Nasty in Nice

What is the news here? … A lorry drives a mile through trapped crowds at a Bastille Day celebration, killing dozens of people along the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. The driver was a Muslim terrorist, as usual. Police finally shot him dead. They are now looking into his background and connexions.

And? … That is the whole story.

Anything the media can add to these plain facts is prurient and macabre. Moreover, it is helpful to the other side. Grand public displays of “mourning” make it worse; for that is the effect the terrorists are seeking. Why should we play into their hands?

Each victim had a family with a circle of friends, for whom the horror is real, and the mourning may be genuine. The rest — the millions — are putting on a show, advertising France, and the West generally, as squeamish and unmanly; as one big soft underbelly. It “sends a message” back to the Islamists, and that message is: “Keep it up!”

But I am myself looking through the front pages of newspapers from France and all over: covered with the colour photographs to full bleed, with big banner headlines. Nor is there a news website not painted the same way. Somehow (and I know how, from having worked with these ghouls) they manage to fill page after page with redundant or unnecessary details.

To condemn such attacks is pointless. The iniquity is too obvious for that. Every form of venting can be done privately. Those who applaud such carnage, will not be reached by words of disapproval. They need no publicity, either; we only need to know where they live, so those without citizenship can be deported; and those with, watched carefully.

Supposing we wanted the terrorism to stop, this is how we would do it. As a practical matter of security, it would be good if Europe’s Schengen area could be broken up again, into national sectors. (Illegals may get across one border; but can they get across two?)

And so on: I have visited this topic before. When we have an enemy who is infiltrating, to purpose of our harm, we should not play nice. If we do, we make ourselves complicit in the evil. Self-defence is not only a “right.” It is, as Western man once understood, a moral duty.


Shame is not guilt. There is no social value in shaming individuals; this only corrupts the shamers. There is no intrinsic moral value in the feeling of shame, as there is none in any other common human emotion. Feelings are just feelings. Everybody has them. Shame can only be of value as a first corrective, to the man or woman who is going very wrong. But for the sake of redemption, one must feel not shame, but guilt. And not merely feel it, for guilt is not a “feelie”; rather one should learn and know it, objectively. We have too many “feelers” today; we need more “knowers.”

Thus let us say, know guilt — for what one has done; for what was objectively evil. Guilt thus accords with voluntary penance, in the sight not of man but of God; and with accepting the punishment proportional to the crime, in the sight of man, only.

Whereas, shame is just an involuntary penance. A penance hardly counts, until it is consciously embraced. When publicly expressed, it is mere showboating. One is too many; showboats should be sunk.

On the other hand, we need not worry about a person’s emotional or spiritual condition, to punish him for a crime. All we need to prove is intent. That, too, should be objective. Find the appropriate law, and nail him, by the correct procedures. We never needed murky “hate laws” for this. We already had a fairly good hold on what is a serious crime, and what isn’t.

There are, however, in this fallen world, true outlaws — and the Islamists provide a good example. The correct procedure in this case is instead, to track them down and kill them. For true outlaws are outside the law. They seek the destruction of reasonable positive law itself, and will not politely surrender.

One could easily be too gentle with such people. They are psychopathic killers, and we need to get them before they get us. This is war, not Judge Judy; war is not like theft or tax evasion. Those who can be rounded up — who can be arrested and hand-cuffed without excessive drama — need trials. Those who can’t, need killin’.

Verily, the law itself used to understand this.

We should get these things straight, once again, by recovering a calm, rationally consistent, Catholic worldview — that does not tolerate grave wickedness, but is not much surprised by it, either. Instead we seem to have everything crooked. We tolerate wickedness; we cultivate our surprise.