Tuesday, July 26, 2005

London once more....

Needless to say, Mayor Livingstone has not answered the EMail I wrote him with more or less the same text as in the last post. Never mind.

But somehow I can not help but feel strangely amused by the headlines from London. One more round of attacks (failed, thank God) and the Londoners don't show anymore the great resolve not to be intimidated by terror, but start to walk or bike to work instead of using the tube, and are irritated by the sound of ambulance sirens (IHT headline, July 26). The oh-so-civilized British police is adopting a shoot-to-kill tactic to stop terrorists, killing a harmless electrician with 5 shots to the head in the process - and I thought they didn't even have guns... Here is my forecast: One more attack and there will be checks of all MELTS ("Middle-Eastern looking terror suspect") at the entrances to public transport facilities. Then one more and the MELTS will be allowed to use public transport only after being issued a special permit, depending on a lengthy background check ("Question 3: Do you have any connection to a terrorist organization? Question 4: Which spelling is correct: Al-Queda, Al-Qaeda, Al-Qaida or Al Jarreau?"). Latest after ten attacks downtown London will become a MELTS-free zone, with an eight meter high wall around it.

It is unavoidable: Once a country experiences the effects of continuous terror first hand, a lot of measures once considered undemocratic, unethical or even illegal will be implemented under the pressure of a terrified (=exposed to terror) public. In that sense the harshest criticism of Israel's anti-terror measures comes from Scandinavia, where not a single terror attack has ever taken place. I'd say, let's wait and see which funky anti-MELTS measures the Swedes will invent, once their time has come.

Here is my low-cost suggestion to make the London public transport system safe again in one day: Allow people to use buses, trains and the tube only in swim suits, slippers and without bags. No opportunity to conceal a bomb, that's it. It's summertime anyway.

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