Superb article in the Guardian that confronts the real questions coming out of the attacks on London. While I recognise that it is only 5 days since the terror attacks the initial shock amongst many people is turning to anger and unreasonable hate.
We all deplore terrorism (even liberal lefties like myself). I cannot imagine the pain and suffering that the families of the victims must be going through. However, as a nation there are two directions we can go in. After 9/11 the American government took a radical right-wing step and launched a war on terror. In it's name they have invaded 2 nations, killed hundreds of thousands of people (predominately innocent civilians) and cost their economy hundreds of billions of dollars. After 11th March 2004, Spain took a radically different step. The Madrid train bombings occurred only days before their election. The people ousted the pro-Iraq war government and elected an anti-Iraq war government.
The choices are simple, we can continue to 'fight' this war on terror or we can actually try to get to the cause. If the 30 year conflict in Northern Ireland has taught us anything, it is surely that you cannot fight terrorism by simply resorting to the same tactics. Has the war on terror helped to prevent terrorist attacks? Have the number of terrorist cells decreased? For every man and woman killed in the war on terror there are families that grow up resenting their killers. Only through knowledge and understanding can we prevent terrorism.
When Tony Blair next makes a rousing speech about how we must stay the course, ask yourself this question. If Tony Blair had not led us into a war in Iraq, would the attacks on London have ever happened?