Three days ago, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who has been in office for a decade, relinquished control of the office to fellow Labor party leader Gordon Brown.
And right on cue, two car bombs were apparently primed to go off in London (though both were found and defused) and today a Jeep Cherokee was set on fire and deliberatly rammed into the main terminal at Glasgow Airport (though so far none of the terrorist plots has resulted in any injuries, and two men were arrested in connection with the incident today.) Prime Minister Brown has raised the terror level in Britain in response.
This makes several things clear:
1. The war against terror is still being fought. While it is unforunate that Blair and Bush screwed up and invaded Iraq and thereby diverted our attention, resources and time from the matter of fighting terrorists, they are still out there and we still have to be vigilant.
2. The timing of these attacks-- obviously timed to send a message both to Blair (that he had failed to prevent them) and to Brown (that Britain remains a target) suggests that terrorists have learned to use the political calendar to their advantage (as we also saw in the Spanish train bombings) and as such we can probably expect some sort of effort made in the United States next year during the Presidential election season, or if they can't swing that, then perhaps shortly after the inauguration. Of course it took eight years between the first and second World Trade Center bombings, and so the first year of the next President's term would be pretty much on the schedule they've used in the past.
3. The fact that the first two attacks were thwarted and the third attack in Britain failed to produce any injuries or major damage is partly because citizens themselves have become much more vigilant, and notice what is going on before them.
4. 'If we are fighting them over there, they won't be able to launch attacks elsewhere.' Might have been true had we continued to make Afghanistan the number 1 priority, but obviously making Iraq a priority hasn't crimped them much.
As I've said numerous times, the U.S. conquest of Iraq was a huge mistake in the context of the global war on terror, but regardless of how anyone feels about Iraq, the real terrorists are still around, and we should not forget them or give them a break.