I am traveling throughout the Cotswolds of England, viewing some of the most lovely country in this “jewel set in a silver sea.”
My traveling chum and I were not in London when the recent attack took place, but we are keeping up with what happened and what the lord mayor said.
The English, as they did with the Manchester attack, are pulling together and “staying calm and keeping on.” I suppose that is why President Trump’s mischaracterization of what the mayor said is so irritating to the British and to those of us who are here with them.
For your enlightenment, please read the text of the mayor’s statement:
“Londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days. No reason to be alarmed. One of the things the police and all of us need to do is make sure we’re as safe as we possibly can be. I’m reassured that we are one of the safest global cities in the world, if not the safest global city in the world, but we always evolve and review ways to make sure that we remain as safe as we possibly can.”
He was saying that seeing police in force should not alarm as much as
Trump appeared to misunderstand the statement on Sunday when he tweeted: “At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is “no reason to be alarmed!”
After the mayor stuck to his statement, Trump retweeted: “Pathetic excuse by London Mayor Sadiq Khan who had to think fast on his ‘no reason to be alarmed’ statement. MSM (mainstream media) is working hard to sell it!”
Shame on Trump. It is time for him to know what he’s talking about and to speak with some sense of time and place.
When 9/11 happened, I don’t remember the queen or prime minister or mayor saying anything about our shortcomings or criticizing our president when he encouraged us to continue to shop and go about our lives in defiance. Trump, who lives in one golden tower after another, manages both to misquote the mayor and to belittle the Brits all at once.
It is true that movement within Europe and the UK is easier when it comes to cross-border movement than it is to get across our long and very limited border. Let us begin to realize that some of these folks have been lying in wait for months or years. Some people are recruited and won over via the internet — often because they feel they’re on the outside or because they have some need for being powerful and within a group that makes them feel so.
That is the simplest way of describing how both our gang leaders and ISIL recruit. It is the new way of war and has been for many years now. Less and less will we find defined borders and clearly marked enemies. Vietnam had guerrilla warfare that was very different from World War II, and here we are further down the road of the evolution of war.
Trump has yet to deal with a huge event. He is yet to be tested in responding to a major attack, and I only hope he is off Twitter and more thoughtful when it comes, as it surely will. He should be grateful for the intelligence services that have stopped and focused on incidents that did not come to fruition — those we will not hear about because they did not happen.
He should be on his knees in gratitude. He should be offering all the support that the U.S. has to offer to London and England in general.
He should not be misquoting the mayor to further his own agenda.