“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, June 29, 2007

Today's Big Story

From the Telegraph:

What we know about the car bomb

By Emma Henry
Last Updated: 1:36pm BST 29/06/2007

# Car bomb would have caused 'carnage'

What do we know about the car bomb discovered in London's West End?
# An ambulance crew on an unrelated emergency call in The Haymarket reports a smoking silver Mercedes car to the police around 2am this morning
# Officers inspecting the car discover large quantities of petrol, a number of gas cylinders and containers holding nails inside
# There were at least 60 litres of petrol on the back seat and in the boot of the car in various sized containers
# Police sources said the car bomb was a "big device"
# They also said it was potentially moments away from killing a "significant number" of people
# One witness said the car was seen being driven "erratically" before it collided with some bins or bin bags on the pavement
# The driver ran off, apparently uninjured by the minor collision, which did not damage the vehicle. The lights of the car were left on
# Police used a remote-controlled vehicle to investigate the car before bomb squad officers made the device safe
# The massive quantity of petrol coupled with several propane gas cylinders could have combined to create a massive explosion
# There was so much petrol in the vehicle that the highly flammable vapour it gave off is believed to have looked like smoke
# A source said it was "impossible" to know whether the perpetrator was acting alone or as part of a large group
# Whitehall sources said that the police and security services were looking at possible international links - including similarities to car bombs used by insurgents in Iraq
# A police cordon was thrown around the Haymarket, causing massive disruption to thousands of rush-hour commuters.
# Forensic officers supervised the removal of the metallic light-green Mercedes saloon in a covered transporter lorry
# Security experts said the bomb could have been timed to coincide with the change at the top of Government.
# Piccadilly Tube station remained closed, while 16 bus routes which normally pass through the area were being diverted, said a spokeswoman for Transport for London.


  1. Also from the Telegraph:
    Car Bomb is al-Qaeda's greeting to Brown by Con Coughlin. Don't miss the comments at the end. Some readers are questioning the rush to blame Islamo terrorists.

  2. Growing nectarines in Hezzbbollahstan:

  3. let's not to rush to judgement..

    I bet it was the quakers..

    yep, that's my story

  4. did lack of execution save the day or did the local police and feds foil the plot?

    the enemy does not complain about lack of top down leadership but acts in a bottom up manner

    imagine that

  5. Yeah, elijah, they have a virual networked solution to fighting our top down hierarchical system.

    From the report, I'd infer that nerves got to the driver, either causing him to hit the cans or because of it. He then abandoning the mission.

    The Target, an ethnic Indian night club seems interesting in many aspects, not much mentioned, yet.

  6. The second car bomb did not go off, either.

    Seems to have been in a no parking zone and had been towed to an impound yard, before it was discoverd to be a bomb.

    Quite bizarre in some respects.

  7. UPDATE — Bomb components found in second car: “The second car was towed from Trafalgar Square to Park Lane overnight, because it was illegally parked, the sources said. At the Park Lane garage, workers called authorities when they became suspicious after news of the first incident, because the car smelled of gas. Police and security sources say the car was found to contain components very similar to the first car — definitely fuel, and possibly much more.” (CNN)

  8. Could we expect that with the target being ethnic Indians, the bombers are Pakistani influenced?

  9. Train bombings in India preceded the Israeli/Hezbollah conflict last summer

    AQ recently released a message about Hindus and Kashmir

    not just in london, but something feels odd to me about current events

    In gaza, Hamas was already in control, why an armed coup? It seems to me that Israel has a freer hand to act.

    The same in Lebanon, the murder of Eido and the bombing of UNIFIL troops? Makes no sense.

    Iran and its proxies are becoming reckless.

    Pakistan/India tension?

  10. I won't say reckless, aggressive would, I think, be a more proper term.

    Kashmere is a sore point for the mussulmen, Pakistani mussulmen more than most.

    Gaza freed up $300 million USD for the Palisitnians, did it not?

    Plus large amounts of food stuffs and other supplies, to include weapons and ammo.
    As mat has said, the Hamas vs Fatah fight could be an illusion more than a true Palistinian "split".

    Which seems a reasonable assumption to make, really.
    They'd hae never gotten the cash, otherwise.

    In Lebanon, harder to gauge the motivation of the attackers, but which group was it, that atacked the UN troops? Palistinians or HB, I do not recall, if I ever knew.

  11. The couple of rockets fired at Israel and the UN incident, could just be viural incidents in Lebanon. That is hard to tell, even the question keeping US on a polce footing rather than mobilizing for War.

  12. From wretchard, at the BC

    Catch N' Release
    The Blotter reports that "British police have a 'crystal clear' picture of the man who drove the bomb-rigged silver Mercedes outside a London nightclub, and officials tell the Blotter on he bears 'a close resemblance' to a man arrested by police in connection with another bomb plot but released for lack of evidence." (Hat tip: Tigerhawk) Which only proves the camera lenses work. It is something else that is broken.

  13. Good cop, bad cop.

    Age old technique

  14. National security adviser Stephen Hadley met with Lugar, GOP Sen. John Warner of Virginia and others. Warner said a defense policy bill expected to attract several war-related amendments in July was a main topic.

    The White House thought it had until an expected September assessment by military commanders before facing a showdown on the unpopular war.

    But a majority of senators now believes troops should start coming home in the next few months. House Republicans want to revive the independent Iraq Study Group to get new options.

    Then, while at the Naval War College, Mr bush said that Israel sets the standard of success he is lookng for, in Iraq.

    Crazy, or like a fox?

    "Our success in Iraq must not be measured by the enemy's ability to get a car bombing in the evening news," he said. "No matter how good the security, terrorists will always be able to explode a bomb on a crowded street."

    He suggested Israel, the frequent target of terrorist attacks and a country in a decades-long, intractable and often violent dispute with Palestinians, as a standard to strive for.

    "In places like Israel, terrorists have taken innocent human life for years in suicide attacks," Bush said. "The difference is that Israel is a functioning democracy and it's not prevented from carrying out its responsibilities. And that's a good indicator of success that we're looking for in Iraq."

    Remember though, what Mr Olmert said "A country cannot protect itself ad infinitum, because there would be no end to it."

    So that is now the Standard, for US?

  15. dRat,

    MJT has a theory which I tend to subscribe to, that all evil in Lebanon emanates from Syria and Iran. I'm not going to elaborate on the cause and effect here, but many Lebanese bloggers that I've read tend to agree with him.

  16. Some of the evil, most of the evil, I'd be with you there, mat.
    But ALL the evil, that streches reality.

    There are evil doing Lebanonese, no doubt.

    To blame all the Lebanese troubles on outsiders, that has a tinge of fantasy to it, I'd think. Just as it does in Iraq.

    It is a Regional War, but there are local players aplenty.

  17. UNITED NATIONS (Associated Press) -- Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged Syria and Iran on Friday to do more to prevent arms smuggling to Lebanon, citing "disturbing reports" from the Lebanese and Israeli governments of alleged violations of the U.N. arms embargo.

    In a report to the Security Council on implementation of the resolution that ended last summer's 34-day war between Israel and Hezbollah, Ban said the reports "constitute a major impediment to the establishment of a permanent cease-fire and a long-term solution" that would bring peace to Lebanon.

    The report was issued three days after a U.N.-appointed team said security along the Lebanon-Syria border is insufficient to prevent arms smuggling and Lebanon should quickly establish a mobile force to intercept any flow of weapons.

    In the latest report, Ban said Lebanon informed him that on June 6, four trucks were seen by the Lebanese armed forces traveling from Al-Kafeer in Syria to Lebanon, ultimately to an outpost of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestinian in Jabal al-Maaysara. Each truck carried two vehicles mounted with 40-barrel rocket launchers, he said.

  18. dRat,

    You're right. And I had posed the same argument to MJT as you have to me. The corrupted are as responsible for the evil as the corruptor.