Sunday, July 01, 2007

"Let Him Burn"

A sad but riveting account of attempts by a British policeman to extinguish the fires engulfing one of the attackers at the Glasgow airport from the Sunday Mail.

One man then left the car, pouring petrol over himself, while the second ran into the terminal carrying what witnesses described as firebombs. ... "He was wearing a red and white scarf around his head and neck and only his eyes were visible. ... "He was kicking out at people and was a human fireball. Then he collapsed to the ground on all fours and we watched as he burned for fully two minutes." ...

"I watched the guy burning. He still tried to attack a policeman. I was convinced he was trying to detonate something. "He was on fire and he was still desperately trying to get into the boot. There were another two explosions. "People all around were in tears and shouting and screaming at the man to lie down. An off-duty cop was hosing him down with a fire extinguisher and other people were shouting, 'let him burn.' "He wasn't interested in being saved - he wanted to die and take all of us with him."


These are the ultimate human dilemmas. You rush up the stairs of the tallest building in New York even though you suspect that ... best not to think about it. You're a minimum wage security guard at an Israeli supermarket and you wrap your arms around a suicide bomber to keep him from coming through the door thinking in the last tenth of a second of your life: will I ever see my family again? You're an off-duty cop in Glasgow trying to put out a human torch that's still trying to kick you and reach for a detonator.

You're in a place very far from the policy debates. Distantly removed from discussions about the ethics of violence, about the doctrines of minimum force or the Geneva Conventions. You are as far from "root causes" as the Andromeda Galaxy is from the Earth. You are in fact, right in the middle of history. This is the way things happen, in the nonsense place where men are saved or lost; where victory is won or eludes. And you never know why, but know only that you must act.

24 Comments:

Blogger PierreLegrand said...

Distantly removed from discussions about the ethics of violence, about the doctrines of minimum force or the Geneva Conventions.

Wretchard my puzzlement is not because you said the above but because that sort of thinking is considered serious in Washington DC. When in the hell did that become serious?

War is about breaking the will of the enemy to continue. Exactly how does one gauge the minimum level of force necessary to win? Point to some successes of this "philosophy"? I am of the Halsey school or perhaps the Sherman School of war making...kill them, kill lots of them, and keep killing them until they say we quit, unequivocally. Kill their cities, their shrines, their centers of entertainment, be a tribulation. Any think less allows the enemy to believe that they can win.

All attempts so far to moderate war have only meant additional death for the US and inconclusive ends to wars. Given the barbarians, notwithstanding our idiot Presidents visits to Imams, an inconclusive end is a victory for them.

All of these moderate war makers will wait until something truly dreadful happens and then we will go on a killing streak that will make Mao and Stalin and Hitler look like pikers. What a damn shame when some truly directed killing could end this now.

What it takes to win a war…and why is this a mystery?

7/01/2007 06:59:00 AM  
Blogger tckurd said...

He'll be much more useful to authorities alive, hopefully giving all sorts of wonderful information. I see no specific reason to be "friendly" in extracting any of that information. Burns can be oh so painful when being "treated."

The charred husk of a body lying dead on the floor would give no value except the immediate - it would give no understanding of the evil that has invaded and is actively consuming his brain.

Perhaps his "fire moment" will clarify his thoughts, and he may someday look at his saviors with different eyes. Either way, he'll save the eternal burning for later.

7/01/2007 07:02:00 AM  
Blogger Stephen Renico said...

He'll be much more useful to authorities alive, hopefully giving all sorts of wonderful information.

He'll also have no shortage of lawyers and "human rights activists" who want him freed and/or celebritized.

Disgusting bastards.

7/01/2007 07:41:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

In fact, he died in the hospital. Funny how things work out. The cop tried to save the life of a man who wanted to die and the terrorist wanted to kill the man who was trying to help him. The cop did everything possible to save terrorist and so did the doctors at the hospital. But terrorist died anyway. So who won I wonder? The terrorist or the cop? Both did what they wanted to do. The difference was in what they wanted to do.

7/01/2007 07:49:00 AM  
Blogger Nomenklatura said...

The significance here lies not in anything this would-be killer or his friends, whose ineptitude seems right out of an old Keystone Kops movie, wanted.

Instead it can be seen in the attitudes of the public and the police, which are clearly moving steadily in the direction of Pierre Legrand's (see his comment above).

The bystander I just saw interviewed on a UK TV video clip reported the words of the uniformed security official, when he was asked whether they should rescue the burning attacker, as "Let the *bleep*-er burn".

Young Muslims are having lots of fun participating actively and vicariously in this sort of hell-raising, but they continually incite a devastating eventual response. Since I really don't think they are smart or prudent enough to see it coming, it's just about inevitable.

7/01/2007 08:16:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Dr. Sanity is always a good read about why denial of reality is never a good thing, particularly when identifiable people are parking car bombs outside your front door or running burning into your house.

I wonder if the times are indeed more crazy than they have ever been or if the universality of the internet just aggregates the craziness into a big, hulking bogey man.

7/01/2007 08:18:00 AM  
Blogger PierreLegrand said...

For those who advocate moderation please respond to this...

So now in our war the United States is unable to win because we are unwilling to do what is required to win, break the will of the enemy. Perhaps we are soft, perhaps we do not feel threatened, perhaps it is guilt that holds us back, regardless, nothing holds our enemy back. And yet those of us who do know what it takes to win and wish we could get on with winning, worry. We worry that perhaps the enemy understands that it is possible to rouse us with a massive attack and rousing us is not in his interest but in ours.

Perhaps we facing an enemy who is beginning to understand that killing us through a thousand small cuts may be better than rousing us. Can we be roused if the enemy does not do us the “favor” of a massive attack? At this point it appears that the only way we will rise up, name our enemy, and do what is required to defeat him is for us to be roused. Roused to the point where we feel like our backs are against the wall and we start fighting with no rules. What if the enemy knows this and doesn’t rouse us? He would be following Sun Tzu’s rule to not make an enemy desperate:

Do not interfere with an army that is returning home. When you surround an army, leave an outlet free. Do not press a desperate foe too hard.
- Sun Tzu


Western Civilization is in retreat all around the globe. Why attack us now when they have us in retreat?

7/01/2007 08:52:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

It seems to me that the War on Terror has evolved into two separate layers: (1) in the officially-declared hots spots of Iraq and Afghanistan, where official armies of the West and Al-Queda are pitted against each other, using official technology and official tacts, and (2) in Real Life throughout the world where you have normal people making the decision to do heroic things to stop other ordinary-people-for-their-society who are trying to do their own thing.

The thing I find infinitely optimistic-making is that in every single case, the West's ordinary people have stepped up to the plate and whenever possible faced down the explosive threats being thrust into their everyday lives.

I have never read, on the other hand, of any person on the street or Arab cop stepping into a situation in the Middle East to stop or defuse it. They *always* wait for the "authorities", and when cops like the Saudi's have *do* get around to going after terrorists within Saudi Arabia there's an appallingly high death rate. It's not at all unusual for 10-15 cops to be killed for 3 or 4 terrorists.

You'd think that Al-Queda would notice that the West is not reacting in the same way as some little Iraqi town, not allowing ourselves to be terrorized, and NOT going quietly unto the massacre. If anything is to wreck their will and cause AQ to give up, the unsurmountable courage of people like the Glasgow cops, the London firefighters, and the passengers of Flight 93 will be a pretty good dollop to the pile of reasons.

For a society built upon the concept of "honor" or even of courage - how much "honor" do the fighting "men" of Al-Queda have left? And do they understand that we laugh at them as being inept cowards.

7/01/2007 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

Again:

Slaughter now or slaughter later.
Slaughter later = slaughter more.

7/01/2007 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

Gettysburg, Day One

7/01/2007 09:13:00 AM  
Blogger Nomenklatura said...

Pierre Legrand:

"Why attack us now when they have us in retreat?"

I think the dynamics are a function of the operational tempo.

It's pretty clear from the history of the IRA, ETA and so forth that you can kill 100-200 people a year in a Western democracy via more or less random events and not trigger a devastating response. 9/11 was different, although the US is a long way from losing all restraint even now.

I believe the IRA and ETA were well aware of this over the years, and sought deliberately to operate in the space where the politicians might get mad or scared enough to offer them concessions, but the public would not become seriously mobilized.

What makes the Islamists more dangerous, to Muslims first and foremost, is that they give little sign of seeing or caring where the 'red line' is likely to be.

7/01/2007 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I can't wait to read what the parents and wives of these latest doofi have to say about their beloved sons and husbands, once the press tracks them down.

Can we at least pass a law that the direct families of all suicide bombers will immediately be deported to a failed state of their choice, no trial or evidence necessary?

7/01/2007 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

Now for a humor break.

7/01/2007 11:34:00 AM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

What is instructive is that the public is now able to say, "let him burn."

How long before the public, self-organizing, seeing the weakness and futility and effeminancy of the government, steps in and decides to BURN THEM ON THEIR OWN?

How long before another terrorist attack leads to a Mosque being burnt down? A Muslim set on fire? A shop owned by a Muslim burned down? Perhaps a whole neighborhood?

CCTV can be useful, but the vigilantes can be clever too. Masks, stolen cars, etc. used. Various non-surveilled places chosen. Not every corner can have a camera.

And how soon before various formerly fringe parties pledge a masculine response, i.e. Muslims Out? And the pub dweller who would rather not be forced out of his place by Muslims decides to pull the lever for whoever?

7/01/2007 04:00:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Two of the terror suspects are now identified to be medical doctors and are said to be foreign nationals.

7/01/2007 04:05:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

History repeats itself. In the book "Eagle Day", one of the best descriptions of the 1940 Battle Of Britain from the viewpoint of individuals, it is described how after the first few German air attacks, news that that some Germans were trapped in their burning bomber was greeted by "Stoke it up and let them burn" from certain quarters.

In reality they did not "stoke it up" - unless you count Dresden and some other attacks.

7/01/2007 04:35:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

The IRA and ETA were different.

1. You did not have great masses of young Western Men who are "frauenmangel" and have nothing to do. East Germany may be the worst, but Britain likely has the same problem. Pursuit of status leaves most men losers in that game.

2. An obvious and clear religious/cultural "enemy" who presents a complete and total destruction of your way of life: no more pork, booze, or even porn and of course all women will belong to the enemy.

3. A weak and dithering, feminized response by a pathetic elite. The Brits of yore and Spaniards too would simply send the SAS or Spanish equivalent of hit squads and kill the worst terrorists, while rounding the rest up and putting them in prisons. Now they issue toothless home-detention orders that are laughed at.

4. Technology to self-organize small groups into effective mass-communications machines.

5. An elite blocking the path to status for most men, excepting pet minorities and such.

I'm sure it has occurred to many non-elite, intelligent, dangerous, and violent men in Britain that the road to power/status, and thus wealth and women, is through organizing lots of men like themselves as both a private militia and political army. A non-Muslim Hezbollah if you wanted to call it that.

The model is there. The public anger is there. The masses of young men with no women or hope of women are there. The lack of upward mobility for the first time in generations is there (ala the French Revolution). All the ingredients are there for the next Cromwell.

7/01/2007 05:04:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

If one comes upon Evil engaged in self-immolation upon the sidewalk, however unintentionally, it is immoral to pi*# upon it.

7/01/2007 06:18:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

keep him alive and humiliate him daily..

show him what a loser he is forever...

let him go insane...

7/01/2007 06:31:00 PM  
Blogger PierreLegrand said...

The model is there. The public anger is there. The masses of young men with no women or hope of women are there. The lack of upward mobility for the first time in generations is there (ala the French Revolution). All the ingredients are there for the next Cromwell.

No we are to wait...our elite declares that we are wrong and that Islam means peace. They point to all the accomplishments stolen by the conquering hordes of Islamic warriors...the irony of it boggles the mind. First you are murdered, your women raped, children burned then they steal your greatest accomplishments and declare them their own and finally history as taught inside the schools of their next victims makes no distinction between victim and murderer. Delicious irony.

Ann Coulter had it right so very long ago. Invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.

Fighting with rules is for fools.

Rules

7/02/2007 07:34:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

The masses of young men with no women or hope of women are there.

What has to happen before women are considered to be part of the solution, and not part of the problem?

Can you seriously see sex-starved young idiots in Saudi Arabia lusting after American women, especially after seeing them working (and shooting) side by side with men in Iraq and Afghanistan?

7/02/2007 09:22:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

What I'd be curious to see is a thorough investigation of this and other jihadi doctors for possible involvement in the injury of their patients through deliberate negligence.

Would be interesting to hear the British debate the security implications and applications that follow.

7/02/2007 09:45:00 AM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Nanhcee --

The Fox broadcast of "Muslims Against Jihad" showed several Canadian young Muslim men bemoaning the fact they could not find wives in Canada.

Now, Canada is an open, liberal society. With people able to do as they want. They I suppose found few takers for marriage to a Muslim man among Canada's women. For entirely understandable reasons.

What stands out is that Muslim men still hold to traditional cultural/tribal/religious ways even though it hurts them on the marriage market.

And no, I would imagine that Muslim men would be as they are, enraged by American women in Saudi or other Gulf countries. Because the women enjoy freedom and that is a "horrific" challenge to Muslim men.

Muslim society is oriented around tribe. Women are controlled and constricted in every aspect of life because in arranged, tribal/clan marriages, a man's wife may be stolen away by another tribe. Seeing Western women acting freely on their own, would only enrage Muslim men because they can pencil in the result if their own wives had that freedom: they would be left in the dust.

Absence of romantic and familial love seems a marked feature of Muslim family life.

For Muslim men, it is not enough merely to have a sexual relationship or marriage. Their system promotes instability and thus aggressiveness when in contact with cultures that threaten tribal certainties like Arranged Marriages. Only a complete loss of tribal identity into modernity's acid will "fix" the reasons for conflict. Muslims know this and fight to destroy modernity before it can destroy Islam.

7/02/2007 12:20:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

The point for Muslim males is that Western women are NEVER going to return to being barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen. Ever.

So they can hold out for marriage to an Arab brood mare, if any are available, or they can change. And I'm not at all sure they're smart enough to change, any more than the dodo bird or other extinct species were smart enough to change *their* acts in order to avoid being killed off.

In Iraq, one of AQ's demands in going into a village is that the local tribe supply wives for AQ's fighter terrorists. Interestingly, the tribes seem to refuse this demand. I'm not sure if it's because it's seen as being extortionate or if the daughters involved are saying, "hell no, we won't go!" If it's the latter, even Muslim brood mares might be getting uppity (finally) in the 21st Century.

7/03/2007 09:55:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home


Powered by Blogger