This Is Never Going To Stop
New York, Madrid, London, Constantinople, Ankara, Damascus, Iraq and Nigeria in countless places, Tunisia, Ottawa, San Bernardino, Paris and now Brussels. Another name added to the ever growing list of cities across the world struck by Islamist terror. Dozens killed, hundreds wounded. Three suicide bombings, one in a subway station and another two at an airport, struck terror in city at the very heart of the European Union. The symbolism is there for all to see.
What’s most telling of all, though, has been the aftermath. I remember, almost fifteen years ago, when September 11th happened. I was shocked. I was mortified. I could not fully register the sheer horror of what had happened, as most of us could not. But when I woke up early last Tuesday to see the headlines in Brussels I felt only numb resignation; I felt only this dull wrench in the pit of my stomach as one thought raced through my mind, this is never going to stop. The officials have admitted as much. Belgian intelligence services have openly come out and said they do not have enough actual agents to monitor every credible suspect who might be an ISIS sleeper agent. Brussels’ police have asked the people not to march in solidarity because they do not have the resources needed to provide security. World leaders have expressed their sadness and dismay, but beyond that their plans and proposed responses are studded with talk of containment and risk reduction tacitly acknowledging that no one is even pretending any longer that it is a question of if this will happen again but merely when; the debate is merely on how to minimize the death and damage and chaos to our daily lives it will cause. In every canned, soundproofed response of consolation and caged answers we here the same quietly deafening underlying supposition, this is never going to stop.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn once wrote that he feared the next war would bury Western civilization. At the time he likely was speaking of the impending threat of nuclear Armageddon, but his words now ring as oddly prophetic regardless. Far from the end of history, as liberal internationalists loudly proclaimed as a wall in Berlin came tumbling down, we may now merely be looking at an end to the West. Not in a physical way but rather in regards to the idea of it; the city on the hill; the candle in the dark. A decade and a half of war has turned us from a beacon of optimism and hope to a scared little child, huddled in the corner pleading “please don’t hit me” in a tiny, mournful voice. Oh we feign false bravado. This week, as in the aftermaths of others, social media was lit up with avatar pics of the Belgian flag. The Eiffel Tower illuminated itself in black and yellow (leading Kate Hopkins to peevishly remark they should have chosen black and white given who’s really winning). Twitter and Facebook were flooded with hashtags proclaiming the now clichéd and empty statement #JeSuisBrussels.
Except it was all a lie. Sadly we are not all Brussels, and certainly not all Charlie Hebdo. In truth no one wants to be Charlie, because being Charlie is risky; not in the physical sense (as true as that may be) but in the social one. Being Charlie would mean challenging the accepted and unquestioned foundations of the Enlightenment Consensus that governs modern society. Being Charlie would mean rocking the boat. Being Charlie would mean being accused of being a racist and a bigot and that certainly won’t do. We saw what it meant to really be Charlie in the aftermath of the aforementioned magazine’s mass murder. The blood was hardly dry before the usual suspects on the regressive left were out in full force. Never mind that Charlie Hebdo was critical of all religions due to their secularist orientation. Never mind that Charlie Hebdo had been one of the fiercest literary critics of the far-right National Front part. The only thing that mattered was that Charlie Hebdo had criticized Islam for the same acts of misogyny, homophobia and bigotry that are criticized without hesitation when found elsewhere; the unsaid but clear implication was that staff of Charlie Hebdo was asking for what happened to them. Given all that is it surprising that no one actually wanted to be Charlie after-all? Who would?
If this war on terror does indeed bury Western civilization, it will only be because it’s already dead and merely waiting for entombment. For all their barbarism and depravity, the Islamist movement does have a kernel of truth in that they are right to identify that the West has become man of clay. We’ve grown complacent and weak and self-loathing to a degree that we are utterly paralyzed by the threat facing us, lest the comforts and luxuries we’ve come to take for granted be taken away from us. It is no surprise that it is only in the East of Europe that we’ve actually seen a genuine attempt made to take action against this pugnacious threat facing us (as vitriolic and unsightly as it sometimes has been); the former subjects of the Warsaw Pact have less to lose and are perversely far more willing to fight for it.
That is why they are winning, because the overpowering weight of political correctness and progressive self-loathing has stifled any genuine path towards victory. The West cannot defend itself because in truth we do not even know what it is we are trying to defend; in days of old we fought for God, King and Country but Degeneracy, Diversity and scoring on Spring Break have sadly proven to be a far less inspiring rallying cry. We have become like the Roman patricians of old who distracted themselves from the coming fall with an endless string of dinner parties and masquerades and debaucheries as all the while the barbarians sharpened their swords and prepared for the inevitable sack. Unless we find an Augustus to rectify the situation, then it is likely we will one day soon meet our own Alaric. Until we realize that, this is never going to stop.