November 20, 2003

Istanbul Attacks The bombings in

Istanbul Attacks

The bombings in Istanbul against British targets were very likely timed to coincide with Dubya's visit to the U.K. They will doubtless overshadow both the tail end of his visit to the UK and the anti-Bush demonstrations planned for today in London.

Britain will be in mourning today.

The attacks were also likely designed to suggest linkage between the Israeli-Palestinian dispute and Anglo-American policy in the Middle East given the synagogue attacks of a few days back in the same city.

Yes, not that we needed any reminding, al-Qaeda and/or affiliates are still very much operational. And it will likely get even uglier.

Now tell me again that Bush is overreacting to the terror threat post 9/11?

UPDATE: There won't be much to overshadow demonstrations-wise. During a quick lunchtime stroll, I just popped around through Mayfair down to the Mall and back via Trafalgar Sq. and Piccadilly Circus.

A gaggle or two of what appeared to be junior high school age students waving anti-Dubya placards and looking, er, very clueless. Piles of as yet unclaimed placards conveniently lying about too--just in case an office worker on lunch might want to strut about with one, for a brief while, with a tuna sandwich in the other hand.

A big videomontage with an animated Dubya dancing and text saying something like 'Dance with me or I'll bomb 'ya'. Lame music in the air and a woman walking around with a picture of Jesus announcing the coming of the Prophet.

Some rasta-haired curiosities with dollar bills interwoven into their hair so as to make some "statement" about Halliburton or such.

Oh, and two big signs about taking down "Israel's Apartheid Wall." Listen, regular readers of this blog know I don't support the erection of the security fence. And, of course, Dubya spoke out against it yesterday (whether there will be any effective follow through is quite another matter in terms of applying real pressure on Sharon).

But to call the security fence an "Apartheid Wall" is absurd. Might the protestors pause and think of the myriad suicide attacks that have hit Israel? And thus the reason the security fence is, if unwisely, being built?

While they are at it, might they stop and remember the British and Turkish nationals killed today in Istanbul by the very bombing tactics they castigate Bush about?

ANOTHER UPDATE: The death toll is rising and al-Qaeda has reputedly claimed the attack.

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING: Underwhelming in the extreme. (Hat tip: Glenn)

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