Janet Albrechtsen has an otherwise excellent op-ed in the Australian this morning.
First Islamic terrorists chose to kill Jews in their homeland and beyond. Then they murdered Americans working in New York’s tall buildings. They murdered people travelling on London trains and buses, too, then French journalists and cartoonists.
Islamic terrorists struck Paris again, slaughtering people at a rock concert and in nearby restaurants. Islamic terrorists blew up people at an airport and a train station in Brussels and drove into people strolling along Nice’s promenade, people walking along London’s Westminster Bridge. A Copenhagen street, the Boston Marathon, a Sydney cafe, Berlin’s Christmas markets, a pedestrian mall in Stockholm, Christians, Yazidis and Muslims across the Middle East. Thousands slaughtered by Islamic terrorists with no borders, physical or moral.
On Monday, Islamic terrorists murdered children in Manchester.
That list is incomplete. But what should we do?
Keep calm and carry on? No. Not again. Evil triumphs when good men and women do nothing more than offer up platitudes, light candles, post hashtags and recite poems.
Ordinarily I’d agree with Janet. But after the events of this week, why bother? In addition to Janet being angry, and Brendan O’Neill being angry, Piers Morgan being angry, our good friend Roger Franklin got angry too. Roger asked, what I thought, a perfectly good question:
What if that blast had detonated in an Ultimo TV studio? Unlike those young girls in Manchester, their lives snuffed out before they could begin, none of the panel’s likely casualties would have represented the slightest reduction in humanity’s intelligence, decency, empathy or honesty.
True – an early version, quickly retracted, was a bit more intemperate but the question remains valid. Yet this allowed the ‘moral outrage’ of liars and fools to side step the fact that mere hours before a heinous terrorist attack targeting teenyboppers a government agency – the Australian Broadcasting Corporation – had been mocking people’s legitimate fears of terrorism. For my troubles in defending Roger and re-raising his question I had to put up with a stream of abuse on social media. Without any self awareness or irony one lefty asked me:
… if an article in Green Left Weekly had said that “If there was any justice, the bomb would have exploded at an Institute of Public Affairs seminar” there would be no disagreement among commenters here about the plain meaning of such a statement.
It seems to me that is the very point Roger was making – our lefty friends are very sanguine about the concerns of the little people until they themselves are impacted . In any event over the years I have had many lefties suggest that I engage in act of self-harm and the like – not to mention the rude and abusive letters sent to my home – so I am underwhelmed by their sudden discovery of civil discourse.
Back to Janet’s point though. What is the point of being angry when that anger has no outlet or positive consequence? Even Paul Murray is calling for Roger to be sacked. Nick Cater appeared on The Drum to offer a grovelling apology to the ABC. The cause of civilisation and freedom doesn’t need martyrs it needs patriots. It certainly doesn’t need quislings. Yet the best advice I can give is for good men and women to bite their tongues and to carry on.