Democrats & Liberals Archives

London: The Latest Ground Zero

Osama bin Laden has attacked London. Terrorists blasted the underground. Many - we’re not sure yet how many - were killed and wounded. All of us in the U.S. feel for the Brits. We see that we are not terror-safe. We know the anguish the Brits feel. We know that the people Osama bin Laden hates must stick together. So must all who believe in civilization. Let’s not again run off half-cocked to a place like Iraq. Let’s mobilize the whole civilized world to work together to stamp out the plague of terrorism in all its horrible forms. The UN is the best vehicle for doing this.

The mayor of London, Ken Livingston, slapped back at the terrorists [via Andrew Sullivan]:

"This was not a terrorist attack against the mighty and the powerful; it is not aimed at presidents or prime ministers; it was aimed at ordinary working class Londoners, black and white, Muslim and Christians, Hindu and Jew, young and old, indiscriminate attempt at slaughter irrespective of any considerations, of age, of class, of religion, whatever, that isn't an ideology, it isn't even a perverted faith, it's just indiscriminate attempt at mass murder, and we know what the objective is, they seek to divide London. They seek to turn Londoners against each other and Londoners will not be divided by this cowardly attack... I wish to speak through you directly, to those who came to London to claim lives, nothing you do, how many of us you kill will stop that flight to our cities where freedom is strong and where people can live in harmony with one another, whatever you do, how many you kill, you will fail."

This is the British spirit. Of course they will win. But victory will come only when America works together with the British. When France, Germany, Spain and all Europeans work together with the British. When Asians, Africans and Middle Easterners work together with the British. When the entire civilized world realizes that no country is safe from these jihadists.

Victory against terrorism will come to world civilization only through collaboration among all nations. It cannot be done by the U.S. or even by U.S. "coalitions," regardless of the size of these "coalitions."

After this tragic London event, it is crystal clear that President Bush's recent message is woefully wrong. The president said:

"We are fighting these terrorists with our military in Afghanistan and Iraq and beyond so we do not have to face them in the streets of our own cities."

Pure selfishness. Iraqis dying in Iraq are human beings. Why should they die so that Americans will not die? Americans are not this selfish. And now we see the futulity of such a selfish policy. The terrorists have attacked our friends in Britain. Are we going to try to get al Qaeda to attack every other country so it would not attack us?

NO. Unilateralism does not work. We can't fight off this scourge with everybody fighting his own war. NO. The world community has been attacked and it is the world community that must fight back. The easiest way to get the world to work as a community is through the UN.

I know the UN has been inaffective in many cases. I believe, however, that for the most part, this ineffectiveness was due to lack of leadership - from the U.S. Instead of carping, let us unify the UN behind a world approach to outlawing terrorism.

I offer my sympathies to the British victims. More than that, I urge that we go to the UN for the purpose of building a world community solid against terrorism.

Posted by Paul Siegel at July 7, 2005 5:49 PM