Now that we're again in a 24/7 Anderson Cooper CNN Fear Frenzy, some context and history might be in order. From everything you see on the 24/7 Fear Channels you might get the impression that acts of terrorism against the West are a brand-new phenomenon worthy of 24/7 Fear (not to mention significantly higher television ratings).
But that's not the case. Not by a long shot. I'm not saying it should make us feel any better, but here are a few links to webpages with terrorist timelines for attacks in the United States and around the world. Some entries include a short explication of the event in question. I list four below because some include events missed or left unexplained by others:
Significant Terrorist Attacks Against the United States and its Citizens 1946-2001, from the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation
Another, less thorough list from Infoplease.com
Another timeline with events for more than the United States from a Wikipedia entry (of course, it is Wikipedia but you get the idea)
Another quite thorough timeline from folks at the Crimson Bird Book Store in Stanfordville, NY. I like this one the best.
Again, I don't expect glancing at the above links (and there are tons and tons of others, as you might expect) to make you feel any better about today's events in the U.K. or any other terrorist action. Still, I do think it's important for us to get off this "these are the possible end times!" theme regarding this issue. Focusing, re-focusing, dwelling and obsessing on actions of the last five years like they are some entirely new, greater depth of "Evil" misses the historical context. There's been crap like this going on for years, the only difference seems to be that the terrorist are getting better at killing their enemy, in large part because they don't mind killing themselves in the process.
Oh, one more thing. I really hope this is the time, the "crisis", that shows the American people can see through the BS that Cheney-Bush vomit forth about Democrats being Soft on Terror and Republicans being the only way to prevent Al-Qaeda from strolling up Main Street U.S.A., bombs a-strapped. Of course we know they will say it, in fact Cheney has already said that Lieberman losing his primary fight was helping Al-Qaeda. I'm just hoping and betting that this is the time the average American understands that Everybody wants to stop terrorists, and that the use of fear and terror as a public opinion cattle prod to ensure continued Republican control is despicable.