Today is not only the grey morning after the election the night before, but also the fifth anniversary of a terrible savage act in the heart of Canada's capital.
The photograph at right shows Corporal Nathan Cirillo of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (the Princess Louise's) on the last weekend of his life. Megan Underwood and her friend (standing next to the corporal) were visiting Ottawa from California and, passing the Cenotaph, asked if they could have their picture taken with the "very handsome guard".
Corporal Cirillo died a few days later - October 22nd 2014, five years ago today. A man who wore the uniform of his regiment with pride, he might have expected to stare death in the face in Afghanistan or some other thankless piece of barbarous sod. Instead, he was gunned down on Wellington Street by Michael Zehaf-Bibeau.
Zehaf-Bibeau was born in Quebec as Michael Joseph Hall and was a recent "revert" to Islam - as was Martin Couture-Rouleau, the killer of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent of the Royal Military College in St Jean-sur-Richelieu a couple of days earlier, and the killers of Drummer Lee Rigby on the streets of South London. Yet, even by the standards of the booming new category of "recent Muslim converts", Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was a prime specimen. In a detail almost too absurd, the Ottawa jihadist turned out to be the son of Susan Bibeau, the Deputy Chairperson of the Immigration Division of Canada's Immigration and Refugee Board. Her (now ex-)husband was a "Libyan businessman".
I was in New York when the shooting occurred, launching a new book on TV and radio. So, a few hours after Corporal Cirillo's murder, I joined Neil Cavuto on Fox News, who spoke to me immediately after the President of the United States had given his response. Mine was somewhat different - as you can see. In fairness to President Obama, almost every representative of officialdom said something craven and evasive. The Premier of Quebec, who heads a supposedly "right-of-center" government, broke new ground in disingenuous euphemism when he referred to the murders of Warrant Officer Vincent and Corporal Cirillo as "spontaneous acts of extremism". It's Open Mike Night at the Extreme Improv Club! It should have been no surprise that such a man would then seek to insulate Islam from the rough'n'tumble of open debate and free speech by passing the disgusting and contemptible Bill 59. As I put it to Cavuto:
'The euphemisms we take refuge in are becoming more and more absurd,' Steyn said.
'It is not "senseless violence" when a man at the National War Memorial at ...the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Ottawa puts a bullet at point-blank range into a Canadian soldier ...and kills him at the War Memorial,' Steyn said. 'That is an assault on the Canadian state, just as it would be at Arlington on the American state...'
The attacks are 'symbolic assaults at the heart of the state,' he said. 'It's not senseless. It's not shooting up a liquor store.
'Unless you're willing to address this honestly, and not call it senseless violence,' Steyn said, 'you're part of the problem.'
After killing Corporal Cirillo, Zehaf-Bibeau went on a rampage down the Centre Block of the very lightly guarded Canadian Parliament firing blindly. In the only good news of the day he was shot dead by Kevin Vickers, the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Commons. The Sergeant-at-Arms is a Gilbert & Sullivan character who wears a goofy looking hat and has two main functions in Parliament: 1) At the start of the day's proceedings in the Commons, he carries the Mace into the chamber; 2) When the Queen is present in Parliament, he carries the Mace into the chamber and then covers it up with a black cloth. In a split second, Mr Vickers understood his ceremonial role had turned suddenly real, pulled the pistol out of his drawer, and sent the western world's latest Soldier of Allah to his virgins with a single bullet. We will have need of men like Kevin Vickers in the years ahead, and many more of us will have to recover that primal survival instinct.
I got angrier as the day went on, speaking with Brian Lilley on the now defunct Sun News, and then with Sean Hannity, as you can see here. I was a guest on Lars Larson' radio show, where I suggested that Ottawa and New York and London are the real battlefields the jihad's playing for, not some godforsaken patch of Yemeni desert or a smelly cave in Waziristan. Click below to listen:
The following morning, I spoke with Stuart Varney on Fox Business to discuss the umpteenth member of Local 473 of the Amalgamated Union of Lone Wolves:
"This term 'lone wolf' is a cop-out...the idea that they somehow have to have a membership card in Islamic State or in al Qaeda for it to be official, fully-credentialed terror, like getting a hairdresser's license in New York State, is completely preposterous" he stated.
Steyn added that the rhetoric of "lone wolf" terrorists allows those who do not want to admit that radical Islam is a problem to brush off terror as isolated incidents, saying "all jihad is local. That actually suits them, to say, 'oh no this is just some mentally ill guy in Ottawa and this is another guy who's a bit goofy in New York and there's no connection between the two.' Because otherwise you have to treat it like your other big story. You have to treat it like ideological Ebola and you have to stop the infection..."
All the stories are different - for the dead and the broken families they leave behind. And yet they are all the same, with respect to the killers and their motivations. I have been writing for almost two decades about the west's wannabe jihadists, often born and raised in Canada and America and Britain and Australia and Europe, some of them converts - or "reverts". Throughout that period, the multiculti delusionists have insisted that Islam's contribution to the diversity mosaic is no less positive than that of Poles or Italians. So we have pure laine Quebeckers and Nigerian South Londoners converting to Islam because it's the coolest gang on the planet.
One consequence of that is that eventually all our cities will descend into the same hellish panopticon security state of post-9/11 Washington. The security-lite Ottawa I loved is gone, and that is a loss. But there will be others in the years ahead. Because the price of welcoming and incubating and growing Islam in the west is, ultimately, the loss of everything else. As Laura Rosen Cohen wrote:
I was listening to a popular morning radio show this morning and the discussion focused on several themes. One was how to support Canada's military in the wake of the terrorist attacks this week. This is a particularly important topic given that Canada's soldiers were instructed not to wear their uniforms in public.
This of course, is the absolutely wrong way of dealing with terrorism. The terrorists targeted our soldiers and killed our soldiers.
Traditionally, in human history, when hostile forces plot and murder your soldiers - that is called war.
The answer to a declaration of war is not taking off your uniform.
It's wearing it prouder. It's more uniforms, more soldiers, more direct engagement, and being more resolute and more public about your national pride and security.
She's right. If we have to have dress codes on the streets of free societies, I'd rather see more men like Corporal Cirillo in the uniform of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders ...and fewer women in head-to-toe black body bags. Instead, a soldier of the Queen cannot walk the streets in his uniform but a bride of Allah can wear her uniform to take her oath of "allegiance" to Canada.
As I said to Alan Jones on 2GB in Sydney, I'm tired of being told that we have to change to accommodate them. They are the ones who have to change, or have change forced upon them.
There are no benefits from an ever more assertive Islamic "diversity" that make the deaths of Patrice Vincent and Nathan Cirillo a price worth paying. But my fellow Canadians feel differently, and so on this muted anniversary we have a restored prime minister who's so cool he wears Ramadan socks to the Pride parade. But not the other way round. On such attenuated survival instincts, the multiculti delusions stagger on.
~If you're one of the many members of The Mark Steyn Club, from Virginia to Vanuatu, please feel free to comment below.