Joy and death in London

Friday, July 15, 2005

As British officials continue to unravel the terrorist bombings that killed more than 50 innocent bystanders, the world both extends its sympathy for victims of the gutless attacks and ratchets up its sensitivity to future terrorism.

Great Britain has been the target of terrorism before, but from internal sources as agitators on the Irish question once relied on brute force and organized mayhem to make their point. And there are still many Londoners who recall the German bombings of World War II.

Of particular interest in the days following last week's bomb blasts in London has been the swiftness with which authorities have pieced together evidence that points to several suspects. Officials quickly took a missing-person report and tied it to photo images captured by the cameras posted in subway stations and surface-transportation routes throughout the British capital.

At some point, the price of terrorism must become so onerous that those who plot evil for political purposes will agree to come to the bargaining table instead of concocting more killing devices. Just as the IRA has turned to negotiations on behalf of its partisan views regarding Ulster, so can other terrorist groups be made to talk instead of setting off bombs -- if the world unites to apply the necessary pressure.

In stark contrast to the London bombings, the British were rejoicing the day before the attacks because their city on the Thames has just been selected for the 2012 Olympics. Those international games surely will be a tribute to the perseverance of a freedom-loving nation.

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