Cowardly Civilizations

From The Telegraph:

Bernard Cazeneuve’s statement might have appeared smugly oracular, or perhaps just irritatingly French. Responding to national outrage over the killing of a blameless, elderly priest at his altar, France’s interior minister observed, “We can’t step back from the rule of law to protect the rule of law.”

What a strange moment, you might think, to become opaquely philosophical. The official statements from Francois Hollande’s government seemed to occupy a grand metaphysical plane in which the principles of liberty were more relevant matters for debate than the startling failures of the security and criminal justice systems which had allowed this grotesque murder to take place.

To British ears particularly, the public utterances of the French president and his officials seemed bizarrely out of focus with the actual bloody event. Even to the French, the idea that the gratuitous killing in Rouen should be met with high-flown rhetoric about democratic ideals began to seem absurd, especially when more and more details were revealed about the legal oddities. Both the attackers were well-known to French intelligence. One, Adel Kermiche, was thought dangerous enough to be electronically tagged, but his surveillance was mystifyingly switched off in the mornings, allowing him to move freely wherever he chose. The other, Abdel Malik P, had somehow been lost in the system even though he was known to be an active threat. As the picture of shambolic incompetence on the ground became clearer, the determination of the government pronouncements to remain stratospherically abstract got stronger. How futile and ridiculous it seemed.

Actually, I never thought that the Imperial Core Worlds ever were this incompetent. But realistically, observing their wealth, isolation from any possible threat, and their view on family life as per GURPS Traveller: Nobles, I probably have my rose-coloured glassed fixed firmly on my head…

Anyways, the article proper notes that Europeans are in a state of war, but dissolves in a muddle when it comes to identifying and facing the internal enemy.

Before I go on, let me just quickly point out that the entire level of casualties of this “war” – not even a thousand, yet – would be hardly more than a few days work (…or a few hours…) in a real, no-nonsense European War like World War I and World War II.

But then again, even until the 1950s, Europe could be reasonably called Christian in some vague-but-real sense of the term. Such a culture simply would not permit the immigration of several million resentful Muslims into their nations… but that culture has been dead for quite a while now.

So instead, we get this appended to the article:

At a glance | What to do in a terror attack

British counter-terror officials issued the following advice on how to behave in a gun or bomb attack:


  • Escape if you can
  • Consider the safest options
  • Is there a safe route? Run, if not hide
  • Can you get there without exposing yourself to greater danger?
  • Insist others leave with you
  • Leave belongings behind


  • If you can’t run, hide
  • Find cover from gunfire
  • If you can see the attacker, they may be able to see you
  • Cover from view does not mean you are safe, bullets go through glass, brick, wood and metal
  • Find cover from gunfire e.g. substantial brickwork/heavy reinforced walls
  • Be aware of your exits
  • Try not to get trapped
  • Be quiet, silence your phone
  • Lock/barricade yourself in
  • Move away from the door


  • Call 999: What do the police need to know?
  • Location: Where are the suspects?
  • Direction: Where did you last see the suspects?
  • Descriptions: Describe the attacker, numbers, features, clothing, weapons etc
  • Further information: Casualties, type of injury, building information, entrances, exits, hostages etc
  • Stop other people entering the building if it is safe to do so

Source: National Counter Terrorism Security Office (Nactso), November 2015

“What is  this limp-wristed, bureaucratic advice?


“The government is the most powerful institution we can see and touch, you see. It has guns. That means that it can protect the people.”

“Why don’t I think ISIS is very impressed by all that police and tanks and fighter aircraft and whatnot?”

“Because ISIS operates in the world of 2016, while the leadership of Europe thinks it’s 1970 – if you’re lucky.”

“In the Empty Quarter, every man (…and male Bwap… and free Vargr, male and female alike…) is expected to FIGHT for his family/pack and property. Not RUN, HIDE, and TELL, like some woman or child!”

“The Empty Quarter assumed a decentralized future: a concept the leading minds of Europe have yet to grasp.”

“I wonder how many people will be shot down, or have their throats cut, or run down on their holidays, or be blasted into pieces, until things change.”

“In Europe? I’m guessing about a decade’s worth. Around that time, the current leadership will be abruptly replaced by a rather different set of leaders, and we will see if these light guerrilla ops can really stand up to a clenched-fist crackdown.”

“I’m betting no: but ISIS and her supporters aren’t the only ones who will get disappeared when the gloves come off, and the Old Ways come roaring back, bearing baseball bats.”

“That depends. Are the Europeans willing to publicly cheer when terrorists are killed extrajudicially, with the act caught and transmitted by a hidden cell phone? If so, I’ll concede your point: but THAT Europe is going to be a very different place than THIS Europe.”

“War changes things. Any solider, any mercenary –  even fictional Traveller ones – could tell you that much!”

About Alvin Plummer

I'm working to build a better world, a world that blesses Christ and is blessed by Him. I hope that you're doing the same!
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