I decided to start up a little fracas when I suggested to my co-workers the following conspiracy: The leaders of the G8 were all but backed into a corner to do something positive on some front - Africa, the environment, setting a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq - and now we pause for this horrific new development, a series of bombs go off in London. We condemn this barbaric act. We raise our level of fear to orange. We are outraged by this heinous crime - so outraged in fact that we can't get around to doing anything about that climate or African debt or much else right now because we're just so damn outraged.
Coincidence, or just really crappy timing on the part of the terrorists? Either way you slice it, there seems to be very little that we can do to avoid staying the course. I have nothing but sympathy and compassion in my heart for the victims of this latest attack. At the same time I feel compelled to point out the most significant difference between this bombing and the ones that have been taking place on almost a daily basis in Iraq is that of geography. In this case, the setting was London and the innocent victims were British and not Iraqi. There have already been plenty of experts willing to line up and point the finger of blame at al-Qaida. That same kind of certainty existed after the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma.
Sadder still, Muslims across the planet are being asked to apologize and accept tacit responsibility for explosions that have nothing to do with the teachings of Islam. "We know that these people act in the name of Islam, but we also know that the vast and overwhelming majority of Muslims here and abroad are decent and law-abiding people who abhor this act of terrorism every bit as much as we do," Blair said. The vast majority, indeed.