Pressing all the Buttons
Blair has ordered cities evacuated, the PM's residence emptied out, Heathrow shut down and has banned US military personnel from London. One must conclude that this is a wave of hysteria, with certain politicians surfing the crests, capitalizing on public panic.
I recently finished a postwar history of southeast Asia. The Dutch, forced out of Indonesia by nationalists, bombed Jakarta with a salvo of farewell, killing 6,000 people. More recently, we've seen Darfur, Rawanda, Kosovo, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Iraq. People all over the world over live with terror every day.
The public pronouncements on gettting tough with terror by Bush and Blair, accompanied by Italy's right wing begging for martial law, amount to posturing to achieve aims about which we, the public, are not informed. What is apparent to us is that we need less venting and more quiet detective and humint work.