The "self-styled" Sheikh Haron, the latest member of Local 473 of the Amalgamated Union of Lone Wolves, was dispatched to meet his virgins shortly before I went on air to guest-host for Rush at Ice Station EIB. The details of the siege at the Lindt coffee shop in Martin Place in Sydney began trickling through over the next three hours on the radio. First, one hostage was reported to have been killed; then, another; and then we learned their age and sex, a 34-year-old man and a 38-year-old woman. And, as they evolved from statistics to types to real individuals with real lives, the horror of their final moments become more apparent:
Katrina Dawson, 38, a successful barrister and mother of young children, and Tori Johnson, the 34-year-old manager of the Lindt cafe, were killed as police made a daring attempt to free those still held at the Martin Place shop...
Mr Johnson has been hailed as a hero after it emerged he had taken the opportunity to wrestle the gun from the 50-year-old self-styled Iranian preacher after he began to doze off in the early hours.
Around 2 a.m. local time, at least six people believed to have been held captive in the cafe managed to flee after gunshots were heard coming from inside after a struggle between Mr Johnson and Monis...
Ms Dawson, a respected barrister from Eighth Floor Selborne chambers, whose offices are opposite the cafe, was said to have been killed in the ensuing firefight while protecting pregnant friend and colleague Julie Taylor, whom she had been meeting for a coffee.
I don't believe I've ever been to that particular coffee shop, but I've been to others on that street. I like Martin Place and I love the Royal Botanic Gardens, and I'll be back there in a couple of months. At the time of the attacks in Ottawa and St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, I said I was getting sick of dimestore jihadists tainting and violating my favorite places. On Rush today, I recalled an Australian reader who wrote to me a decade ago saying he was beginning to feel as Robert Frost did in "A Minor Bird":
I have wished a bird would fly away
And not sing by my house all day.
To my Aussie correspondent, the unceasingly cheeping bird was Islam: he was fed up waking each morning to the daily atrocity by the more excitable Mohammedans. His line was so memorable that I riffed off it toward the end of my free-speech book Lights Out, in a chapter called "The Song of Civilizational Self-Loathing". I've come to feel the same way: I wish that bird would fly away. As this Tweeter put it:
I am Islamed out.
At one level, the Aussie authorities screwed up the way the Canadian and US authorities screwed up: These jihadists are less "lone wolves" than, as Patrick Poole says, "known wolves". The Ottawa shooter, the St Jean killer, the Marathon bombers, the Fort Hood major, the pantybomber, all were known to the authorities. So was "Sheikh Haron": Aside from various earlier charges and convictions, he had been charged as an accessory to the murder of his wife, who died in a particularly brutal way, stabbed and set alight in the stairwell of her apartment building.
And yet he was out on bail. And so Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson died.
The price of incubating, nurturing and growing Islam in the west is too high. Ms Dawson and Mr Johnson did not deserve to die for going to a coffee shop. And, beyond the folly of Sheikh Haron's bail eligibility, the two Sydney victims were sacrificed on the altar of multiculturalist delusion.
Many more will be in the years ahead. It was striking that, even as the siege was beginning, the politico-media class were already firing up what Laura Rosen Cohen calls the "Lone Wolf Story Generator", isolating one man in his own derangement and separating him from any broader currents. Relax, it's not "terrorism" - those reports that it was an ISIS flag he was flying was wrong; it's just a regular ol' Islamic flag. But whoa, it's nothing to do with Islam, either.
Inside the coffee shop, Sheikh Haron didn't care for the cut of the no-Islam-to-see-here crowd's jib:
"He is now threatening to start killing us. We need help right now. The man wants the world to know that Australia is under attack by the Islamic State."
She kept up her commentary on Facebook, stating that Monis was angered because his claim to be an Isil militant was not being broadcast.
One of those Facebook messages:
The member of the Islamic State who has taken us hostages says: "I have heard the news that politicians are not telling the truth to media about the motivation..."
But what does he know? He's just the terrorist. The Sydney Morning Herald worried about whether we'd be able to "empathize" with the perpetrator, but even the less insane Sydney paper - The Daily Telegraph - wobbled:
ANTI-ISLAMIC sentiment has flooded social media in the wake of the Sydney siege, but there is a campaign gathering steam that will restore your faith in humanity.
A Twitter movement, #illridewithyou, has sprouted with everyday Australians offering to ride on buses and trains with Muslims, or give them a lift to work tomorrow, in order to keep them safe.
Sorry, but that doesn't "restore my faith in humanity". In fact, it makes me think humanity, or at any rate civilization, is doomed. The mythical "backlash" against Muslims is such a dreary staple of these stories that I might as well just rerun my shtick from a dozen or so backlashes back:
Stage Four: The backlash that never happens. Because apparently the really bad thing about actual dead Jews is that it might lead to dead non-Jews: "French Muslims Fear Backlash After Shooting." Likewise, after Major Hasan's mountain of dead infidels, "Shooting Raises Fears For Muslims In US Army." Likewise, after the London Tube slaughter, "British Muslims Fear Repercussions After Tomorrow's Train Bombing." Oh, no, wait, that's a parody, though it's hard to tell.
Indeed. Usually the Muslims-fear-backlash crowd at least waits till the terrorist atrocity is over. In this case the desiccated multiculti saps launched the #I'llRideWithYou campaign even as the siege was still ongoing - while Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson were still alive. Muslims are not the victims here. Ms Dawson and Mr Johnson are the victims. And yet the urge to usher Muslims into the victim chair and massage their tender sensibilities is now so reflexive the narcissists on Twitter don't even have the good taste to wait till the siege is over and the corpse count is known. Far from a restoration of faith in humanity, it's a glimpse of how advanced the sickness is. For good measure, Bill Shorten, Leader of the Opposition, threw in the usual smug moral preening:
Australians tonight doing what we do best - uniting to overcome intolerance and hate #illridewithyou
Laura Rosen Cohen again:
It's ALWAYS ABOUT THEM.
Muslim terrorist holds people hostage in cafe, entire world worries about imaginary "backlash" against Muslims.
I'm sorry, I'm a little more concerned about the hostages. Screw the imaginary backlash and all its pedlars.
Robert Frost wasn't the only poet I quoted on Rush's show. Rama from Fairfax, California, called up to object to Sony making a comedy about assassinating Kim Jong-Un, because nobody deserves to be killed and everybody deserves to be loved and a world in which no one is killed would be truly beautiful and Kim's friendship with Dennis Rodman showed that he was capable of becoming a decent human being. He has not yet launched an #I'llRideWithKim hashtag. I recalled Hillaire Belloc's pithy summation of pacifism:
Pale Ebenezer thought it wrong to fight,
But Roaring Bill (who killed him) thought it right.
I cited that couplet in my book America Alone, for all the good it did. The #I'llRideWithYou crowd think it wrong to fight, so "lone wolves" and "self-styled Muslim clerics" will go on killing us because they think it right.