Not Ukraine

When there are photos or videos of civilians and children being bombed and killed in Ukraine, the world is horrified.

‘Horrific’. ‘Inhuman’. ‘Criminal’. ‘War crime’. ‘Unjustified’. Just some of the headlines.

But when Israel attacks Gaza today, bombing civilian targets, killing civilians including children, and terrorising others in their homes, the media is completely silent.

Not a word. Not a single news report so far.

So do Palestinian children not matter? Are they not white enough? Is it because Russia is not bombing them?

Look at the photos, and decide for yourself.

Israel is no better than Russia, but you won’t hear that on the BBC.

7/7: In Memoriam

Fifteen years ago today, on the 7th of July 2005, domestic Islamist terrorists carried out a series of suicide bombing attacks in London.

Three bombs were detonated on underground trains, and a fourth on the top deck of a London bus.

52 people were killed, and 700 injured. The bombers also died in their own explosions.

Those killed were from 19 different countries, including Britain. Three of the bombers were British-born sons of Pakistani immigrants, one was a convert born in Jamaica.

At the time, I was living less than a 10-minute walk from where the bus was blown up. I had been on night duty, working for the Metropolitan Police, and was sleeping. I didn’t hear any of the explosions, but did hear the sirens of the emergency vehicles. Such sounds were so common in London, I paid them no attention, and went back to sleep.

Ambulance memories: Disasters

During my time as an EMT in London, I attended the scene of a few significant major incidents. Some were accidents, others related to terrorism. Whatever the cause, you might well consider them to be disasters. These are my recollections of some of those.

1981. Oxford Street London. The Wimpy Bar bombing.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by ANL/Shutterstock (1445884a)
Devastation After An IRA Bomb Exploded In A Wimpy Bar On Oxford Street Killing Kenneth Haworth The Metropolitan Police Explosives Officer Attempting To Defuse It.<

Following a warning from the IRA, a civilian bomb disposal officer attempted to defuse a bomb planted in a burger bar. It detonated as he worked on it, killing him instantly. I was in an ambulance at the end of the shopping street, and we heard the sound of the explosion, and saw the smoke rising. We were not required to go to the incident, as he was beyond medical help.
I later wrote a blog post about that brave man.

https://beetleypete.com/2013/11/20/ambulance-stories-43/

1982. Hyde Park, London. Household Cavalry bombings.

The IRA detonated two bombs that day. One in Hyde Park, the other in Regent’s Park. The targets of those attacks were soldiers of the Household Cavalry, returning to barracks after ceremonial duties, and bandsmen of The Royal Green Jackets. I was in an ambulance sent to the Hyde Park incident. Four soldiers were killed in Hyde park, as well as seven of the Blues and Royals cavalry horses. As it was a terrorist incident, it was treated as a crime scene, and I did not have to treat anyone on scene.

1983. Harrods Store Bombing, London.


The famous London department store was hit by an IRA bomb in December of that year. I was sent in an ambulance to standby if needed. I was very worried, as I knew that my wife had gone to the shop that afternoon, accompanied by a friend from Paris who wanted to buy some Christmas presents. Luckily, they were still in the tube station opposite at the time the bomb went off, so they were unharmed. We were not required to do that much more, as there were many ambulances available. Six people were killed, including three police officers. Another ninety people were injured, some seriously. The high casualty rate was caused by the failure to evacuate the store when the bomb warning was received. My only part in that job was to confirm to a police officer that I could not render any help to one of the victims, a man who had been blown in two by the blast.

1999. The Ladbroke Grove Train Crash.

With my colleague, I was in the first ambulance on scene at what is still one of the worst transport disasters in British history. We were there for most of the day, dealing with numerous casualties, victims of severe burns, and attempts to identify body parts. Thirty-one people were killed, and two hundred and sixty seriously injured. It was the most serious job I ever attended, in almost twenty-two years. I later wrote this blog post about that terrible day. Perhaps the worst day of my entire career.
https://beetleypete.com/2013/06/22/ambulance-stories-41/

Just a snapshot of what we called major incidents. There were many more in London, but those stick in my mind.