Ahoy! The LondonNet Newsletter
12 September 2001, Issue 87
In the light of Tuesday's devastating loss of life we won't be bringing you the usual newsletter this time round. Normal service will, however, be resumed next week.
New York holds a special place in the heart of Londoners. Many of us have friends and family there, while for others it is the very embodiment of the vitality and excitement encapsulated in the American Dream.
Ask Londoners which other city they could live in and chances are New York would be top of the list. The world's two greatest cosmopolitan metropoli share so much that is so good. Now, sadly, both New Yorkers and Londoners share the grief induced by cold, calculating fanaticism. As do the poor souls of Washington too.
Terrorism of various flavours has hit our city so many times over recent years that an air of resignation abounds. No more. The sheer scale of yesterday's attacks will result in an unprecedented re-assessment of how democracy tackles the hidden menace of the terrorist.
Have no fear; The West's response will be brutal. Let's hope it's accurate too. Moreover we must get smarter not just harder. Intelligence should not just focus on the gun-carriers but should seek out the money trail that funds these operations too. Al Capone was outwitted by accountancy not bullets.
I can imagine that many of our US readers must feel isolated in a world where such hatred is focused on their country. You have some friends too you know. Good ones.
Peter D. Clee, Publisher
Can we help?
We have already helped one US reader to get in touch with a relative staying in one of our featured London hotels. We know there are several dozen other US readers currently staying in our other partner hotels. If you need help reaching them let us know and we will do our best to assist.
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Long Sight Needed for Death to Have No Dominion
Imagine if this week's horrific attack had killed 'only' a handful of Americans. The reaction of President Bush would probably have involved stinging air strikes aimed at the guilty.
There's an old Russian saying that goes something like, 'quantity has its own quality'. As thousands of dead bodies lie on the grim streets of New York and Washington DC, it is a message I would like the leaders of the western world to take to heart.
Quantity on this sickening scale requires a response different in kind, not simply bigger in size. By all means take steps to punish those responsible, but do so while summoning up the political courage to help apply some long-term solutions to the root of the problem, namely deeply held Arab grievances.
For those who would argue that it is never right to reward the guilty, can I point them in the direction of the end of the Second World War. Nazi war criminals were executed, while the US, in contrast to the short-sighted actions of the European powers after the First World war, decided to rescue West Germany via the Marshall Plan. Something similar is surely worth a try in Palestine.
Meanwhile, over to Dylan Thomas:
And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.
David Clee, Editor
We welcome your views on the WTC, Pentagon and Pittsburgh tragedies.
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