Monday, July 11, 2005

First London Bomb Victims Named

The First London Bomb Victims Named today.
Susan Levy, 53, a mother-of-two from Hertfordshire, north of London, was named by police while University College London (UCL) said its employee Gladys Wundowa had also been killed.

Levy was on the Piccadilly line train that was hit between Russell Square and Kings Cross last Thursday. She had traveled to central London with her son James, 23, but they parted at Finsbury Park.

"We are all devastated by our loss,'' her husband Harry said in a statement. "She was a valued and respected member of her extended Jewish family and will be deeply mourned and sadly missed by us and her many friends. We are all distraught at her needless loss and our thoughts and prayers are also with the many other families affected by this horrendous tragedy.''

Wundowa, a cleaner at UCL, was killed in the bus explosion at Tavistock Square.
And in the meantime, while people in London are mourning the dead, still searching for bodies, and doing their best to go forward leading normal lives, my local newspaper has printed its first letter blaming President Bush for the bombings....
There was no mercy here, no compassion, just bloodlust and desire to reciprocate the deaths and injuries that England has helped the United States to commit in Iraq and Afghanistan. Between Bush's puerile, gung-ho cowboy rhetoric and Blair's sidekick acquiescence, thousands of innocent people have died, including U.S. soldiers whose better natures and love of their country caused them to enlist and protect because their leaders fed them lie after lie. Iraqi civilians watch their families being destroyed, see their homeland occupied and looted, and all without evident hope that reason and justice will prevail to protect those who deserve none of the violence, the everyday citizens of the world.
The letter writer is avoiding the inconvenient fact that the September 11 attacks occurred before the U.S. invaded Afghanistan and Iraq. I don't quite see how those attacks could be blamed on our subsequent actions.

This letter fails completely to come to grips with the Islamist ideology that governs the actions of Al Qaeda and its cohorts - an ideology well articulated long before Sept. 11. Everything is blamed on the U.S. - would the writer even hold the bombers truly responsible for their own actions?

I was visiting my family when the London attacks occurred, and thus was buoyed up by the feeling that the world is a sane place, that decent people denounce terrorist attacks. Now that I've returned to Ithaca, I have the sinking feeling that I'm just going to have to listen to more of this rhetoric and once again try to decide whether to confront it (and get into arguments with people) or just let it pass in order not to say something I'd regret.

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