No panic today

Britain is now burning with fear, terror and panic in its northern, southern, eastern, and western quarters.
— al Qaeda website, as reported by the BBC 

Waking up to the awful news that terrorists have attacked rush hour commuters in London, my immediate reactions are horror and deep, deep anger. Innocent men, women, and children have been blown apart, hideously maimed, and traumatized physically and mentally. In numbers unknown, but surely significant.

But after coffee and reflection, a second wave of emotion swept over me. An odd comfort and pride in the reaction of the Londoners and the British. Like their countrymen in the World War II Blitz bombing, the Brits are made of tough fabric. They have lived through Nazi attacks and the IRA terror bombings of two decades ago.

They do not run about the streets screaming, wailing, looting, or in any way panicked. Some of those at the blasts may be in shock. But that is quite a different matter than panic. They are being attended to, receiving medical attention and the all—purpose British remedy, a hot cuppa tea.

An al Qaeda website is claiming responsibility for the blast and crowing about Britain 'burning with fear.' Whether or not this lot actually masterminded the horror itself, they are revealing the mindset which was behind the attack. Those who deliberately slaughter the innocent reveal the utter depravity of their own souls. They have so little actual fortitude of their own that they project onto others, better than they, their own reactions to such violence.

They inhabit a mental realm detached from reality. They have no grasp of the people and — the phrase must be used — higher civilization with which they have collectively grappled so unsuccessfully for the last several centuries. Instead of self—criticism and honest efforts to overcome obvious shortcomings of their own, they take comfort in simmering rage, conspiracy theories, and plans to wreak vengeance.

They are profoundly cowardly, and attempt to hide that awful truth about themselves with suicidal cruelty and bravado. They are enmeshed in a brittle spiritual construct, one which demands shattering by resilient people, far better grounded than they in both the spiritual and physical worlds.

Londoners today. New Yorkers and Washingtonians on 9/11. People such as these are the reason that one particular variant of human civilization, best named the Anglosphere,  reigns as the best hope for all mankind, regardless of cultural and civilizational history.

It is particularly striking that this strength resides more in the ordinary folks than among the cultural elites. Following 9/11, some disgraceful things have been uttered by journalists, college professors, Hollywood icons, and others occupying highly privileged perches, from which they look down upon the very people supplying them with such extraordinary benefits.

I sat through Steve Spielberg's latest movie, War of the Worlds, last weekend. Unquestionably, Spielberg is a genius as a visual story—teller. Some of the images he crafted are hauntingly vivid, the sort of nightmarish fantasy that will live on in the imaginations of multitudes.

But my admiration for his mastery was severely limited by his utterly condescending portrayal of panicked crowds reacting to the (admittedly overwhelmingly worse) alien invasion rampage depicted in the movie. Spielberg's vision of the mass of Americans is that they panic, become selfish, and will turn on one another as soon as the going gets tough.

This is a profoundly dispiriting view of us, one which I believe is not at all justified by the actual behavior of Brits or Americans under attack. It is the view, frankly, of someone who thinks the mass of humanity is much less virtuous than he is. Someone who needs to keep reminding himself that this must be the case.

Fortunately, neither al Qaeda nor Spielberg is correct.

Our British cousins will mourn their dead, heal their injured, and help each other recover. And all of us will steel our resolve. Today's attack will have precisely the opposite effect intended by its perpetrators.

Thomas Lifson is the editor and publisher of The American Thinker.

Britain is now burning with fear, terror and panic in its northern, southern, eastern, and western quarters.
— al Qaeda website, as reported by the BBC 

Waking up to the awful news that terrorists have attacked rush hour commuters in London, my immediate reactions are horror and deep, deep anger. Innocent men, women, and children have been blown apart, hideously maimed, and traumatized physically and mentally. In numbers unknown, but surely significant.

But after coffee and reflection, a second wave of emotion swept over me. An odd comfort and pride in the reaction of the Londoners and the British. Like their countrymen in the World War II Blitz bombing, the Brits are made of tough fabric. They have lived through Nazi attacks and the IRA terror bombings of two decades ago.

They do not run about the streets screaming, wailing, looting, or in any way panicked. Some of those at the blasts may be in shock. But that is quite a different matter than panic. They are being attended to, receiving medical attention and the all—purpose British remedy, a hot cuppa tea.

An al Qaeda website is claiming responsibility for the blast and crowing about Britain 'burning with fear.' Whether or not this lot actually masterminded the horror itself, they are revealing the mindset which was behind the attack. Those who deliberately slaughter the innocent reveal the utter depravity of their own souls. They have so little actual fortitude of their own that they project onto others, better than they, their own reactions to such violence.

They inhabit a mental realm detached from reality. They have no grasp of the people and — the phrase must be used — higher civilization with which they have collectively grappled so unsuccessfully for the last several centuries. Instead of self—criticism and honest efforts to overcome obvious shortcomings of their own, they take comfort in simmering rage, conspiracy theories, and plans to wreak vengeance.

They are profoundly cowardly, and attempt to hide that awful truth about themselves with suicidal cruelty and bravado. They are enmeshed in a brittle spiritual construct, one which demands shattering by resilient people, far better grounded than they in both the spiritual and physical worlds.

Londoners today. New Yorkers and Washingtonians on 9/11. People such as these are the reason that one particular variant of human civilization, best named the Anglosphere,  reigns as the best hope for all mankind, regardless of cultural and civilizational history.

It is particularly striking that this strength resides more in the ordinary folks than among the cultural elites. Following 9/11, some disgraceful things have been uttered by journalists, college professors, Hollywood icons, and others occupying highly privileged perches, from which they look down upon the very people supplying them with such extraordinary benefits.

I sat through Steve Spielberg's latest movie, War of the Worlds, last weekend. Unquestionably, Spielberg is a genius as a visual story—teller. Some of the images he crafted are hauntingly vivid, the sort of nightmarish fantasy that will live on in the imaginations of multitudes.

But my admiration for his mastery was severely limited by his utterly condescending portrayal of panicked crowds reacting to the (admittedly overwhelmingly worse) alien invasion rampage depicted in the movie. Spielberg's vision of the mass of Americans is that they panic, become selfish, and will turn on one another as soon as the going gets tough.

This is a profoundly dispiriting view of us, one which I believe is not at all justified by the actual behavior of Brits or Americans under attack. It is the view, frankly, of someone who thinks the mass of humanity is much less virtuous than he is. Someone who needs to keep reminding himself that this must be the case.

Fortunately, neither al Qaeda nor Spielberg is correct.

Our British cousins will mourn their dead, heal their injured, and help each other recover. And all of us will steel our resolve. Today's attack will have precisely the opposite effect intended by its perpetrators.

Thomas Lifson is the editor and publisher of The American Thinker.