Bush’s strategy of taking the fight to the terrorists will get US all killed

Noble Johns

Stupid Bush’s strategy in the war against terrorism is to take the fight to the Middle East and we won’t have to fight them at home. Why, this is a strategy for disaster, and the dumbest military strategy since Hitler tried to fight a war on two fronts.

On the contrary, by US going over there killing men, women and children in Iraq, the first thing the terrorists are thinking is Americans need to feel what we feel. That appears to me to be the most common sense response to our invasion of Iraq by the people of the Middle East. However, the strategy of stupid Bush will get US all killed in America, just look at what happened to London last week!

Carl Frankel can't help feeling it's just a matter of time before this city, still deeply scarred from the 2001 terrorist attacks, will once again be in the crosshairs.

"Just knowing the inevitability of it, it feels depressing and worrisome," said the 61-year-old clothes pattern maker in Manhattan. "I think we are all frustrated that this situation is continuing -- now for four years -- and we don't know what to do about it."

Similar apprehension was expressed around the country in the aftermath of the London bombings, though few said they would alter their daily routines.

Reminders of the potential of terrorism were everywhere. Extra police officers and bomb-sniffing dogs were visible at train stations, bus depots and airports in many big cities.

At Boston's Park Street subway station, an announcement telling people to report suspicious activity played repeatedly over an intercom.

Two subway stations in a suburb of Washington, D.C., closed for about an hour after commuters reported suspicious packages -- later determined to be harmless. In San Francisco, the Bay Area Rapid Transit system closed bathrooms in all of its stations as a security precaution.

In New York, vehicles entering bridges, tunnels and airports were subject to random inspections. Guards watched over the city's water supply. Patrol boats escorted ferries to Staten Island.

Soldiers carrying rifles strolled train stations while thousands of police officers finishing their shifts were held over for extra duty. Police said that, until further notice, every subway train in the city would have at least one uniformed officer on board.

Dave Hoops, 47, a pension administrator from Long Island, said he was heartened by the extra security.

"I'm not scared. I'm not frightened," he said. "New York is New York. As you can see, there is plenty of protection."

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and New York Gov. George Pataki all made it a point to ride mass transit Thursday to illustrate their faith in its safety.

Other commuters said they would continue to ride, too, despite fears about security.

"It makes you wonder about the security you have in our transportation system," Paul Stark, 42, of Kildeer, Illinois, said of the overseas attack as he rode a train to Chicago. "But at the same time you can't manage your life around events that you don't have control over."

William Orem, 39, an editor for a Boston publishing company, said he felt detached from the events in London -- a feeling he acknowledged he shouldn't have.

"I've got that strange suspended feeling that a lot of Americans have, that until it's going on (here), until someone starts blowing up my subway, it still feels like it's somewhere else in the world," he said.

World leaders condemn attacks, offer support

World leaders expressed their condolences to the British people Thursday and sent messages to Prime Minister Tony Blair that they were united in the fight against terrorism.

Leaders invited to the Group of Eight summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, issued a joint statement, read by Blair, the G8 host.

"We condemn utterly these barbaric attacks," Blair said, flanked by the other somber members of the G8 summit and invited leaders from Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, India and China. "We send our profound condolences to the victims and their families."

Terrorist acts have affected each of the nations, and the leaders are "united in our resolve" to defeat terrorism that is an attack "not on one nation, but on all nations," the statement said.

"We shall prevail, and they shall not," Blair said before departing for London. He turned the summit over to Foreign Secretary Jack Straw while he traveled to London, before returning late Thursday.

President Bush also condemned the perpetrators of the attacks.

"The contrast couldn't be clearer between the intentions and the hearts of those of us who care deeply about human rights and human liberty and those who kill, those who have such evil in their heart that they will take the lives of innocent folks," Bush said.

The president said the ideology of hope and compassion would triumph over that of hate.

Bush also said he had spoken with U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials, who raised the alert level for the nation's mass transit systems.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said he is pleased that G8 host Blair has asked that the summit's work continue and is not letting "cowardly terrorist attacks" deter the effort, which is focused on "overcoming hunger and poverty."

"Maintaining and securing the environment are central global tasks for our world," he said.

French President Jacques Chirac, who has been at odds with Blair over the Iraq war and EU budgetary issues, offered an unequivocal denunciation of the attacks, calling the terrorists "savages."

"We have been totally unanimous in our reaction and have shown solidarity, the G8 and the states that joined us for this summit," Chirac said.

"The only thing [the attacks] have achieved is to strengthen even further a sense of solidarity that prevails among the 13 nations represented here."

Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin called the London bombings "an unspeakable attack on the innocent."

"Our collective freedom has come under assault today by those who would use violence and murder to force extremism upon the world," he said. "We must and we will stand against these terrorists."

Russian President Vladimir Putin called for a united response.

Putin said through spokesman Alexei Gromov that "no matter where such inhuman crimes occur in London, New York, Moscow or other countries of the world -- they demand unconditional condemnation," Reuters reported.

The Russian leader went a step further, saying, according to The Associated Press: "What happened today again testifies to the fact that all of us are doing too little to unite our forces effectively in the struggle against terrorism."

The Kremlin leader said the world community should rid itself of "double standards" in its attitude towards such "bloody crimes". Referring to past Chechen attacks in Russia, which included a bloody hostage-seizing at a school in Beslan last September, Putin said he was sure world leaders could stand together against terror and "root out this 21st-century plague fully and conclusively".

Other leaders also offered their condolences.

A statement from Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero called the blasts in London "savage attacks."

Zapatero said his government "calls for unity by all who believe in freedom and peace in the face of barbarous terrorism."

In 2004, 191 people were killed and more than 1,500 wounded in Madrid when 10 bombs exploded on four commuter trains.

Authorities have blamed the Madrid attacks on Islamist terrorists, and more than 100 suspects have been charged.

The Spanish government "expresses its deepest solidarity with the people of London, the [British] government, the authorities and the British people," Zapatero's statement said.

At the United Nations, the Security Council condemned the bombings in a resolution that calls on all nations "to cooperate to bring these people to justice," British U.N. ambassador Emyr Jones Parry said.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he "was devastated by the atrocious bombings," calling them "an attack on humanity itself."

Annan, who was en route to the summit in Scotland from London at the time of the bombings, called on the G8 leaders to show their resolve.

"Let us not allow the violence perpetrated by a few to deflect us from addressing the aspirations of billions of our fellow men and women who are demanding change," he said.

In Brussels, Belgium, NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said there was "no justification for such heinous crimes."

"I know I speak on behalf of all NATO allies when I express our sympathy for and solidarity with the British people," de Hoop Scheffer said.

The Spanish-born foreign policy chief of the European Union, Javier Solana, expressed "solidarity with the people of London and with the British government."

"People across Europe and around the world will join in condemning what is a hideous attack on innocent civilians," he said.

Eating breakfast within two blocks of the first explosion Thursday was Rudolph Giuliani, who was mayor of New York at the time of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.

Giuliani told reporters his reaction to the bombings "was a great feeling of empathy and sadness for the people of London" but also "a great feeling of inspiration from the way they dealt with it."

"They, essentially, thwarted what the terrorists, I believe, were trying to achieve, which was to create chaos," he said.

Giuliani said he had drawn inspiration from Londoners on 9/11.

"On September 11, 2001, when I was trying to remember who had been through this before, and who could we look to as a model, the first thing I thought of were the people of London in the Battle of Britain and Winston Churchill," he said.

Other reactions

* Telegram from Pope Benedict XVI to London Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor: "Deeply saddened by the news of the terrorist attacks in central London, the Holy Father offers fervent prayers for the victims and for all those who mourn. ... Upon the people of Great Britain, he invokes the consolation that only God can give in such circumstances."

* Gerry Adams, leader of Sinn Fein, the political movement linked to the Irish Republican Army: "I condemn the bomb attacks in London this morning. I have sent a message of sympathy and solidarity to Mr. Blair and the London mayor, Ken Livingstone. On behalf of Sinn Fein I offer my sincere condolences to the victims and the families of those killed and injured and to the people of London."

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