid right now.

  • Just a Yank

    Here in the States, I’m hearing reports of 40 fatalities. The count is expected to rise as more are confirmed.

  • Threegun

    Greetings from Texas….Stay strong, find ‘em and kill ‘em…..know that we are with you and will keep you in our prayers.

  • Bloody sorry to hear it, y’all.

    Chins up.

    Onward.

  • Moriarty

    Tend to the wounded, bury the dead and grieve for a while.

    Then find and slaughter these bastards without mercy or remorse. Apparently the slow learners haven’t yet figured out what happens when they attack the wrong people.

    You stood with us in our time of need – we stand with you now.

  • Brendan Halfweeg

    Rexie,

    Doesn’t sound much different to the anecdotes of serial killer’s neighbours. “He was such a quiet young man, never had any trouble from him. In fact one day I saw him helping poor old Mrs Smith with her shopping, she’s a war widow, you know”. I’m not about to condemn people who did not directly contribute to the crimes done by others, whether it be politically or psychotically motivated.

    If you’re simply saying they could do more, then I agree with you, any one could do more. We could all check up on our elderly neighbours more as well, but few of us bother. What actual practical steps should muslims do to prevent terrorism? There is very little muslims can do to actually prevent terrorism, these guys are dangerous, they are extremely well motivated and they are very good at deception, not unlike your everyday serial killer. The primary exception to this may be if they donate to mosques that harbour criminals, but by that very act, if they do it knowingly and voluntarily, they are criminals themselves and deserve prosecution as such.

  • Mrs. du Toit

    What Moriarty said. We’re with you.

  • Sandra

    I vividly remember how moved I was when I read y’all’s accounts of the British expressions of sympathy and solidarity towards the US after 9/11. I agree with Moriarty and my fellow Texan Threegun: we’re with you.

  • To paraphrase Deuteronomy: there is a time for polite intellectual discussion (such as Mr. Kirigin’s above) and a time for some bloodletting.

    This is one of the latter occasions. I know the Brits have allowed their military to atrophy somewhat, but I’m sure we could find a spare tactical nuke to lend you for one of those “On to Medina” moments.

    Hang tough, Limeys. We’re with you all the way, whatever you decide to do (unless you follow Galloway’s ideas).

  • Verity

    Hello, Kim. As far as I’m concerned, it’s time for one of those “mass deportation” moments. But if that’s too complicated to organise in a hurry, I could vote for a nuclear Medina moment.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    Verity-Hear! Hear!

    I’m beginning to favor going for the jugular. Kill that inane religion once and for all.

    TWG

  • GCooper

    Verity writes:

    “As far as I’m concerned, it’s time for one of those “mass deportation” moments.”

    Good to see I’m not the only one thinking that.

    Thanks for the Kipling poem, Trainer. I hope we are still made of the same stuff and I think, from past experience of the aftermath of IRA attrocities and 9/11, that we still are.

    So, let’s just have the traditional British cup of tea and a moment’s break. Then we can get on with erradicating these bastards from the face of the earth.

  • kbarrett

    The Religion of Peacefully Cutting Hostage’s Throats has gotten a free pass for a bit too long.

    If some Immam tells his followers to kill, and expects that some of them will do it, then he is just as guilty as the ones committing the murders.

    I think if these preachers started disappearing, they might eventually get the message and change their tune.

  • If you’re simply saying they could do more, then I agree with you, any one could do more. We could all check up on our elderly neighbours more as well, but few of us bother. What actual practical steps should muslims do to prevent terrorism?

    That first bit is true, I suppose. We could all check up on our elderly neighbors. After all, there is no particular thread or commonality among all these terrorists … they come from all ages, genders, and religions equally … oh wait.

    As for your last question, how about these for starters?

    1) Quit giving money to terrorist fronts for the liberation of Palestine, etc. Stop it, now.

    2) Quit answering questions and observations about terrorism with “but what about Israel?”

    3) Make it clear that Imams who preach the Islamic duty to kill infidels, who label westerners and Jews as “pigs and dogs”, who preach the glory of Jihad, do not speak for them. IT IS NOT APPARENT NOW THAT THIS IS TRUE. You can search far and wide for an Islamic condemnation of this sort of terrorism that does not contain an equivocation about Israel or Iraq. Why is an Islamic condemnation relevant? I quote from the website claiming responsibility for the attack: “Rejoice, Islamic nation. Rejoice, Arab world. The time has come for vengeance against the Zionist crusader government of Britain in response to the massacres Britain committed in Iraq and Afghanistan.” ( Guardian Article )

    4) Accept that, as members of a demographic group from which these murderers spring, you will temporarily be the focus of closer scrutiny. This goes right up the demographic chain, as well: males should expect closer scrutiny than females, young males should expect closer scrutiny than older males, young males from Syria or Saudi Arabia should expect closer scrutiny than young males from Lithuania. This is not racism; this is not unreasonable. In short, accept that someone claiming to act in your behalf, and with at least some measure of support from the Islamic community (to paraphrase Lenin, the Islamic community is the sea Al Qaida swims in) has committted these acts, and quit bitching about being asked a few extra questions at the airport.

  • T. J. Madison

    >>I’m beginning to favor going for the jugular. Kill that inane religion once and for all.

    One of my close pals has a Muslim uncle who works as a telecommunications engineer at a very large office building. Some years ago, he allowed a pile of binders full of useless junk to form in his office. One morning he decided to do something about the binders: he boxed them up, put them in a shopping cart, and carried them out to his car in the parking lot. While he was unloading the binders, he heard a strange noise. He looked up to see a LARGE PASSENGER PLANE FLY STRAIGHT INTO HIS WING OF THE OFFICE BUILDING, killing all of his co-workers who had made it in to work that day.

    You see, this particular Muslim works at the Pentagon. Many of his friends were killed that day.

    Think about that for a while.

  • You see, this particular Muslim works at the Pentagon. Many of his friends were killed that day.

    Think about that for a while.

    You’re right, TJ. I have never thought about it in that light. In fact, I am not even sure why it is that people are associating these terrorist acts with muslims at all … must be some festering western hatred of muslims that causes people to so unreasonably associate the acts of Al Qaida with the Islamic religion. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

  • Jim Barone

    Hear the news this moring when I got to work in New York. Broke my heart. Brought back the memories of 9/11. When the hell are “our leaders” going to get mad and get down to the business of eradicating these bastards. If they won’t get to it soon, perhaps we need new leaders….

  • Ted Schuerzinger

    TJ:

    If anything, your anecdote proves it was Islamic terrorists that flew their plane into the Pentagon. Remember the conspiracy theory about how the Joooooos were responsible for 9/11, and the “proof” was that they had all been evacuated from the WTC before the planes crashed?

    Or the story about how the Americans were responsible for last December’s tsunami because Diego Garcia was largely undamaged?

    {sarcasm off}

  • T. J. Madison

    My point is that were we to “kill that inane religion once and for all,” this would necessarily involve liquidating people who have nothing to do with terrorism and murder, including loyal British subjects and American citizens. It would also involve the liquidation of several hundred million citizens of allied countries like Indonesia. It would be the greatest orgy of violence in the history of our species.

    Maybe TWG thinks this would be a good idea. I don’t.

  • mac

    May God have mercy on the souls of those who died in this outrage and may He strengthen the arms of those who will wreak the vengeance of a justly angered Britain. We’re all Londoners today.

  • Brendan Halfweeg

    1) Quit giving money to terrorist fronts for the liberation of Palestine, etc. Stop it, now.

    Agree. People who donate to criminal organisations voluntarily are criminals themselves. I find it hard to believe that all muslims donate to terrorist organisations, but those that do deserve prosecution.

    2) Quit answering questions and observations about terrorism with “but what about Israel?”

    Don’t really care unless they are actively justifying terrorism. Israel is like Godwin’s Law, the more you talk about terrorism, the more likely someone is going to invoke Israel. If they do try to justify terrorism without actively supporting it through donation or participation, then I refuse to have any dealings with them. Freedom of speech is also freedom to say stupid things.

    3) Make it clear that Imams who preach the Islamic duty to kill infidels, who label westerners and Jews as “pigs and dogs”, who preach the glory of Jihad, do not speak for them.

    Can’t really see the point in this, denying that someone doesn’t represent you is hardly going to get you frontpage headlines unless it is backed up by sensational behaviour. What do you want, otherwise law abiding muslims chaining themselves to trains and saying “not in my name” to the terrorists? The only way they can really do this is through active community discussion. Perhaps they are already doing this, how do we know? All the papers show us is extremist muslims ranting and raving about US imperialism and British crimes against fellow muslims.

    Bono also claims to speak for me, telling the Live8 audience that he has given the G8 leaders permission to spend taxpayers’ money. He doesn’t speak for me, he doesn’t speak for a lot of people, but I don’t have to run an active campaign to deny that he doesn’t speak for me. I’ll discuss my dislike with Geldof et al with friends, family, but I won’t talk about it with starving African children, because I don’t have a lot of contact with starving Africans. Why should I anyway? Why should muslims have to engage the wider population?

    4) Accept that, as members of a demographic group from which these murderers spring, you will temporarily be the focus of closer scrutiny.

    I don’t have a problem with police and security forces doing their job, so long as limits are placed on their power over citizens. If muslims complain about being interogated at airports, well that’s tough luck. Go and talk to Japanese, Italian and German citizens who lived through WWII in Western democracies and see how their treatment compares.

    I’m not a huge fan of Islam, I’m not a huge fan of any religion, but so long as someone’s actions do not directly impinge other people’s rights, they can worship Mickey Mouse for all I care. If on the other hand, they actively support terrorism through word or deed, then they can go to whatever their flavour of hell is as far as I am concerned.

  • Verity

    Bombadil – Me too. I couldn’t figure out what TJ meant at first.

    Well, I did “think about that for a while”, TJ and found it interesting that the Pentagon of all places would allow an employee to accumulate files of any sort on his desk. Telecommunications is an important area. Wouldn’t “useless junk” have to be shredded and disposed of?

    I was also thinking it interesting that an employee would be allowed to “box up” Pentagon files and wheel them in a shopping cart “to his car”. Must have been quite a few files “accumulated” on his desk to require a shopping cart to transport them out of the building! Enough to be for several stacks on his desk.

    And just before the terrorists hit, too! Phew! Interesting series of events involving your friend’s Muslim uncle!

  • Verity – interesting observation. Just to satisfy my curiousity, I took a quick peek through the list of Pentagon casualties of the 9-11 attacks. This list gives the names and occupations of those killed in the Pentagon that day.

    One of my close pals has a Muslim uncle who works as a telecommunications engineer at a very large office building. –SNIP– He looked up to see a LARGE PASSENGER PLANE FLY STRAIGHT INTO HIS WING OF THE OFFICE BUILDING, killing all of his co-workers who had made it in to work that day.

    Not once does the word “telecommunications” appear. I guess none of your telecommunications engineers’s co-workers were telecommunications engineers?

    Also (and very interesting) none of the names listed are “muslim” names; i.e. Mohammad al-Khamdi etc. I realize that many muslims do not have these types of names but it is still curious that out of 125 victims not one has an identifiably muslim name. What is the percentage of muslims in the United States to the general population?

  • Verity

    Well, Brendan Smallweed – Great that you “don’t have a problem” with the police and security forces doing their job! That’s the spirit!

    Tthe thing is, that what we think of as “Muslim extremism” is not necessarily seen by Muslims, including Muslims living in Britain, in those terms. Their holy book demands that they kill what they believe are “infidels”, you see. That means they are all enjoined by their diety to kill “infidels”. So it behooves those who understand that they are living in a civilised society and do not intend to follow this direction to disavow their co-religionists who do.

    But they seem curiously unable to do this. Sir Iqbal Sacrebleu, head of the Islamic Council or something told Melanie Phillips, in relation to the “incitement to religious hatred” bill around a month ago, that there is no such thing as an Islamic terrorist. He added that for her to have even asked her question was insulting to Islam.

  • Verity

    Bombadil – well, he could have been the only Muslim working in the Pentagon at that time. Presumably he made it across the parking lot with his cargo of “accumulated” files from his office desk that he was removing from the building – and in the general chaos of the plane hitting the building, jumped into his car and hightailed it out of there. Quite a coincidence of timing.

    And again, does the Pentagon really allow employees to “accumulate” stacks of files on their desks? And does it really expect employees to remove those files from the building to their cars to dispose of them? Wouldn’t there be some kind of rule about not removing anything from the Pentagon? Wouldn’t they have very, very, very, very strict rules about shredding absolutely everything no longer required?

  • Brendan – close enough, although I would disagree with you that it does matter if the wider muslim community gives (explicit or implicit) moral support to terrorist groups such as the PLO or Al Qaida.

    However I am not advocating some sort of loyalty test for muslims, an anti-terrorist shibboleth about condemning Al Qaida. I am simply pointing out that if the Muslim community wanted to make fighting Al Qaida terrorism (which is associated with Islam) a priority, they could do so by making their disapproval clear and unambiguous, without couching disavowals in weasel-worded equivocations full of innuendo and suggestions of “tit-for-tat” with Israel. Why should they? No reason I can think of … but then why shouldn’t I look upon the larger muslim community with suspicion when they fail to do so?

  • Verity

    Bombadil – You seem to be thinking he was a victim. Obviously not the case, because he lived to tell the tale to his nephew, who passed it on to TJ, of how he had these accumulated files of junk and was just wheeling them across the parking lot to his car when he saw the plane bearing down on the Pentagon. So he would not have been listed among the victims.

    I wonder what happened to those accumulated files of junk he removed from the Pentagon?

  • T. J. Madison

    >>Not once does the word “telecommunications” appear. I guess none of your telecommunications engineers’s co-workers were telecommunications engineers?

    Note the casualties labeled as “civilian employees”, “electronics technicians”, and “information systems technicians.”

    >>Wouldn’t “useless junk” have to be shredded and disposed of?

    Not useless unclassified junk, empty binders, binders with manuals for obsolete gear brought in from home and elsewhere, etc.

    That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if overclassified material made it out of the Pentagon and into some landfill somewhere. I suspect that the Pentagon’s ground security is only minimally better than its air defenses, the effectiveness of which has been empirically demonstrated.

    >>What is the percentage of muslims in the United States to the general population?

    It’s of order 5 million — roughly 2% of the general population.

    >>Bombadil – well, he could have been the only Muslim working in the Pentagon at that time. Presumably he made it across the parking lot with his cargo of “accumulated” files from his office desk that he was removing from the building – and in the general chaos of the plane hitting the building, jumped into his car and hightailed it out of there. Quite a coincidence of timing.

    Indeed. The individual in question considers himself quite lucky to be alive. He also takes the battle against Al Qaeda a bit more personally than many of the rest of us. It should also be noted that he is a Sufi Muslim. Sufis aren’t real popular with Al Qaeda types, most of which are reactionary Salafist Sunni Muslims.

    >>Their holy book demands that they kill what they believe are “infidels”, you see.

    Ah, this game again. Shall I go digging around in Leviticus and then claim that all Jews have a religious duty to enact the policies described therein?

  • T. J. Madison

    >>But they seem curiously unable to do this. Sir Iqbal Sacrebleu, head of the Islamic Council or something told Melanie Phillips, in relation to the “incitement to religious hatred” bill around a month ago, that there is no such thing as an Islamic terrorist. He added that for her to have even asked her question was insulting to Islam.

    I suspect Mr. Sacrebleu means that people who murder civilians are unworthy of calling themselves Muslims. Surely this is an acceptable position?

  • Verity

    TJ – The only thing is, their holy book is looked upon as an idol. It can only be touched in certain ways. Like, if you get washed for prayers, and a woman touches you, then you can’t touch the holy book because you would despoil it. For all I know you have to turn around three times and click your heels like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz before you can open it.

    Nothing in it can be discarded. Every single thing in it is the direct word from their diety – and whatever your – meaning TJ personally – personal opinion of the injunction to kill “infidels”, you are not qualified to make any statement or any judgement because this book can only be read in the original Arabic. So comparisons with the Bible or the Torah are not apt.

    BTW – the figure of 5m is exaggerated. That is the estimate put about by CAIR conjured up from who knows where. Actual official figures extrapolated from real censuses appear to be between 2.5 and 3m.

  • Verity

    TJ – No. That’s not what he meant. He said – with his eye very firmly on the new “incitement to religious hatred” bill for her even to have asked that question was an insult to Islam.

    Personally, I think that bombing innocent people is an incitement to religious hatred – not asking questions in a free society.

  • Now, Verity, you aren’t being “sensitive” to other cultural values. Don’t you know that there is no right and wrong except in reference to each culture’s beliefs? For example, it is not wrong for muslim imams to advocate the killing of jews and infidels because the Jews do not accept the Koran. Excerpt from the link above:

    In addition – and this, my brothers, is a most important matter – if we educate our children to hate the Jews, we are educating them to hate the Jews justly, because they are the enemies of Allah and because of what they say about Allah, about the Prophet, about Islam, and about the Koran.

  • Verity

    These people are better off in their own society where everyone thinks like they do. Being in the West upsets them.

    Actually, I read an interesting article somewhere, wish I could remember where, that said all this bombing activity is the swan song of a dying culture. When cultures feel they are declining, they feel impotent and start behaving violently – as in denial.

    Well, that’s the theory.

  • rickl

    Verity:

    I think you have a point. In WWII, when the Japanese turned to kamikaze attacks, it was an act of desperation. It was the hope that one (relatively cheap) airplane and one untrained pilot could take out one expensive American ship with a crew of thousands. By that point they knew they couldn’t beat us in a “fair fight” (i.e., our planes were superior and our pilots were much better trained).

    This is the best light I can put on the Muslim predilection for suicide attacks.

  • rickl

    A corollary to my above comment:

    America’s atomic bombing of Japan was a direct consequence of their refusing to accept defeat and engaging in the aforementioned desperation attacks.

    A word to the wise.

  • Brendan Halfweeg

    Well, Brendan Smallweed – Great that you “don’t have a problem” with the police and security forces doing their job! That’s the spirit!

    So quickly to personal insult, must be a record. I’ll give you some credit though, haven’t heard that particular transformation of my surname before, did you consult a 10 year old child? Great playground comeback.

    I don’t know who are Verity, and I don’t really care to be honest, but unless you’ve got a rational argument, there is not much point engaging you.

    I do feel angry at the Muslim community, but I realise such anger is pointless, better to direct that anger towards productive activity. I’m simply expressing the opinion that it is impossible for Tony Blair’s overwhelming majority to express outrage enough to drown out the voices of the minority who preach hatred.

    I hold individuals accountable, not collectives.

    Hatred gets you headlines, righteous indignation gets you nowhere.

  • Verity

    Brendan Halfweeg – I apologise for getting your name wrong. That was very careless.

    It would be easy to drown out the voices that preach such vicious violence and hatred. Kill them.