It was a perfect summer Saturday, as far as London’s notoriously fickle weather goes – sunny, warm, even balmy if you wish to stretch the definition. Seldom spoiled by Nature’s generosity, relaxed Londoners took to the parks, the markets and open-air bars in their tens of thousands. The city’s heart was on display that day, generously opened to any and all wishing to enjoy it. Tourists and locals, young and old, men, women and children were everywhere, coming and going amid centuries of history. I was among them, as it happens, taking a drink with friends in a wine cellar that has been doing business since the Guy Fawkes trial, admiring the replica of Francis Drake’s Golden Hind in its ferocious livery of black and gold, plus the changing of Her Majesty’s guard, of course, and stopping in at Churchill’s bunker to be reminded of Britain’s magnificent obstinacy. There are not enough hours in a tourist’s day to enjoy all of London. Perhaps not even those who call this city their home can ever have enough time to fully appreciate the city on the Thames.
But please, forgive me as I cut short the reverie, for I write not a tourist brochure but an accounting of envy and hatred. I write, in other words, of Islamic killers’ implacable determination to destroy everything we love, to destroy our freedom and our children’s futures. None of us has a future in their ideal world.
My wife and I, our son and his fiancée just happened to have passed through Borough Market on that most recent of terrible days. That day — Saturday, June 3, 2017 — saw three murderers kill at random, stabbing passersby as they strolled or lingered to enjoy a beer of coffee, taking in the sights, smells and bonhomie that blossom when people are free of fear and can savour the fruits of liberty and prosperity. Those who died weren’t combatants in any political quarrel, not that they understood as much, at any rate. All were unarmed and unable to protect themselves, other than with plastic chairs and pint-handled beer glasses.
We four were never in immediate danger, and for that I must thank a quirk of fate and timing. Had we stayed at the market just a bit longer we would have been in the thick of it. Luckily, feeling the effects of a jet lag, we decided to call it a day and get an early sleep.
There was no sleep, though, not that night as we watched the TV in our Kensington hotel. Dumbfounded, we recognized the very places in Borough Market we had left not an hour before. We saw people, obviously terrified, walking fast and trying hard not to run. They held their hands atop their heads, as instructed by the armed police, looking for all the wold like newly captured prisoners of war. They were demonstrating for all to see that they were helpless and unarmed, no threat to anyone, least of all those whose goal it was to kill them.
We saw the faces of ordinary people contorted by fear. They came to London from all over the world, as we did, to enjoy the freedom of travel and were suddenly caught in the murderous self-deceit of suicidal losers. Their killers were manipulated by Koran-quoting puppeteers, those who told them it was a religious observation to spill blood by way of revenge for non-existent grievances, to kill in the name of the long-dead wretch who married a mere child. This desert warlord cheated those who believed him to be a conduit of Divine revelation, which ordained that all who did not share his views must die or, short of that, pay protection in order to keep themselves alive, their women safe and children not taken into slavery. This illiterate, rapacious warlord, the London Market killers believed, was the perfect man
We watched the scared humans who did not know what to do, nor how to protect themselves and their loved ones. We watched what was the second horrific assault on civilisation in as many weeks. We saw fear and confusion, the submission of the free to the violently deluded.
We watched the head of Special Branch declare the killers were exterminated within the eight minutes of the first call for help. To my eyes the policeman appeared to be taking pride in such a quick and effective response. Really? Eight minutes? Effective? I beg to differ.
Eight minutes was all it took to kill seven people and leave 48 grievously wounded. What was he proud of? That it took eight minutes to kill three specimens of animated scum? Can we really call it a quick response? In terms of action and reaction, of covering a specified distance, of cocking weapons and squeezing triggers, yes, I suppose you might say it was speedy. But it was no “quick response” to the long-festering and malignant tumour of radical Islam’s war on freedom and the UK’s fading, former way of life? There was no comfort in that policeman’s words.
It is at moments like that when I am glad that I can swear in Russian, my native tongue, because those who hear my eruptions of vulgarity will not know just how sulphurous my language can get, only that I am livid. That image of Britons scooting from danger with hands on heads hit me like a brick. Many, many of their grandparents slept in the Tube as bombs rained down, and their grandparents, too old to take on Rommel or risk the ultimate sacrifice at 20,000 feet, joined the Home Guard and steeled themselves to fight on beaches and from hedgerows when Germans crossed the Channel, as it seemed for a quite a while they surely must. Yet here were the British of only a few generations remove, hands held high, prisoners in their own country and culture!
They were prisoners at that moment of their own terror, but captives, too, of their culture’s own decency and ingrained respect for laws and tolerance –prisoners of a new invasive strategy that has no need for Stukas and Dorniers, prisoners cornered on the narrow and constricted battlefield of multicultural edicts that have at their core the oxymoronic commandment that we, as a society, must tolerate the intolerant.
Seven corpses and forty-eight wounded, all accomplished with an ordinary van and a cutlery drawer’s worth of knives? What if there had been more than three killers? Or what if these animals had come armed with AK-47s? With if, say, they had discharged hundreds of bullets, as did their fellow soldiers of Allah in 2008’s assault on Mumbai? And what of two or three grenades to boot? The maths is simple: at a crowd thickness of 2.5 persons per meter square — the density you might find in, say a bag-check queue at the MCG — and medium fire velocity of 600 bullets per minute, how many corpses would several killers amass in eight minutes? And yet here was someone, a guardian of public safety no less, telling me that eight minutes was a quick response!
Had I or someone else stood upon a soapbox to read aloud Winston’s Churchill’s lines from the River War — “…dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries!…” — I doubt my recitation would have been allowed to continue any longer than eight minutes before the uniformed enforcers of multicultural amity arrived with their gags and handcuffs. Don’t scoff, it has happened.
Ms Theresa May, the UK Prime Minister, declared ‘Enough is enough” after the London Bridge/Borough Market outrage, which came on the bloody heels of Manchester’s very own massacre. If she is really fed up with this war on the law and order, here are some thoughts which might stem the tide of fear and officially sanctioned impotence.
1. Our principal weakness is the enemy’s appreciation that we honour and revere the rule of law, an admirable societal trait they see as weakness and use to their advantage. Those who put themselves beyond the pale of human society must be deprived of the common law’s protection because they themselves reject it. Their cases must be adjudicated by court martial, with death sentences administered according to verdict. They have declared war on their host societies and regard themselves as soldiers. Treat them as such, with all that implies, up to and including execution.
As a further indication of our contempt for their values, bury them smeared with bacon grease. They display no respect for our values, let us not lend even faux respect to theirs.
2. Take up the Israeli example and punish not merely the perpetrators but their families and circles. Confiscate their abodes, auction their goods and chattels (with proceeds going to the victims), ban them from receiving welfare. If a mosque is the place where plots are hatched and weapons passed from supplier to perpetrator, bulldoze it.
I find it hard to accept the inevitable statements of terrorists’ families that they were shocked – yes, always shocked! — to learn the jihadi at the kitchen table was just that, a jihadi. If they didn’t know, they should have known. They deserve no less than immediate deportation for remaining so steadfastly ignorant.
3. At a time of heightened danger — today, right this minute, in other words — members of the armed forces, current and former police officers and other appropriate occupations, should be armed and assured they can use those weapons in the cause of public safety. Potential victims must have means of defending themselves and their loved ones from terror attacks.
Let those who recoil at recognising it has come to this gather in their blinkered knots to sing Imagine or light their endless candles. A citizen with a gun, the training and authority to use it might just save their lives. If we must wait eight minutes, at best, it is eight minutes too long. Would those killed in Paris’ Bataclan theatre have been so very numerous had there been even one of two armed and trained defenders on the premises?
4. The Manchester massacre confirms the ineffectiveness of current crowd-management security measures. Fearing discovery had he entered the ground and perhaps been searched, the Islamist butcher simply waited outside. No pop concert these days is without sniffer dogs trained to locate illegal drugs, which tend to kill only their users and then not very often. Train the next litters of police pups to detect the scent of explosives and gun oil.
5. Muslim communities must declare their unequivocal support for the anti-terrorist measures. They should stop the obfuscation, the sophistry and avoidant responses, the use of ambiguous definitions, claims of mitigating circumstances, the palaver of “alienation” and “marginalisation” and all the other useful red herrings. Otherwise, the mainstream community will , inevitably, suspect Muslim citizens of the Western countries to have a hidden affinity with the aims and the methods of terror practitioners. We should not forget the regular treacheries of purported “allies” in Afghanistan who turn against their Western instructors.
If Muslim communities do not wish to be regarded as enemies within, clarity and condemnation are essential. Fear no doubt constricts the voices of those who might otherwise speak out, but such cowardice is morally inexcusable. All of us, our Western society as a whole, now live with fear as a companion. Those closest to the fountainhead of that fear, those who revere the same sacred texts but are more selective in their lessons, bear the burden to do the most.
6. Practices incompatible with the liberal, democratic, Judeo-Christian way of life, such as religiously endorsed manifestations of gender oppression, must be clearly and emphatically outlawed by national and state parliaments. This includes, but must not be limited to, female genital mutilation, enforced marriages, honor killings, polygamy, child-bride marriages and the covering of the face in all public spaces.
These are not our values. These are toxins. If you wish to live among civilised folk, be one of us. If not, we will help you to leave.
It is that simple, or should be.
Dr Michael Galak and his family came to Australia as refugees from the Soviet Union in 1978