Monday, 16 November 2015
I started writing this on Friday, since when events have overtaken us somewhat. But the good news, before the bad news came, was that so-called jihadi john – pieces be upon him – is believed to be incorporated into the landscape, courtesy of military technology in the form of a Reaper drone. The idea that you can vanquish an enemy at arm’s length has been a long sought-after goal of generals everywhere, especially when that enemy spreads fear through committing wanton, barbaric atrocities on living captives.
Drone attacks have become part of everyday language, much like smart weapons did during the Yugoslavian adventure and ‘boots on the ground’, has entered the national vocabulary as shorthand for having a nodding acquaintance with military lore and lexicon. We like it; it makes us feel important, knowledgeable, powerful and even the appeasers like Jeremy Corbyn, while mouthing their mealy bon-mots about justice by trial can’t help but feel that it is better to be on the side that can command such shock and awe than the one which will only receive these special gifts from the west.
In reaction to Paris, the Christians would have us turn the other cheek, but what next, when you’ve lost both cheeks? At which point on the hippy dippy continuum did the belief that everybody would one day be nice to each other take root, grow and become the orthodoxy? And for those not inclined to simply lay their necks on the chopping blocks there is the moral high ground which is claimed simply by getting there first. There is lots of chatter about how we must not be taken in, how we must not react in haste; how we mustn’t do exactly what ISIS want us to do, which is to fight back, apparently.
So, what do we do? Seriously, if all-out bombing followed by ground assault is not an option and we are incapable of defending ourselves at home unless we incarcerate everybody with a dark face, with or without the scowly beard, just what do we do? ‘Learning lessons’ appears to be a busted flush; school is very much out as regards foiling terror plots. And we can’t even use a hashtag or hold up a sign any more for fear of merciless ridicule... thank you Michelle Obama! But wait, the oracle that is Jean-Claude Juncker says the answer to all of this is yet more of the open borders nonsense that is partly to blame. Defeat ISIS by making it even easier for their brethren to enter the kaffirs’ kingdom and plunder its benefits.
How seriously deluded and wedded to an ideology do you have to be that you put the safety, the very lives, of your citizens at risk before admitting that ideology is fallible. That is surely just as flawed and fatally dogmatic as is fanatical islam. We need a better answer. As long ago as 1937 John Betjeman wrote of Slough: “Come friendly bombs and rain on Slough. It isn’t fit for humans now.” If only we had a reaper drone so smart it could take out only the enemies of the people; target a jihadi on his prayer mat so precisely that barely six square feet of scorched earth mark the spot. If we ever make such a weapon, people like Juncker might want to be very careful what they wish for.