July 24, 2005



The real challenge in dealing with the recent London bombing attacks is how to deal with the underlying issues.

We learned that over 30 years in responding to the IRA terrorist threat.

During the Second World War it was rare to find soldiers willing to go into combat on suicide missions, although individual acts of supreme bravery were common.

We need to understand why young men (mainly) are so willing to give up their lives in this way, and what they hope to achieve for the world they leave behind.

Of course those reasons are complex, vary from person to person, but there are common elements which include intense feelings of injustice, and contempt for what is seen as a degenerate and evil society.

The other thing we learned from the Irish troubles was that the greatest weapon of a terrorist is fear - and that fear is usually irrational.

By the end of the Second World War around 25% of all London homes were damaged or destroyed, yet life went on.

Even if there ten deaths from terrorism in London every week, the statistical chances of being killed in this way would be less than being killed on the roads as a part of normal day to day life.

Every nation affected by terrorism needs a sense of perspective, which is the greatest protection against terrorism of all. We cannot allow bombers the victory of bringing the whole of London to a halt.