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Cool Britannia [Tim Worstall explains what British reaction is and will be] ^ | 7/7/2005 | Tim Worstall

Posted on 07/07/2005 10:37:02 AM PDT by Tolik

We'll bury the dead, comfort the bereaved and carry on in the way we know best. The police will chase the terrorists, the military will continue in the War on Terror and us? Tim Worstall explains what British reaction is and will be.

You will, no doubt, by now heard of the terrorist bombings in London. The BBC's site gives a general overview and Nosemonkey at Europhobia has been blogging the different sources and rumors far better than my attempt. There is also a pool of photos at Flickr and Wikipedia is up and running on the subject.

As I write the general outline is that there were six bombs set off on the Tube (London's version of the subway) during the morning rush hour, just before 9 am (yes, it's a late starting city by American standards) and then sometime later, after that system was closed and the buses jammed instead, a suicide bomber blows up a double decker. The latest reports are of 40 to 45 dead, the hospitals claim to be treating 300 injured and there are slightly more dismal rumors of 60 dead and a thousand injured.

Tony Blair has made a speech from the G8 summit:

"It is important, however, that the terrorists realize our determination to defend our values and our way of life is greater than their determination to cause the death and destruction of innocent people and impose their extremism on the world. It is our determination that they will never succeed in destroying what we have here in this country and in other civilized countries around the world."

The details of what is happening are obviously still changing, as we learn more, from blogs, the mainstream outlets and so on. So I'd just like to add a little personal experience, a few notes from the past, to give you an idea of what the British reaction is and is going to be.

A jihadi group has already claimed responsibility on the internet:

Jamaat al-Tandheem Al-Sierri (secret organization group)
Organization of Qaeda't al-Jihad in Europe

In the name of God the most merciful...
Rejoice the nation of Islam, rejoice nation of Arabs, the time of revenge has come for the crusaders' Zionist British government.
As retaliation for the massacres which the British commit in Iraq and Afghanistan, the mujahideen have successfully done it this time in London.
And this is Britain now burning from fear and panic from the north to the south, from the east to the west.

As it happens my wife chose today to fly back to England and at this very moment she is stuck at Gatwick airport as the railways check on a suspect package a little further down the line. She reports that it is very quiet, but that the general mood seems to be one of frustration. No, not that this has happened, not that 40 dead is not a serious matter, but we've been here before. There's an annoyance that the rest of the day is going to be chaos, but "fear and panic from the north to the south" just isn't what is happening.

We've only just come out from a 30 year terrorist campaign in the UK, where pubs and railroad stations, banks and shops were bombed with the most horrible loss of life on occasions. Yet there has always been a general consensus that to allow the murderers to terrify us would be to let them win. Many years ago I worked in The City (the financial district) and there were two events that make a point here. One was a storm which brought chaos to the transport system and the next day the place was empty. Hah! An opportunity to take the day off, no one thought anything of it, it'll be too difficult to get in and out.

Then, a little time later, there was an IRA attack which caused similar disruption to transport as well as a number of deaths. The next day there were more people at work than on a normal day. There was no co-ordination, no orders went out, but the truly sick seemed insistent on dragging themselves into work,  mewling and puling infants were farmed out to anyone at all so that parents could turn up. If the trains weren't working, then people used buses. If they were full, then they walked. The attitude seemed to be that sure, we'll take an extra day off if we can, but if you're trying to scare us, if you're going to kill some of us to make us change our ways, well, in the words of my favorite fictional character, "We'll not be having with that."

There're grandmothers in that city bombed today who spent five years of their youth dodging bombs, doodlebugs and rockets while the menfolk were off strangling the enemy with their bare hands. These aren't people that fear and panic easily.

There's one of those "Veddy British" things called the Last Night of the Proms where there is a mixture of classical music and then at the end there are three songs that are always sung, massed choirs, orchestra and the assembled mob all bawling out the words to them. There is the National Anthem, of course, and the two songs that have at times been seriously suggested as alternatives to it. One is Jerusalem, from the poem by William Blake with the last verse:

I will not cease from mental fight,

Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand

Till we have built Jerusalem

In England's green and pleasant land.

Yes, we do believe a better world can be built. The third song is always thought to be a little too jingoistic for this modern age, it being Rule Britannia. It does indeed grate in some of its verses but the second line of the chorus is:

Britons never will be slaves.

And I think that's true. I don't think we ever will be slaves. I have no doubt that we can be killed, that we could even be conquered or beaten, but not that we would cower like slaves, give in to threats of further violence. Far from the "fear and panic from the north to the south" there is something very different going on. Yes, of course, there will be the usual idiots making asinine political points (just read the comments sections of the various blogs for that) before the blood of the murdered has even cooled, I have no doubt that fools will blame all Muslims, or those wearing turbans (given the state of the education system it is difficult to blame those who do not realize that Sikhs are not Muslims...a few years back a crowd was so enraged over a child molester that they tried to burn down the house of a paediatrician), when the responsibility belongs to those who carried out the murders, that extreme minority that have twisted Islam so grievously. But my fellow Britons? Give in, give up? No, I don't think so. We'll bury the dead, comfort the bereaved and carry on in the way we know best. The police will chase the terrorists, the military will continue in the War on Terror and us? The last word to Nosemonkey:

God, us Brits are great. Hardly any panic -- more just getting pissed off that it's going to be a bugger getting home. I love this country sometimes.

The author is a TCS contributing writer. Find more of his work here.

TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; United Kingdom; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: britannia; british; jihad; jihadists; london; timworstall; uk; waronterror; wot; wwiv
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1 posted on 07/07/2005 10:37:03 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: Tolik


2 posted on 07/07/2005 10:41:44 AM PDT by bwteim
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To: Tolik

Dear T: I certainly hope this post is correct. Socialism, being the disease it is, however, has a way of sapping a people's will, vitality and vigor.

3 posted on 07/07/2005 10:42:13 AM PDT by JeeperFreeper
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To: Tolik

Mourn and bury the dead first, comfort the injured....then go "Falkland" on the islamofacist. Start with Pakistan and work our way through Syria and Iran.

4 posted on 07/07/2005 10:45:34 AM PDT by ScreamingFist (Peace through Ignorance)
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To: JeeperFreeper
I am in a hopeful mood, and wish them strength.

5 posted on 07/07/2005 10:49:39 AM PDT by Tolik
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Don Surber

A word in defense of British cuisine
Thursday July 07, 2005

Tunku Varadarajan wrote a delightful piece in the Wall Street Journal, "Why are Brits skinflint hosts?"

He told of having to wangle ice cubes for his drink from a British bartender at a party.

"One answer to why the British are such poor hosts might be found in wartime austerity and the postwar rationing that forced Britons of every class to think that skimpery was smart," Varadarajan said.

Oh, that.

His column came to mind when I read British press reports about Jacques Chirac entertaining Gerhard Schroeder and Vladimir Putin with jokes about British cuisine. They were in Scotland for a G-8 summit.

Yes, a dish consisting of potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, turnips, onions and oatmeal is a culinary crime. But those were the ingredients for a common dish in World War II thanks to war-time food rationing.

The Brits stiffened their upper lips and stomachs and ate this catastrophe.

They called it Woolton Pie after their minister of food. The Earl of Woolton was widely popular. His constituents knew he had little choice in the matter.

The Brits rationed food so they could feed the army they raised to liberate France.

The French had fought the Germans for a few weeks and then capitulated. This spared Paris, and allowed the Germans to concentrate on the Russian front and the bombing of London.

British women stood in queues for hours to receive their rations, braving bombs that would destroy or damage 4 million homes by the end of the war. Many mothers in London exiled their children to the countryside to escape the Battle of London.

Courage is doing the heart-wrenching things that must be done, and British women are not to be trifled with. When Buckingham Palace was hit, Queen Mary said: "Now at last I can look the East End in the face."

Where were French leaders? Sunning themselves on the Riviera in Vichy France or toasting their new Nazi friends in Paris.

Food rationing continued on some goods until 1954, nine years after war's end. In the winter of 1946, Britain exported food to keep Germans from starving.

But that was long ago and is easily forgotten.

Chirac's jokes are said to spring from an attempt by a Scot some years ago to interest him in haggis, that concoction of organ meats, suet, oatmeal, onions and seasoning boiled in the stomach of a slaughtered animal.

Chirac had a point.

Besides, the French and Brits trade shots at one another when they are not mocking the Germans, Italians, Spanish, Belgians, Norwegians and every other people on the planet.

Still, it took more than a little nerve for Chirac to say, "The only thing [the British] have ever given European farming is mad cow."

There would be no free Europe to farm if not for the British.

I have eaten escargot in Bordeaux and I have tasted the food of London. There is no question of which country makes the more delicious meals.

But taste is not limited to the palate. And I prefer to have my meals without the crow that every French leader surely must eat daily in light of World War II.

I wrote this column before today's bombings in London.

It will take a while to see what this means, but the outcome is clear: A nation fed on Woolton pie will never give in -- "never, never, never, never," as Winston Churchill said.

Don Surber may be reached at

6 posted on 07/07/2005 11:00:18 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: Lando Lincoln; quidnunc; .cnI redruM; Valin; yonif; SJackson; dennisw; monkeyshine; Alouette; ...


    This ping list is not author-specific for articles I'd like to share. Some for perfect moral clarity, some for provocative thoughts; or simply interesting articles I'd hate to miss myself. (I don't have to agree with the author 100% to feel the need to share an article.) I will try not to abuse the ping list and not to annoy you too much, but on some days there is more of good stuff that is worthy attention. You can see the list of articles I pinged to lately on my page.

       Besides this one, I keep separate PING lists for my favorite authors Victor Davis Hanson, Orson Scott Card, David Warren and Lee Harris (sometimes). You are welcome in or out, just freepmail me (and note which PING list you are talking about).

7 posted on 07/07/2005 11:01:28 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: Tolik

No dhimmitude in the Tommies. Turn the Scots loose on the Al Queda and they'll see what happens when someone attacks the clans.

8 posted on 07/07/2005 11:04:42 AM PDT by wildbill
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To: Tolik


9 posted on 07/07/2005 11:07:03 AM PDT by eureka! (It will not be safe to vote Democrat for a long, long, time...)
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To: MadIvan


See also the post #6

10 posted on 07/07/2005 11:07:13 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: Slip18

Ever seen these words before?

I will not cease from mental fight,

Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand

Till we have built Jerusalem

In England's green and pleasant land.

11 posted on 07/07/2005 11:11:50 AM PDT by Cyber Liberty (© 2005, Ravin' Lunatic since 4/98)
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To: Tolik; MadIvan; All
“When Britain first, at Heaven’s command …”

(4.1 MB mp3)

12 posted on 07/07/2005 11:19:22 AM PDT by dighton
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To: Tolik

"I have no doubt that fools will blame all Muslims." It is this liberal attitude that contains the seeds of Britain's - and indeed all of the West's - ultimate demise. Islam views the non-Muslim world as terrotory to be conquered, its inhabitants as infidels who deserve death if they fail to convert or submit to slavery as dhimmis. Western liberals view Muslims as exotic, colorful versions of themselves and cannot face the fact that the two cultures are utterly incompatible, and that large numbers of Muslims should not be allowed to establish colonies in Western countries. Expelling them and keeping them out would require discrimination, which is the sin of no forgiveness to the liberal mind.

Yes, there are individual Muslims who don't take their religion very seriously and even wish to flee the brutality of life under the Mullahs who could arguably be allowed to live in Western countries. They are the rare exception, not the rule. As long as Western liberals are in charge, there will only be a continuing attempt at some sort of therapeutic treatment of jihadis. The ongoing deliberate erasure of Western nationhood, culture, and faith - through the mailed fist of multiculturalism - will proceed at full pace. In the meantime, the Muslim colony in the West will continue to grow exponentially.

13 posted on 07/07/2005 11:22:36 AM PDT by Bogolyubski
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To: Tolik

CAUTION: Woolton Pie contains marmite.

14 posted on 07/07/2005 11:45:23 AM PDT by Peelod (Decentia est fragilis. Curatoribus validis indiget.)
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Thursday July 7 2005
America feels for Britain today. Out of a sense of sadness and grief, yes, but also out of a sense of rage. More than any terrorist attack abroad so far, this one is intensely personal.

As I read news accounts of the attacks I found myself reacting with almost the same emotion as if they had happened here in The States. I caught myself thinking of London not as an English city but as my city as well. And when Tony Blair spoke I felt immensely proud of him, much like I felt about George W. Bush on September 11. I suspect other Americans had the same reaction.

Such emotion serves to highlight an important point, which is that the terrorists made a serious strategic blunder today. It could very well be that the terrorists have no strategy at all and are simply trying to inflict damage whenever and wherever they can.

But whether strategic or not, today's attacks will almost certainly serve to stiffen - rather than soften - the spine of the Brits in fighting the war on terror. That goes for the United States as well.

The reason is that the Brits are at their core an extremely tough bunch. Terrorists who may have sought a repeat performance of Madrid need to read up on history: when it comes to matters of courage, fortitude, toughness and tenacity, the British have a heck of a lot more in common with America than they do Old Europe.

In fact, over the course of the last century there have been only a tiny handful of countries who have shown a consistent willingness to do the heavy lifting for the rest of the world to fight evil; to spend the blood and the treasure other countries were either unwilling or unable to spend to defeat the evils of Nazism, Communism and now radical Islamism. Along with America, Britain has always been one of those countries - and she always will be.

"Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter." - Sir Winston Churchill

- T. Bevan 11:05 am

15 posted on 07/07/2005 11:47:55 AM PDT by Tolik
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Thomas Lifson

No panic today
July 7th, 2005

Britain is now burning with fear, terror and panic in its northern, southern, eastern, and western quarters.
– al Qaeda website, as reported by the BBC 

Waking up to the awful news that terrorists have attacked rush hour commuters in London, my immediate reactions are horror and deep, deep anger. Innocent men, women, and children have been blown apart, hideously maimed, and traumatized physically and mentally. In numbers unknown, but surely significant.

But after coffee and reflection, a second wave of emotion swept over me. An odd comfort and pride in the reaction of the Londoners and the British. Like their countrymen in the World War II Blitz bombing, the Brits are made of tough fabric. They have lived through Nazi attacks and the IRA terror bombings of two decades ago.

They do not run about the streets screaming, wailing, looting, or in any way panicked. Some of those at the blasts may in shock. But that is quite a different matter than panic. They are being attended to, receiving medical attention and the all-purpose British remedy, a hot cuppa tea.

An al Qaeda website is claiming responsibility for the blast and crowing about Britain “burning with fear.” Whether or not this lot actually masterminded the horror itself, they are revealing the mindset which was behind the attack. Those who deliberately slaughter the innocent reveal the utter depravity of their own souls. They have so little actual fortitude of their own that they project onto others, better than they, their own reactions to such violence.

They inhabit a mental realm detached from reality. They have no grasp of the people and – the phrase must be used – higher civilization with which they have collectively grappled so unsuccessfully for the last several centuries. Instead of self-criticism and honest efforts to overcome obvious shortcomings of their own, they take comfort in simmering rage, conspiracy theories, and plans to wreak vengeance.

They are profoundly cowardly, and attempt to hide that awful truth about themselves with suicidal cruelty and bravado. They are enmeshed in a brittle spiritual construct, one which demands shattering by resiliant people, far better better grounded than they in both the spiritual and physical worlds.

Londoners today. New Yorkers and Washingtonians on 9/11. People such as these are the reason that one particular variant of human civilization, best named the Anglosphere,  reigns as the best hope for all mankind, regardless of cultural and civilizational history.

It is particularly striking that this strength resides more in the ordinary folks than among the cultural elites. Following 9/11, some disgraceful things have been uttered by journalists, college professors, Hollywood icons, and others occupying highly privileged perches, from which they look down upon the very people supplying them with such extraordinary benefits.

I sat through Steve Spielberg’s latest movie, War of the Worlds, last weekend. Unquestionably, Spielberg is a genius as a visual story-teller. Some of the images he crafted are hauntingly vivid, the sort of nightmarish fantasy that will live on in the imaginations of multitudes.

But my admiration for his mastery was severely limited by his utterly condescending portrayal of panicked crowds reacting to the (admittedly overwhelmingly worse) alien invasion rampage depicted in the movie. Spielberg’s vision of the mass of Americans is that they panic, become selfish, and will turn on one another as soon as the going gets tough.

This is a profoundly dispiriting view of us, one which I believe is not at all justified by the actual behavior of Brits or Americans under attack. It is the view, frankly, of someone who thinks the mass of humanity is much less virtuous than he is. Someone who needs to keep reminding himself that this must be the case.

Fortunately, neither al Qaeda nor Spielberg is correct.

Our British cousins will mourn their dead, heal their injured, and help each other recover. And all of us will steel our resolve. Today’s attack will have precisely the opposite effect intended by its perpetrators.

Thomas Lifson is the editor and publisher of The American Thinker.

16 posted on 07/07/2005 11:54:03 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: MadIvan
"Rejoice the nation of Islam, rejoice nation of Arabs, the time of revenge has come for the crusaders' Zionist British government."

Hmmm...Iran is Persian, not Arab. Al Qaeda in Iraq is fighting Shi'ites (the dominant religion of Iran).

But Syria...Syria is Arab.


17 posted on 07/07/2005 12:01:06 PM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: Tolik

You must know our prayers and thoughts are with Britain. This cowardly act of mass murder can't go unavenged. British and EU law enforcement officials/interpol should hunt down these fiends and give them a taste of their own medicine. (I don't mean three hots and a cot in jail.) If the US and Bush and Blair are blamed for this, (considering the amt. of anti-American/anti-Bush sentiment among the British population), it will be a sadder day, and wrong-headed.)

18 posted on 07/07/2005 12:20:39 PM PDT by hershey
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To: Bogolyubski


19 posted on 07/07/2005 12:36:38 PM PDT by hershey
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To: Bogolyubski

Moderate Islam is a Trojan horse.

20 posted on 07/07/2005 12:43:37 PM PDT by metesky (This land was your land, this land is MY land; I bought the rights from a town selectman!)
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