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niedziela, lipca 10, 2005

Poland - Going from Bad to Worse in London

Poland - Going from Bad to Worse in London

Jaded for free
by Jordan Seidel

According to the latest news (TVN24), 24 Poles are reportedly 'missing' in London. The photo-poster of at least one missing Pole hangs at the deadliest site (King's Cross). If those 24 Poles turn out to be fatalities, it would likely represent the single largest loss of Polish nationals since the bad old days of the Warsaw Uprising.

One of the added terror effects of picking a city like London to bomb is its diversity. With over 200 languages spoken in the almost 2,000 year old city, a strategically placed bomb is likely to make its tragic mark felt in several countries simultaneously. Just for some perspective, according to UK transportation officials over 2 million people ride The Tube and another third of a million take buses each day. The entire population of Warsaw is moved through the London transportation net each day. In fact, to observe a typical work day on the streets in London is to experience a microcosm of not only Europe (both illegal and legal), but of the world as well -- and the tensions within such a world.

What this points to is a tragic irony of our time for the EU -- that greater mobility for the East to the West brings greater physical risk - that those leaving Poland for a better life (temporarily apparently) are headed right into the epicenter of European terror.

My job brings me into contact with many Poles daily. And the opinion that "Poland is paying for Iraq yet again" can be heard, and it hurts moreso since England is one of the few EU countries that allows Poles to work legally in its territory and that supported the USA invasion of Iraq. Even when Polish troops pull out of Iraq, more frightening consequences were possibly foretold last week in England's capital, and newly awarded 2012 Summer Games city.

I just wonder how Poles really interpret the situation right now. Did they ever think that joining the EU also meant the possibility of being blown up taking the Metro from Kabaty to work in the morning? Will the latest violence in London encourage a generation of Brits to come to Poland for greater security? Will the current mayor of Warsaw, Lech Kaczyñski be given a ratings boost by security conscious Poles thanks to the London bombings? It's too early to tell, but one thing is certain, terrorism is no longer just a candidate for EU membership.

UPDATE [7/11/2005]: Number of missing Poles in London down to 17, according to the Polish Foreign Ministry.

**Editor's Note: Link to Muslim reactions to the London Bombings
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At 11.7.05, Anonymous Anonimowy said...

Well, I suppose it's possible to take many positions on this recent attack.
After the attacks on 9/11 in NYC many people were heard saying that if they stopped flying,then the terrorists had won. You'll be hearing more of that now, and already have really. But my position is that when it's your time to die, you will be there, whether it's a tube in London or your bathtub. I have brushed with death several times in my life and realized that I have no good reason to explain how I lived.
A friend of mine who works in the financial district was 10 minutes late the day the explosions occured in London. She is usually very prompt.
Explain it? I can't.
I live a less tormented life believing there is a higher power in control of that final decision of when it will be my (or your)time.



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