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London

They made one very bad mistake.


Live 8 was just over, the UK press showering accolades on the event and on Bob Geldof and Midge Ure; Midge was set to open up phase two of the effort in Edinburgh as the leaders of the G8 arrived at Gleneagles; the day before London surprised the world by taking home the bid for the 2012 Olympics; and then the killjoys hit.

At first there were reports of something technically wrong with the London tube; after a while it started carrying the spectre of an attack. Several hours later yet another branch of the 'database' took gleeful credit for the destruction they had been able to cause.

Emergency services in London have long been trained for such an attack. Their premise was 'not if but when' and they did a tremendous job. And through it all the spirit and dignity of the British people shone.

London is the navel of the world. There are other great cities but none come close to London in the final analysis. It's perfectly positioned, the first stop for the commuters from the western hemisphere. It has great traditions. And the streets are almost able to talk and tell of the city's history.

The terrorists made one very bad mistake: they counted on being able to spread fear and panic. Too bad for them they don't know the British people better. For everyone acquainted with the city, the people, and the country understands at once how bad a mistake this was on the terrorists' part.

The British are not going to succumb; they are not going to go around in panic and in fear; they have a dignity you can't really appreciate unless you've got to know them by living with them. They are, simply put, 'the best'.

The odds are the terrorists will be caught if they are still in the UK, so there's a lot of this story that has yet to unfold. But for now let's give a moment of our respect to the British.

It's not about the old Commonwealth or the House of Windsor or anything like that: it's about the British people - the people on the streets.

They are what makes their country so unique and London the capital of the world.

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