At least 33 people have died and hundreds were injured, as four explosions ripped through London’s Underground and a double-decker bus. Al-Qaeda has reportedly claimed responsibility in a statement posted to an Islamist website.
The terrorist attacks were likely timed to coincide with the G8 Summit currently taking place in Scotland.
London is perhaps my favorite city. I have walked those streets and ridden those trains and busses and have enjoyed the hospitality and friendship of Londoners… the images of death and destruction are as painfully real to me as those from New York City, where I lived for four years. So I don’t want to appear to be cynically exploiting this terrible tragedy, but, I think it is fair to ask, nearly four years after 9/11… how is the “War on Terror” going? Has the enormous amount of blood and treasure we have spent in Iraq really made us any safer? Are American cities any less vulnerable to this kind of horror than London, or any less likely to be a target? Are we seeking vengeance abroad at the expense of providing real security to our citizens at home?
Can we really defeat an international, jihadist, terrorist movement with brute force alone, or is it time reasonable people can start talking about supplementing our conventional arms with unconventional strategies — diplomacy, aid, economic development, etc. — without instantly being attacked as cowards, appeasers or traitors?
Just thought I’d ask.