On John Wilson Street, the flowers lie thick. Men and women walk by leaving bouquets and cards. If not for the balloons and teddy bears with British flags on them, it might be Copley Square near the finish line of the Boston Marathon where the same bouquets lie limply against steel barriers. But there the teddy bears and balloons wear the stars and stripes.
In the middle of May, Prime Minister David Cameron was at Copley Square saying that we will never give in to the terrorists while praising the values of diversity and then two weeks later he was outside 10 Downing Street declaring that we will never give in to the terrorists and praising Islam. The places had changed but the script hadn’t.
Listen long enough and you realize that every politician is working from the same script.
After Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the second Boston bomber, was captured, Obama gave a little speech praising the “diversity that makes us strong” and asserting that “we refuse to be terrorized.” After the butchery of Jewish children by a Muslim terrorist in Toulouse, France last year, President Sarkozy talked up Muslim victimhood and said, “We mustn’t give in to terror.”
“I want the world to understand that our actions today were not aimed against Islam,” President Clinton had said, as he announced strikes against Al Qaeda targets after the bombings of American embassies, “the faith of hundreds of millions of good, peace-loving people all around the world, including the United States.”
Like a commercial jingle, after the obligatory tributes to the indomitable courage of whatever city the attack took place in, the same two contradictory messages repeat again and again. “Islamic PR is our priority” and “We won’t give in to terror.”
It would be easy enough to make a tour of such places and hear the empty words ring from mute stone and the washed out remains of posters and cards, wilted flower petals and teddy bears whose colors have run together until it is impossible to tell what flag they used to wear. What lost child and lost father they memorialized.
The politicians only speak to assure the people that they are taking the problem seriously when past echoes from the stones tell us that they aren’t taking it seriously at all.
“We will find out who did this and we’ll find out why they did this,” Obama said after Benghazi. Those words should sound familiar. In 1993, after the World Trade Center bombing, President Clinton told Americans, “We’ll find out who was involved and why this happened. Americans should know that we will do everything possible to keep them safe in their streets, their offices and their homes.”
Eight years later the towers had fallen.
The FBI had two years' worth of warnings and an informant inside the group that did it. Ramzi Yousef, the perpetrator of the attack, was the nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the attacks of September 11 that finished what his nephew had begun.
Yousef studied electrical engineering in the United Kingdom and then spent time in one of Osama bin Laden’s training camps. And then back to the United Kingdom and on to the United States.
The story is a familiar one. Neither Tamerlan Tsarnaev nor Michael "Mujaheed" Adebolaja came out of nowhere. They were familiar presences in intelligence files. Their links to terrorist groups were known. They could have been stopped but they weren’t, because Islam is a religion of peace and diversity is our strength. Instead they were just among the thousands of strongly diverse names sitting in file folders.
The UK government is rolling out a task force that will tackle violent extremism of unspecified origin. Proposals include keeping “extremists” from appearing on campuses. Considering that one of the London beheaders had been “radicalized” as a teenager by a combination of Somali drug gangs and his local mosque, it’s a weak and random suggestion that will almost certainly go nowhere.
Over a month after the Boston bombings, Obama unrolled his own proposals, questioning the morality of drone strikes, and calling for the release of more Gitmo terrorists and the end of the War on Terror. By refusing to be terrorized, Obama apparently meant that if we pretend that terrorism doesn’t exist, then it won’t. War is over if you want it. Put down some cards and flowers and then let the terrorists go.
Governments have been successfully terrorized. It has fallen on the people not to allow themselves to be terrorized, to keep a stiff upper lip when the bombs go off and bloodied bodies roll into the gutter. They are expected to convince themselves that the presence of large numbers of Muslims in their cities is a strength, rather than a dangerous threat. To notice that is to be terrorized. And if you notice that the terrorists are Muslim, then the multiculturalists have lost and the terrorists have won.
If you doubt that, consider the 1,200 London police officers dispatched to protect mosques after the brutal Muslim attack on a British soldier. Or the Stockholm police chief saying, ”Our ambition is really to do as little as possible” in the face of Muslim riots, but still taking the time to hand out tickets to the Swedes whose cars were burned and to arrest Swedish vigilantes coming out to protest the rioting.
The role of the people is to see nothing and to take comfort in the empty promises. We refuse to be terrorized. We won’t give in. But they have already given in. And they will let us put out the flowers, cards and teddy bears so we get it out of our systems. Until the next time.
It’s not that our governments can’t protect us against Islamic terrorism. It’s that they choose not to.
The enemy we fight is not unknown. His soldiers are no ciphers. Their names sit in intelligence databases. And when the names come up on their screens, the analysts nod and go, “Yes, him. Thought he might do something like that one day.”
On John Wilson Street, Michael 'Mujaheed' Adebolaja stood with bloody hands to tell us that he was killing in the name of Islam. And then out came the Prime Minister and the Mayor of London to assure everyone that Islam had nothing to do with it. And who are we to believe, the politicians or our own lying ears?
The scene could be happening anywhere. It could be Boston or New York, Paris or Jerusalem. In Nigeria, they are blowing up churches. In Myanmar, they are burning Buddhist monks alive. This isn’t the political outrage of a tiny minority, but the continuation of a thousand years of genocide.
There aren’t enough flowers in the world for every man, woman and child murdered by Islam since Mohammed. There aren’t enough cards or teddy bears or words. There certainly aren’t enough tears. The best way to remember them is with a determination to tell the truth about their killers.
There have been enough lies. To the living and the dead, we owe the truth.
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