Britain’s response to terror beats America’s

Brits are angry about the U.S. response to the transit bombings.

When London was hit by terrorists, America's first reaction was to run away, said Brian Reade in the London Daily Mirror. While Londoners were bravely returning to work, defiantly plunking themselves down in bus and subway seats, U.S. soldiers stationed in Britain were under orders to save their own skins and stay out of the city. And it's not just the U.S. military that abandoned us—American commentators actually blamed us for inviting the attack. The U.S. press, generally a 'œgutless shower of sycophants,' churned out alarmist articles claiming that British coddling of Islamism had produced a 'œLondonistan' teeming with potential terrorists. Britons are now deemed the biggest threat to U.S. security. 'œThanks, buddies. It's good to know you're right behind the people who foolishly stuck their heads above the parapet with you in Iraq.'

The Americans really have some cheek, said Seumas Milne in the London Guardian. Since 9/11, they have adamantly refused to consider the possibility that their foreign policy could have provoked the Muslim world's hostility. It was deemed treasonous to suggest that the Muslims had legitimate grievances against the U.S. Instead, Americans retreated into the comforts of banalities such as, 'œThey hate our freedom.' We must not do the same. It is an insult to our dead to pretend that there was no motive for the London suicide bombings. The attacks were quite obviously 'œdriven by a worldwide anger at U.S.–led domination and occupation of Muslim countries.' And it is only since Britain began supporting that agenda—first in Afghanistan and then in Iraq—that Britain became a target.

If the Americans wanted us to believe otherwise, said the London Times in an editorial, perhaps they could have bothered to send us an ambassador. There has been no U.S. ambassador to Britain for more than a year. Such a lapse would be 'œundiplomatic' even if Britain were a tiny backwater. For America's most important ally, it amounts to 'œa dereliction of duty' on the part of the president. A vocal U.S. ambassador could have helped Britons better understand the goals of U.S. policy. At the very least, an able diplomat could have prevented the 'œamazingly inept order' that banned U.S. military personnel from London and resulted in 'œpublic embarrassment.'

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Boris Johnson

Daily Telegraph

Stars and Stripes

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.