Once again, the BBC brings us news of another atrocity:
Dozens of people have been killed, including children, after a lorry ploughed into a large crowd watching a fireworks display marking the end of the French national holiday for Bastille Day.
The driver also fired shots, before being killed by police...
The driver of the lorry has been identified by officials as Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, a 31-year-old man of Franco-Tunisian origin.
Mr Molins said Lahouaiej-Bouhlel was "totally unknown" to security services, and the investigations are continuing into whether Lahouaiej-Bouhlel acted alone.
He is said to have hired the lorry from a rental company in Saint-Laurent-du-Var, a town to the west of Nice, on 11 July, and had been due to return it on 13 July.
Police said that, at the time of the attack, Lahouaiej-Bouhlel was in possession of an automatic pistol, bullets, a fake automatic pistol and two replica assault rifles (a Kalashnikov and an M16), an empty grenade. [emphasis added]
At least 84 people were killed, including 10 children and teenagers.
When the news had barely broken, the ever-unrestrained Donald Trump was quick to make what turned out to be accurate accusations:
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, well let me go back to what’s going on in Nice and this terrorism. What do you think that President Obama is going to be doing tonight about this and contrast it with what you’d be doing tonight.
TRUMP: Well, the first thing he should do is say it’s radical -- if it is, and it may not be. So, you know, I want to preface that because -- for both of us, because you’re in the same position as I am -- but generally speaking I don’t think the people come out of Sweden, okay? It’s probably, possibly but if it is indeed radical Islamic terrorism, it’s about time that he would say so, okay?
The left, of course, immediately pilloried Mr. Trump for rabble-rousing without evidence. They kept this up until further reports made it clear that, yes, as expected, the monster behind the wheel was named Mohamed. Of course. He didn't "come out of Sweden," as everybody with an ounce of sense already knew.
None of this should be surprising; as so often, the only startling thing about it is how long it's taken for Muslim murderers to try what is really a trivially easy attack. Everybody in the West has a drivers' license; anybody with a credit card can rent a vehicle large enough to crush any number of people; and simply reading any major metropolitan newspaper for a couple of days will reveal a location where thousands of people will be packed into a close space on a road.
In the London section of the video, posted online by Isis-friendly channels, a sniper is depicted mounting an attack. In New York, a suicide bomber blows himself up. However perhaps most disturbing is the part set in Australia, where an SUV is set to drive into pedestrians and supporters are ordered to "fill your cars with gas".
There is, however, one very striking aspect to this assault. Mr. Lahouaiej-Bouhlel was armed, yes, with a small pistol and a whole bunch of fake firearms which anyone can legally own, even in Europe. The firearms played very little if any part in the massacre; the truck was the real weapon.
In contrast, nine terrorists heavily armed with modern automatic weapons succeeded in killing 130 people in Paris last fall. Their score was not even twice as many victims as in Nice, and their armed attack required a far higher level of training, logistical coordination, and equipment procurement. It also resulted in the deaths of several of the attackers and the arrest of several more of their associates.
In contrast, Mr. Lahouaiej-Bouhlel killed more than half as many innocents all by his lonesome, with no assistance whatsoever. To the monsters who run, or listen to, ISIS, the lesson is clear: truly, anyone can be an effective terrorist. No special training, funds, or even equipment are required, only a credit card and a death wish.
How on earth are we in the civilized world going to attack this problem? First, we need to utterly abandon the approach which has prevailed since 9-11, that of "looking for bad things."
The 9-11 terrorists boarded their flights armed only with boxcutters, which at the time were legal to carry. They were flying on real but false papers, which is a crime but not a violent one, and is not a violation which any ordinary airline clerk could be expected to detect.
After the horrors of 9-11, what was our response? To prohibit any sort of weapon on a plane and to increase screening to make good and sure nobody could present that particular threat again.
Except - that doesn't work. Richard Reid, the shoe bomber - or, as he'd prefer to be called, Abdel Rahim - stuffed explosives into his sneakers and was only stopped by an alert fellow passenger who jumped him. So we increased scanning of shoes.
Then Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab soaked his underwear in chemicals and tried to set those on fire. So we stepped up - thankfully, not underwear inspections, but chemical checks for explosive residue.
We can all be grateful that butt-bomber Abdullah Asieri failed in his attempt to assassinate Saudi Arabian Prince Mohammed bin Nayef with a suppository bomb; he succeeded only in ripping himself a richly-deserved new one and not much more. Otherwise, we'd all be waddling through the security checkpoints bottomless, hands spreading our cheeks for inspection.
Or, more likely, we'd just give up on air travel entirely and return to - what, the golden days of railroading? Nope: Muslim terrorists know how to deal with trains.
The fact is, even if every last one of us were required to travel fully nude, terrorist attacks would still be possible: a properly-trained individual's own body is a deadly weapon, and a great many unprepared people can be terminally stabbed with an easily-smuggled and undetectable pencil. The longer we waste time looking for supposedly "bad things", the more we'll ruin our society and look ridiculous to our enemies as well as our friends.
Unfortunately, banning "bad things" seems to be a core component of modern leftist philosophy. When news hit of the Orlando attack, President Obama refused to name the terrorist as a Muslim soldier of Allah loyal to ISIS even though the murderer had gone to the trouble of telephoning 911 to proclaim himself one - repeatedly. No, Obama's solution was, once again, to ban "bad things" - guns.
The Nice horror shows once and for all that this will not work. Are we going to ban trucks now? How about cars? Freight trains hauling dangerous materials can be hijacked and intentionally derailed in a city. We all know what airplanes can be used for.
Advanced technology isn't even required to destroy the United States entirely: Yes, an air-burst nuclear missile from North Korea could very well destroy every electronic device across half the country with a massive EMP, leading to the starvation of tens of millions. But, as dramatic and devastating as this would be, it's overkill: a handful of terrorists armed only with boltcutters and gasoline could accomplish nearly the same thing simply by setting fire to a bunch of carefully selected and entirely undefended electrical substations.
There is, however, a difference: the North Koreans don't need to actually be here to deliver the nuclear warhead, but they do have to have the resources of a nation-state behind them to launch one into space.
Terrorists with bolt-cutters don't need that level of technological skill or financial resources, but they do have to physically be in the United States to do their dirty work. This was true in Nice: Before Mr. Lahouaiej-Bouhlel could massacre French civilians with a truck, he had to be in France. The same is true of every airborne terrorist attack in that you have to first get on the plane.
In fact, outside of the movies, every terrorist atrocity has this same weakness. The terrorist has to be at the target.
Fifty years ago, we could have said the terrorist has to "get into" the country targeted. Unfortunately, thanks to the shortsighted stupidity (or worse) of Western leaders in the 1950s and 1960s, we now have a more than ample supply of homegrown Muslims - 14% of American Muslims believe that suicide bombings are "often justified" in support of Islam.
Mr. Lahouaiej-Bouhlel was born in France. His father, however, was born in Algeria and foolishly allowed to settle in metropolitan France.
Likewise, Omar Mateen of Orlando was born in the United States, but his father was born in Afghanistan and foolishly allowed to come here.
What links virtually every terrorist attack in the modern era? We all know the answer, and finally a handful of our leaders are saying it: ISLAM.
We will never stop terrorism by controlling trucks, or guns, or knives, or box-cutters, or fertilizer, or gasoline, or pilot training, or martial-arts training, or any other physical or educational commodity. It's time and past time our leaders admitted this.
The only hope for an end to violent random assaults anywhere in our countries at any time, is to eliminate the threat of evil people. But how do you find them? Conservatives rightly castigate President Obama for refusing to even say the words "radical Islamic terrorism," and it's sensible not to let people into the country who, as Donald Trump puts it, "we know nothing about," but how can we be sure?
Mr. Lahouaiej-Bouhlel was "totally unknown" to French security services. Despite our fondness for jokes at the expense of the French, their intelligence agencies are quite well respected and their police are a far cry from Inspector Clouseau.
Besides, we have the same problem here: Mr. Mateen had been investigated by the FBI and they were unable to find anything justifying even a search warrant, much less imprisonment. His mass murders were his very first crime of any note, as well as his last.
No, "looking for bad people" works when you're searching for ordinary criminals. But when it comes to people who hold to an entirely alien and barbaric philosophy, looking for bad acts alone isn't enough.
Do you have to have proof that a Nazi personally murdered Jews before you know he's a bad guy whom you don't want in your country? Of course not: simply being a Nazi is enough to make you undesirable, regardless of what crimes you haven't yet personally committed. We all understand this because the violently racist ideology of Nazism is by its nature evil and inherently opposed to everything that American stands for.
To this day, it is illegal for a Nazi to come into the United States, and fraud for one to attempt to become a naturalized citizen. John Demjanjuk immigrated to America in 1952 and was granted citizenship in 1958. He worked in a car plant and retired on a pension. Then, in 1986 he was deported to Israel to face trial for being a concentration camp guard because the Israelis thought that they could prove that he had been a Nazi.
He eventually won on appeal, was returned to the U.S., his citizenship restored, and resumed his life as an American retiree. Then in 2001, new evidence led to a second deportation to Germany where he was convicted. He died before his appeal could be heard, so technically he was legally innocent. Even though it did not arrive at a conclusion, his saga clearly established the principle that Nazis who became naturalized citizens can have that citizenship revoked, because it is impossible to be a Nazi and a loyal American at the same time.
To this day, we have no serious problems with Nazism in the United States. Yes, there are a handful of neo-Nazi skinheads born here whom everybody disdains and the police watch closely. Occasionally a foreign Nazi tries to come here and isn't allowed a visa. But they have no power and are no real threat to anybody.
In contrast, the daily depredations of Islam are a mortal threat to every human being the world around. What we urgently need to recognize is what Muslims leaders already know and proudly proclaim:
To hell with democracy! Long live Islam!’ One hundred percent of Muslims agree with that. To say anything else is apostasy from Islam. These two competing political systems are antithetical to each other. You can’t be democratic and be a Muslim or a Muslim and be a democrat. A Jew can’t be a Nazi and a Nazi can’t be a Judeophile. [emphasis added]
- Salem ben Ammar, internationally recognized Tunisian Muslim author
How can someone honestly swear allegiance to a nation based on democracy whose religion explicitly condemns democracy? Simple: They can't.
Obviously, we'll never get rid of evil people entirely. There will always be evil and murderous Americans; always have been, always will be. There's no shortage of American citizens whose ancestors were citizens going back two hundred years who'll cheerfully kill you in a mugging or robbery.
And there will always be the criminally insane, who want to go out with a bang and take as many people with them as possible.
And there will always be the criminally negligent - the drunk or senile driver who mows down people in the street. But they don't intend murder and so don't usually take out very many victims, although even one is too many.
It takes a special kind of evil, which hasn't been known in America in a long time if ever, to carefully plot and plan how to slaughter the maximum number of innocent women and children in the most shocking possible way. We citizens now know the name of this special kind of evil: ISLAM even if our leaders refuse to recognize it.
The sad part is, the solution is obvious, if only we can choose to take it. The first rule of surviving a poisoning is - stop drinking poison. Donald Trump and Newt Gingrich are right: no more Muslims into the U.S., and for those who are here who take the violent interpretation of their Koran seriously, it's time for revoking citizenship and deportation.
Otherwise... we'll have to simply learn to stay away from large crowds and strangers. Is that the life Americans want?
And the immediate first steps we must take are equally obvious and simple - declare war on ISIS as we once declared war on Nazi Germany - after they declared war on us, which both ISIS and Islam in general did years ago.
With a declaration of war in place, we could Constitutionally lock up anyone who communicated with Nazi Germany or who tried to recruit people to the cause of Nazism. The Supreme Court has declared, "The Constitution is not a suicide pact." There is no First Amendment right to give aid or comfort to a declared enemy of the United States.
French leaders understood this and have declared war on ISIS. Why haven't we? The Constitution hasn't changed, and goodness knows war is more devastating than ever, especially if we refuse to fight it with every means at our disposal.
The solution is simple, yet the liberal left will have none of it. Why? Knowing that ISIS has publicly declared that they're giving ISIS members forged passports so they can come in with the refugees, why are they trying to settle more and more Muslims in the United States? Would they rather ISIS killed Americans than try to stop that happening?
The worse than useless words and deeds of the Left suggest that, or maybe they're just too blind to see the obvious threat. Either way, Mr. Obama's policies must end.
Whether we like it or not, ISIS and Islam in general are at war with the entire civilized world as a whole and the United States in particular. The sooner we recognize that pre-existing truth and act on it, the better. How many more must die horribly before we do?
Over the past five years, the editors have been secretly working on a book that summarizes the fundamental viewpoints of Scragged.