To: email@example.com From: fuchs dispatch Subject: Fuchs Fine in London (sigh) Date: Thu, 7 Jul 2005 11:23:55 -0000 I'm totally fine. I'm sick of sending these sodding "I'm fine" messages from the scenes of atrocities, I can tell you that. But, otherwise, I'm fine. Though, with London transport pretty much shut down - evidently the police commissioner just issued an advisory for everyone to stay put - I can't get to my appointment with my psychiatrist. And good luck getting another appointment! (NHS!) But, then, hey, everyone's pretty much going to be stuck with being depressed at this point. Luckily, my health club (the best guarantor of my mental health) is right next door to my office - though it was strangely empty today. Walking back to work, the Strand was also oddly free of traffic - except for two blaring flashing ambulances that went speeding ominously by. No one seems to be panicking at all. I think I speak for most Londoners (and Britons) when I express huge confidence in MI5, the Met (Metropolitan Police), and the capital's emergency services. Just since I've lived here (less than two years), the authorities have broken up I think three major terrorist rings before they pulled anything off - at least one of which was reported to be planning a bombing on Madrid scale. They've got a lot of experience at anti- and counter-terrorism, mainly from the Troubles. And they're hugely professional. They'll take care of things, no danger. Plus, God knows London can take it. We took years of the Blitz! By the time WWII ended, 3.5 million homes in London had been damaged or destroyed. Nearly 1.5 million people had been made homeless. Over 30,000 civilians had been killed. And Londoners responded to this by banding together, bearing down, and remaining totally defiant. So, these pansy terrorists are going to have to grow a much, much bigger sack if they want to even slow things down here in the Big Smoke. Still . . . I guess I speak only for me when I express a sad sense that "we're in it now". This seems unlikely to be the end. The sense for a long time - the official line, actually if you asked law enforcement - was that a major terrorist attack in London was never a "whether" question, only a "when" question. Looks like today's it. Now I suppose the question is what will be next - and how long it will all go on. Then again, the other shoe never did drop in the U.S. after 9/11. (If you think back, you'll probably remember everyone expecting it to.) And I can't help but think of Mom and Pops's rough luck in having two children who insist on living at the centre of the world's two top terrorist targets. Oh - wait, with Sara in DC, that's *top three* now! Ouch. Of course, barring an NBC attack, we're still a lot more likely to be run down by a careening taxi than killed by a terrorist . . . As a final note, I'd ask all the Americans reading this to say a prayer for your first cousins back in the old world. Maybe you'll even want to bust out with a Union Jack flag or lapel pin, if you can find one, to show solidarity. God knows there were a lot of Stars and Stripes to be seen here after 9/11. "What struck me here among my American friends at the time [after 9/11] was how instinctive their response was to British support. It wasn't so much gratitude, I sensed, as relief. At moments like these, the Brits somehow make America seem less alone in the world." - Andrew Sullivan, 5 November 2001 "America has no truer friend than Great Britain. Once again, we are joined together in a great cause so honored the British Prime Minister has crossed an ocean to show his unity of purpose with America. Thank you for coming, friend." - George W. Bush, 20 September 2001 "And our job, my nation that watched you grow, that you've fought alongside and now fights alongside you, that takes enormous pride in our alliance and great affection in our common bond, our job is to be there with you. You're not going to be alone." - Tony Blair, 18 July 2003, before the U.S. Congress Lots of love, Michael (American and Londoner) To get on or off fuchs dispatch: http://www.michaelfuchs.org/life/roam/dispatch/ From: fuchs dispatch To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Emendation Date: Thu, 7 Jul 2005 06:18:47 -0700 After reading first-hand accounts of the human impact of the attrocities, I realise my last message was wrongly focused - not to mention self-centered. All our thoughts should be with those hurt and those lost - and their families and friends. London blast: survivors' tales By Peter Bale, Times Online and agencies These are some of the stories from passengers who were travelling at the time of the blast at 9am . . .