A quick riff on yesterday’s events in London

Beheading is a peculiarly devastating form of murder, more so than shooting or stabbing. Human identity is tied to the head. From birth, we are programmed to recognize faces and voices. It’s the human face and the mind behind it that separate us, not only from other animals, but from each other: The contents of our minds and the features of our faces are what make us unique. Decapitation therefore doesn’t just kill people, it effectively erases them. It seems fitting, somehow, that jihadists who buy into an extremist Islam that demands complete submission – the denial of the individual — would use beheading as their preferred form of execution.

The Islamic-inspired murder of a British soldier yesterday on London’s streets horrifies us because the men who carried out sought, not just to kill a man, but to erase him. The brave women who stepped forward to challenge these men remind us that, at least for now, in the West individualism still exists. The entire event, which played out before witnesses who were tweeting, photographing and videoing, therefore had a bizarre, Kabuki-quality to it, as if the actors were carrying out culturally defined roles in a play.

Richard Fernandez noticed much the same thing, only he said it a lot better than I could:

This incident illustrates, if nothing else, the endpoint of the social engineering of the West. It has been remarkably effective.

From a certain point of view, the British crowd behaved perfectly and this is the way “they” all want us to behave. The populace sheltered in place, didn’t do anything rash, talked to the perpetrators as people. They waited for the police to come and the hospital helicopter to take the corpse away. Some will doubtless get counseling to overcome their shattering experience.

And then they will congratulate themselves on how tough British society is; resilience and all that. The more caring will leave some flowers by a railing and hold a few candle vigils for healing and peace, until these wither and blow away and the news cycle washes up a new object of attention.

The attackers knew they were actors in a drama — as keenly watched in their communities as on the BBC. And in that other audience they were asking: “How will the locals behave?” We know now. And that other audience may derive an entirely different lesson from this tableau: “See? Only their women act like men. They follow orders. They are nothing anymore — these Westerners. They are a civilization whose core has been destroyed.”

Well, exactly.

What Richard didn’t know yet when he wrote those words is that, while Prime Minister Cameron did so the attack was terrorism, the Department of Defence had a different response:  it told its troops to shed their uniforms when on British streets.  The DOD assured everyone that this was a temporary move, while they figured out what to do, but the fact is that the damage was done the moment the order went out.  The once mighty British Empire had been told to stand down.  When I saw the Scottish play “The Black Watch,” I wondered whether it spoke to the end of the British soldier.  The verdict is still out on the troops, but that’s irrelevant.  Without leadership, even the best troops in the world are pointless.  They’re merely victims along with everyone else.  England has been turned into one vast field of sheeples, watched over by the wolves her Labor government deliberately invited in in order to destroy the Tory party.  (And yes, of course I’m thinking of the Gang of Eight’s amnesty . . . er, immigration reform bill.)

One more thing.  While I was trolling through my overflowing email inbox yesterday, I found a link a friend had sent me shortly after the Boston Marathon Bombing, in which Leftist talking head (or do I mean writing hand?) Marc Ambinder says “Folks, you must stop blaming Islam” and then tells us that America’s gun culture was the reason the Tsarnaev brothers killed.  Now we know, of course, that Islam was why the Tsarnaev brothers killed.

Ambinder is right that in America we have free speech, that people are allowed to disagree on things, and that ugly ideas can exist as long as they don’t become ugly acts.  Islam, though, is sui generis because the Western idea of free speech and individualism is predicated upon voluntary assimilation.  We allow things to happen on the fringe because we assume that everyone will gravitate to the bell curve portion of society, and embrace society’s values, whatever they happen to be.  Islam, however, does not assimilate.

Think about that for a minute, because it’s a rather staggering concept.  One of the hallmarks of being human is that we adapt.  I do believe that only cockroaches have the ability to adapt to as many climates, including extreme climates, as we do.  For humans to have adopted a mindset so impenetrable that it is incapable of change is really amazing.  In any group, of course, you’ll have some people who are more adaptable than others, but we’re talking about a religion/worldview that renders adaption impossible.

When I was a child, my parents told me (rightly or wrongly) that Turkish soldiers could not be brainwashed.  They were so self-assured in their Turkishness that they were invulnerable to lies, blandishments, fantasies, etc.  They were Turks.  End of story.  It occurs to me now that this myth might have been true, not in terms of modern, secular Turks, but in terms of the Janissaries, who were the most elite soldiers of the Muslim Ottoman Empire.  Once your brain has been steeped in Islam, perhaps you become incapable of blending….

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    More fuel for the fire …
    Who are these rioting “youths,” and what’s their problem? The riots began in a district of Stockholm called Husby, described by the BBC as a “deprived, largely immigrant suburb” where “more than 80 percent of the 12,000 or so inhabitants are from an immigrant background, and most are from Turkey, the Middle East, and Somalia.”


  • jj

    1) There is no “extremist Islam.”  There is only Islam.  We may insist we are not at war with them, and that has always been and continues to be witless.  They harbor no such illusions and cheerfully recognize that they are damn well at war with us.  If we don’t pull our heads out and wise up we may as well have them cut off, because we will lose.
    2) The phrase “war on terror” is as stupid, off the point, and generally gibbering as would be the phrase “war on murder.”  It doesn’t mean a goddam thing.  Like it or not, pretend otherwise with all our might as we may, we are at war with Islam.
    3) Hooray for the well-mannered Limeys.  They can all have a gold star for deportment.  I like my own northwest loggers and shitkickers much better.  Around here it’ll take more than a knife and a cleaver, Abdul.  Pull them out and start up with somebody, and you’ll notice that of the twenty passers-by on the sidewalk, all of a sudden fourteen of them are aiming something, something with bullets in it, at you.  An attitude the rest of the West better think about adopting.  

  • Danny Lemieux

    The cultural and “values” divide is never more evident than when you go to the Daily Mail articles on this and read the comments, as all the readers’ comments are rated: click on “worst rated” and “best rated” to see into the hearts of those that would be dhimmis versus those that would prevail. 


    I not so sure about any divides between here and there.  Nidal Hasan murdered 32 soldiers, wounded another 32 on a military base before they could cripple him. I would have thought following mass slaughter, the military would have changed the regs so that soldiers could defend themselves on base. There’s been no coverage, no outrage that the SOB’s trial has been delayed due to a “beard” !?! Three years and seven months and counting….and too damn many stiff upper lips on this side of the pond.

  • cerumendoc

    These Islamic murders are inexcusable. On our part.  I remember Castra Praetoria writing in a different context, about not being worried that one is some murderer or the like.  But, rather, would I be prepared when face with such an act to react appropriately and honorably.  Meaning mental and physical preparation.  Having the fortitude to recognize the evil being committed and having the preparation to meaningfully intervene to stop that evil.
    And, here is the real scandal.  No one intervened.  No one was prepared to intervene.  All bystanders and witnesses could do, and some at the direction of the murderer, was to film the incident on their cellphones.  Seconds counted and the police, so politely called, were 20 minutes away.  Of course, the only real answer, concealed carry is non-existant in Britain.  And, so we have beaten our swords into iPhones.
    So, here is the denouement of socialism.  A society so passive and so dependent, we have Islamic monsters killing with complete impunity in broad daylight.  The mental preparedness eliminated.  And, thanks to successive governments that further the all encompassing nanny state, a population physically defenseless.  A nation just like the one Obama would have us become.
    At least in red-state Wyoming, those murderers would have been shot down by an armed passer-by in a matter of minutes.  If that labels me some rube bitter clinger; I’m proud to wear the label.

  • Charles Martel

    In a country that has people with souls, not government tit ID cards, somebody would have revved up one of those crappy little medieval autos the Brits deface their countryside with and pinned those Muslim boys into the wall at 35 or 40 miles an hour. Then backed up and pinned the bloody leftovers again. Although I’m sure that act would have earned the perp 400 years in Reading Gaol for racism, at least justice—and courage—would have been done.
    Islam delenda est.

  • swedishlady

    Excellent article, Bookworm.
    I also reacted to the strolling onlookers passivity. Where they scared ? Did they think it was somehow gangrelated ? This didn´t look like a rundown area where incidents like this happen daily. Yes indeed, what happened to the Western ideal of courage and rescuing the helpless ?  
    You may have read about the riots in Stockholm, well, Sadie here knows about them.  Our MSM reports about it as a “youthproblem” , problems with unemployment and so on but independent media tells it like it is. These are badly integrated people from countries with Muslim majorities. They have been given so many opportunities but instead choose to destroy. And they destroy in that manner we recognize from MidEast, put cars on fire, throw rocks at policemen , firebrigades, ambulances.    I think our naive, wellmeaning politicians brought this upon us and our media is guilty of biased reporting denying the problems. In a way I am glad it happens. At last we can perhaps have a more balanced, healthy debate about our problems with certain immigration without  labeling people racist. We need to talk about Islamism. We need to spell out what we don´t like about it, what our values are and why we want to keep them. I think that too many Western leaders, certainly including Obama, are to willing to whitewash the problems with Islamism.They are somehow castrating the Western mindset. Why ???

  • Caped Crusader

    Harvesting the fruit of forty years of raising young men who no longer feel the obligation to defend their women and their culture and civilization, but to leave it to a few elite warriors who are despised by the very elite charlatans whose exalted perch they protect. When they are destroyed our civilization will vanish into the dust.

  • Nickman

    Mrs. Nickman here: Re: identity tied to the head – is it any wonder then that so many Muslim women are forced to cover not only their heads but also their faces?  It’s dehumanizing.  It shows that they are only so much interchangeable property.  I heard a priest give a sermon about this once; I really wish I remembered more of it. 

  • http://caedmon-innkeeper.blogspot.co.uk/ Caedmon

    Your parents’ source on Turkish soldiers was the Congressional Report on the brainwashing of POWs during the Korean war. Absolutely no Turkish soldiers succumbed to Chinese pressure to adopt Marxism. 
    (Remember Korea was a UN war, and troops from several nations were engaged). 
    The same report found it difficult to estimate the effect of brainwashing on British troops because while a percentage of returning British POWS, when asked, said they believed Communism was better than Capitalism, the report acknowledges that a percentage of all British troops arrived in Korea with that opinion anyway. 

  • Mike Devx

    This is asymmetrical warfare, with no rules of engagement.  These two Islamic jihadist murderers are front-line combatants – indeed, by their own comments they see themselves that way.  9-11 woke a lot of us up here, including me.  Perhaps the horrifying nature of this particular attack will wake up a large number of the British people.  The nature of the attack is completely alien to every sense of British culture and values; in this it is clear that assimilation, accommodation or compromise are all completely impossible.
    The passivity of the people is alarming.  It is troubling that those who attempted to intervene were women only.  Where were the men?  Ten men should have been able to gather rocks or bricks – anything – and storm the two murderers. The attack escalated slowly; there was time to form opposition.  Yet none of the men did so.  This is the attitude of sheep, deserving only to be led to the slaughter.  The women will protect and defend; the men will not!  that is extraordinary and deeply troubling. 
    The passivity of the government response is also alarming.  It’s appropriate to suggest concealment of identity of soldiers; it is also appropriate to suggest traveling in groups and arming yourselves.  But suggesting the latter implies that the government believes the people ought to arm themselves, too – and the government, at least in Great Britain, is incapable of suggesting *that*.  For it is one of their most deeply held beliefs that the people should *not* defend themselves and in fact often face punishment by the authorities for doing so.
    This attack, due to its clear Islamic jihadist nature and its terrifying total alienness, has the potential to be a culturally earthshaking event for the British people, along the lines of 9-11 for us.  I’ll be watching closely.

  • Mike Devx

    As a minor aside, yes, jj, I noticed after the fact that I wrote “due to” instead of “because of”, in my last paragraph.  It’s going to be impossible for me to break myself of that wrong grammatical habit!

  • jj

    Repentance is acceptable, Mike – the god of grammar is an easygoing deity.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Once you believe in something enough to kill and die for it, there’s not much some foreigner, ignorant village bureaucrat, or weakling Westerner can do about changing your mind.
    The armor of the faithful is faith itself. For our strength is as the strength of ten, when our hearts are pure.
    The heart, mind you, not the brain.
    Those who think they can defeat the Left, should remember that those who believe in nothing, cannot defeat those who believe in something worth killing you for.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    What Caedmon wrote is the fundamental basics of how psychological manipulation works. If a target subject believes strongly in something already, they are hard or impossible to convert, at least not without drastic measures of a highly technical nature. Those who believe in nothing, or believe in something as weak as socialism, atheism, is very easy to turn into fanatics and cannonfodder.
    Very easy.


    Suggested read:

    If the mountains will not come to Mohammed, Mohammed will go to the mountain. …
    http://www.frontpagemag.com/2013/dgreenfield/ afghanistan


  • Caped Crusader

    “At least in red-state Wyoming, those murderers would have been shot down by an armed passer-by in a matter of minutes.  If that labels me some rube bitter clinger; I’m proud to wear the label.”
    Missed this the first time around, but bet you will enjoy this little vignette from real life. About 16 years ago the staff and several med students were waiting for their next case in the surgery lounge and the subject of firearms came up. A lovely and bright young female student made the following comment, “Where I come from if you personally do not own a shotgun, rifle, and handgun you are considered weird and probably shunned.” I immediately remarked, “You must be from Wyoming”. Completely startled she said, “How did you know that!”. My reply, “I love Wyoming, and have spent several long vacations there.”
    We can say the same for Tennessee. The only thing that keeps this city safe for most is the fact that 40,000 persons have concealed carry permits and many, but not I, display the fact on their car windows. Notice these slime never commit these acts where they are likely to have their ticket canceled on the spot..

  • Ron19

    Mike Devx #11″:
    The nature of the attack is completely alien to every sense of British culture and values; in this it is clear that assimilation, accommodation or compromise are all completely impossible.
    According to Mark Steyn, assimilation especially is a non-starter, because the two young men in custody were born and raised in British culture, and later converted to Islam: 
    “…conversions like those of the Woolwich killers, British-born and -bred.”
    Is there such a word as de-assimilation?  De-accommodation?  De-compromise?

  • Michael Adams

    As to converting to Islam, the whole thing is a bit murky.  It looks as though they were British-born Nigerian Mohammedans, who converted to a more radical sect.  That’s the sort of stuff that the “careful, professional press” gets mixed up.