London: It's not the blitz yet
What seems a reasonable question is - just how many angry young men are there out there prepared to carry out these types of attacks? By all accounts MI5 doesn't know, and if they are in the dark it's no good asking a policeman. It's not that I am worried - there is no way those terrorists are going to change my way of life - we will never give in - we're standing our ground - our resolve is strong...................hang on a minute. I was listening to this kind of stuff on the radio as I made my way across west London after failing to take one decent picture on my mobile phone of the unfolding drama. The presenter - on Greater London Radio - was coming up with all those old lines about how tough we are, and the 'blitz' spirit. In the blitz Londoners had a pretty good idea of why the bombs were raining down on their heads - and approved of a war which was fought to rid the world of the Nazis. In the case of the events in London of late, there is no such clearly defined enemy, and you have to question, given that there is no clear 'mission' that the British public approves of to make sense of any of this, how much can the city take before things become a problem?
If we allow this 'don't mention the Iraq war' government strategy to dominate the landscape we are going to fall into the same trap as the US in it's response to 9.11 - 'why us'? Bush said in response to 7/7 that these people plot in caves. He got that wrong. They live with us, doing the same things we do, most of the time. In order to combat the threat that they represent we need to be honest about seeking to understand their motivations. To understand your enemy is as important as having the armies to defeat him, and currently my guess is that the UK security services have little idea what they are dealing with, and little intelligence to predict if or when another bombing will take place.