CNN.COM: World Report

Thursday, July 7, 2005. Posted: 4:45 PM EDT (20:45 GTM)

London mayor: This was mass murder

Livingstone: Terror attack against ordinary Londoners

SINGAPORE (AP) -- London Mayor Ken Livingstone said the blasts that ripped through his city were "mass murder" carried out by terrorists bent on "indiscriminate ... slaughter."

"I want to say one thing: This was not a terrorist attack against the mighty or the powerful, it is not aimed at presidents or prime ministers, it was aimed at ordinary working-class Londoners," Livingstone told reporters.

Transcript of Bush remarks on London bombings:

"The war on terror goes on. I was most impressed by the resolve of all the leaders in the room. Their resolve is as strong as my resolve. And that is, we will not yield to these people, will not yield to the terrorists.

"We will find them. We will bring them to justice. And at the same time we will spread an ideology of hope and compassion that will overwhelm their ideology of hate.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called for a united response, according to wire reports.

"Wherever such inhuman crimes occur -- in London, in New York or in Moscow -- we must unconditionally condemn them and unite all civilized countries in the struggle against international terrorism," Putin said through a spokesman, according to the reports.

* * * *

The horrid images flashed across the screens everywhere. Bloody, mangled people strewn on the road, blood and severed body parts were splattered across the seats in the blasted trains and bus. Dozens of bodies were tagged and shipped off to the mortuary. Hundreds of wounded packed nearby hospitals as England and the world reeled from the brutality of the act. London and the world were horrified, and rightly so, at another set of coordinated terrorist attacks by an Islamic group. Condolences were heavily saturated with strong, bitter and defiant condemnations and the attacks correctly tagged as "mass murder of innocents".

My heart went out for those innocent people whose lives were cut short or forever altered. I cried for the young who'll never again see the sun, pick a flower or say a prayer. My heart bled for that little girl whose mother will never again hold her in her arms and that little three-year-old boy waiting by the window for the father who will never again pick him up and toss him in the air. How does one describe the agony and pain of the parent slated to stare unbelievingly at a child's forever-empty bed? And where does a once-happy house regain the happy giggling of the frolicking child whose sweet singing voice is stilled forever? Where, indeed?

And I listened raptly to the expanding stream of political dignitaries who condemned such acts of murder and the spilling of innocent blood. I listened to President George Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair. I followed the sad yet determined consternation voiced by Jacques Chirac of France and Koffi Anan of the United Nations. Pope Benedict, Governor Pataki, Zapatero of Spain and Russia's Vladimir Putin. They spoke angrily and vowed to pursue, capture or eliminate the perpetrators. Eloquence and passionate determination, reaffirming the world's commitment to eradicate the scourge of terrorism against innocent civilians, was voiced by all without exception. By all!

It was then that I began to shiver. I shivered not from the cold wind in July, but rather from the sudden realization that I and they are not chess pieces in the same game. The shiver rose from within, from the deep recesses of my heart. Sudden realization? No. It was a shiver brought on not by realization, but of affirmation.

In the words spoken by these politicians I hear affirmation that my child's blood, a Jewish child's blood, is of a different color. I shivered as I heard London's mayor, Livingstone, lamented that this was "mass murder... by terrorists bent on indiscriminate... slaughter... aimed at ordinary working-class Londoners...." and an ugly thought entered my mind.

What of the slaughter of my children, 'ordinary, working-class' brothers and sisters in Haifa and Jerusalem, Ashdod and Ashkelon? What about my working-class Jewish fellow citizens whose simple wants and needs are the same as those in London? Where is the determination to eradicate the vermin who have turned Israeli streets into infernos as they blow up buses, restaurants and malls?

Do those murdering and maiming my children deserve a state of their own from which they can peacefully continue to bathe my country in blood? Why are the snakes in London to be pursued and eradicated, while those who have killed young Jewish mothers, Jewish infants and the unborn are to be rewarded and feted as heroes in every corner of every continent in the universe?

I shook spasmodically, the shiver rattled my teeth, as I heard President Bush, my president, vow to "find them... bring them to justice...." Bring whom to justice, I thought loudly? I'm sure he wasn't referring to those same Palestinian murderers who indiscriminately murder Israelis and whose incarceration is cut short by American demands that Israel set them free. I'm sure President Bush wasn't referring to the PLO hoodlums who have been so conveniently and magically re-incarnated in the form of newly-appointed Palestinian Authority 'policemen'. And I'm sure that the president's words of defiance weren't directed at Yasser Arafat's henchman, otherwise known as Abu Mazen.

But then the shiver receded, and in its place, I felt total disappointment and anger sweep over me. There, on the screen, stood Russia's Vladimir Putin. In a no-nonsense tone of voice, the Russian Bear spoke of the need for a "united response" to such acts of terror. Said Mr. Putin, through an interpreter: "Wherever such inhuman crimes occur -- in London, in New York or in Moscow -- we must unconditionally condemn them and unite all civilized countries in the struggle against international terrorism." London? New York? Moscow? I waited to hear Haifa. And Jerusalem. And Afula. And Netanya.

What Mr. Putin said was correct. What he urged was appropriate. The cities he named have suffered greatly at the hands of Muhammad's followers. These cities and others have seen the gory results of Islam's fanaticism. I waited for the Russian weasel to bring his lips to acknowledge those cities and many others in Israel as the epicenters of Islam's global assault on decency. I waited and expected his outrage at the despicable murder in London and New York and Moscow to continue a minute or two further so that I may know that, finally, perhaps, the world will be prompted to avenge my child's blood, too. I waited for Mr. Putin to "unconditionally condemn" the barbaric acts committed against my parents, my loved ones. I waited... and waited. And then he was gone.

I cried for the children in England and for the children in Russia. And I cried along with those in Spain. I cried for them all.

But none ever cried for me.