Friday, July 08, 2005

Further Rambling on the Bombings

Patrick Belton has some wonderful thoughts, capturing exactly how my time in the UK has made me as well feel about this country. Nested in his post is a link to a fine insight from Andrew Sullivan. People here who knew my plans asked if I was still going to spend the weekend in London, and nobody expressed surprise that I intended no change of plan.
The breakfast news reports are getting several first-hand descriptions of experiences on the tube and bus, all emphasizing the calm and common sense of the victims, as well as, to quote a doctor speaking right now, their resilience. Reports also feature stories of non-victims rushing to help (though there were also reports of some panic, not widely featured this morning). The behaviour and character exhibited in the stories stand in stark contrast to that of the presumed perpetrators, documented wonderfully in a post by Norm Geras.
It is amusing to watch the occasional excerpts here from American networks - the reporting seems so breathless and accented compared to the matter-of-fact style of the local news reports.
GMTV has some curious speculations that this was the work of a known cell from the Midlands, and they assert that many of its members were not reachable yesterday. Did the reporters try to phone them up? Or is this simply some leaked speculation? Certainly a key question is how home-grown this attack was.
I am disappointed at the morning Times, which has included the compulsory page on how Islam is a religion of peace (when what we are going through is the sorting out of the question whether it can become such a religion), though one finds across the fold a chilling portrayal of some of the dysfunctional edges of London's generally amazing multiculturalism.
I remain puzzled by the timing. The G8? Who cares? Surely not al-Qaeda, who have had a much better sense of theatre. The only thing that makes some possible sense to me is that the meeting in Scotland diverted a large number of security forces out of London. Perhaps we will know some day.


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