The truth,” said Oscar Wilde, “is rarely pure and never simple.” Reality evades our desire for simplicity and order. And so, a year on, the 7/7 London bombings are enmired in uncertainty. Were they a direct result of theIraq war? Were they masterminded or the work of a few crazed individuals?How were such monsters incubated in our midst? How do we begin to confrontthe fascist Islamicist conviction that the lives of unbelievers areworthless?
The particular problem of 7/7, as opposed to 9/11, is that there is no obvious next step. The Americans had to destroy the Taliban regime inAfghanistan; but what do we have to do in response to the Tube and bus bombers? The inept responses of the police at Stockwell and Forest Gateindicate clearly that striking back with lethal force is not, in our case, an option.