Hard to imagine a more demoralizing order for a soldier than to tell him to take off the uniform and hide after an enemy’s attack. And the powers that be know it: They’re stressing that the order’s temporary in order to blunt public indignation over their decision.
The twisted punchline here is that the victim yesterday wasn’t wearing a uniform. The two degenerates who murdered him apparently targeted him because they saw him entering or exiting a barracks. There’s the next move, presumably — evacuate the barracks nationwide until they’re safe. For soldiers.
A lingering mystery: Why did none of the (apparently many) bystanders intervene yesterday to stop the jihadis in the act? By some accounts, it took 20 minutes for the cops to get there. The terrorists took time to chat with people nearby. Unless I missed something, no one laid a hand on them until they were eventually shot by police. Is that the Kitty Genovese syndrome at work or something worse? Richard Fernandez at the Belmont Club says “worse”:
This incident illustrates, if nothing else, the endpoint of the social engineering of the West. It has been remarkably effective. From a certain point of view the British crowd behaved perfectly and this is the way “they” all want us to behave. The populace sheltered in place, didn’t do anything rash, talked to the perpetrators as people. They waited for the police to come and the hospital helicopter to take the corpse away. Some will doubtless get counseling to overcome their shattering experience.
And then they will congratulate themselves on how tough British society is; resilience and all that. The more caring will leave some flowers by a railing and hold a few candle vigils for healing and peace, until these wither and blow away and the news cycle washes up a new object of attention.
The attackers knew they were actors in a drama — as keenly watched in their communities as on the BBC. And in that other audience they were asking, “how will the locals behave”. We know now. And that other audience may derive an entirely different lesson from this tableau.