July 17, 2005


To me, the greatest insult to the British and their losses was delivered today, all the more insulting because it was thoughtless and unintentional.

I was watching the news of the two minutes of silence held for the victims of the London bombings, a silent vigil held not just in London but across Europe.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth stood in silence at Buckingham Palace. In London's Trafalgar Square, a giant banner declared 'One City, One World.'

Taxis and buses pulled over, workers left their offices to stand in the street and financial markets paused to remember the dead.

In Italy, government offices, railway stations and airports paused while television stations cut into normal broadcasting to honour the London dead.

In Paris, President Jacques Chirac's annual Bastille day television address was put back so the French could mark the moment. Chirac stood silent on the steps of the Elysee Palace.

Has the United States or even simply Washington, DC held a silent moment for the victims of the London bombings? Has any national gesture of solidarity been proposed?

If so, I haven't seen or heard of it. We're just going about our business while insisting that the world perpetually acknowledge our scars and trauma from September 11th as our justification to wage whatever aggressive action we deem necessary to ensure it never happens again.

For months, we've been hearing and reading that Brits no longer discriminate between average Americans and the policies of our government--that the reelection of Bush has made them hold us in something of the same contempt they hold him. Well, they have good reason, and we keep furnishing them with better reasons all the time.


At 7/17/2005 9:31 PM, Blogger Dave said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 7/18/2005 10:15 AM, Blogger diehard said...

This reinforces what the Europeans think of Americans. Bad manners!

At 7/19/2005 6:25 AM, Blogger maybesomeday said...

In summer 2002 - The European newspapers were ripping Tony Blair for joining in on Bush's plan.

Fast forward to now - They are still unhappy with Blair and even more upset with the US for our behavior the last few years.

Some of our recent history is so bad - our treatment of prisioners for example - that we will be looked at with disgust in future sessions with other countries no matter who we elect as our next few presidents. Much of what was done under Bush's watch was far far from any upholding of "Christian" values that he spouts out every chance he gets.

The legacy of Bush will have been to take our country backward for miles in our foreign diplomacy. I don't know how Rice can do anything in any capacity. It has to be hard for her to defend Bush's actions when she talks to other leaders.


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