Dispatch from the Razor's Edge, the Blog of Michael Stephen Fuchs
2005.07.07 : The Blitz

To: dispatch@michaelfuchs.org
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,
(American and Londoner)

To get on or off fuchs dispatch:

From: fuchs dispatch 
To: dispatch@michaelfuchs.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 . . .

  london     terrorism     the long war     7/7  
close photo of Michael Stephen Fuchs

Fuchs is the author of the novels The Manuscript and Pandora's Sisters, both published worldwide by Macmillan in hardback, paperback and all e-book formats (and in translation); the D-Boys series of high-tech, high-concept, spec-ops military adventure novels – D-Boys, Counter-Assault, and Close Quarters Battle (coming in 2016); and is co-author, with Glynn James, of the bestselling Arisen series of special-operations military ZA novels. The second nicest thing anyone has ever said about his work was: "Fuchs seems to operate on the narrative principle of 'when in doubt put in a firefight'." (Kirkus Reviews, more here.)

Fuchs was born in New York; schooled in Virginia (UVa); and later emigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lived through the dot-com boom. Subsequently he decamped for an extended period of tramping before finally rocking up in London, where he now makes his home. He does a lot of travel blogging, most recently of some very  long  walks around the British Isles. He's been writing and developing for the web since 1994 and shows no particularly hopeful signs of stopping.

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