Beans on Toast

Union Jack

They say that those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it. All I could think of when listening to the news this morning was that whoever’s behind this has quite obviously never cracked open a textbook.

Think about it. The IRA had no success in forcing England’s hand even after two solid decades of this sort of thing. Hitler took over the whole of Europe and most of north Africa, yet the British went about their business, stepping around the rubble of London to do their daily shopping between bombing raids by the Luftwaffe.

It’s the ‘stiff upper lip’, and the English have it in spades. It’s one of the most admirable qualities, and one I wish we had more of here in America.

Lesley’s mother grew up in London during the Battle of Britain, so I’ve heard the stories of those years when flour was black, the only meat was Spam, and they proudly ate beans on toast because that’s all there was. Even today the British still eat that stuff, each bite a small testimony to the strength they gained from That Which Did Not Kill Them.

If the terrorists had studied their history, they’d know that while England may have slowly relinquished her empire over the course of last couple of centuries, on the home front they never gave an inch.

Does anyone actually think the Brits will capitulate? Back off? Cower in fear?


Fifty bucks says they’ve got more troops headed to Iraq and Afghanistan within days. Even the terrorists have got to know that. Yet they strike out in anger like a child throwing a tantrum in a restaurant, pissed off at the world and wanting everyone to suffer. Well go ahead and cry, little baby. There’s a hard lesson coming your way, and Union Jack will be doing the teaching.

The British would never use the phrase “bring it on”, of course. It’s just not their style. But the sentiment is clearly there.

So I’ll be eating beans on toast tonight. And enjoying every bite.

  2 comments for “Beans on Toast

  1. July 10, 2005 at 8:25 pm

    The IRA had no success in forcing England’s hand even after two solid decades of this sort of thing.

    If I’m not mistaken, the U.K. recognized the IRA and brought them to the negotiating table in exchange for the IRA agreeing to disarm. The “Good Friday Accord” which was mediated by Sen. George Mitchell also provided for a new power-sharing accord that included Sein Fein, the IRA’s political wing.

  2. Ron
    July 10, 2005 at 9:32 pm

    I was under the impression that Sein Fein became involved in the negotiations via a codicil in the peace agreement between Ireland and the U.K. which stated that Sein Fein might join the negotiation if they renounced violence and remained peaceful for three months.

    This might be a case of ‘which came first — the chicken or the egg’. But my feeling is that if a group or government which sponsored terrorism is ready to change their ways, they should be given a chance to prove it and then be allowed to rejoin the world community. Libya comes to mind.

    If the IRA got what they wanted through terrorism, then they would have won. But as I understand it, they change their behavior well before Sein Fein was allowed to have any input.

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