I can no longer remember when I first used the line, but, as I've said many times before, sometimes a society becomes too stupid to survive.
Back when President Trump was Candidate Trump, he famously proposed a soi-disant "Muslim ban" on entry to the United States "until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on".
Which was a rationale to which I was rather partial - because a failure to "figure out what the hell is going on" is a big part of why we're where we are a generation after 9/11. Mohammed is now in the Top Ten boys' names in America, which means it will sooner than you think be, as it is in Europe, among the Top Five boys' names, and eventually the Number One. [UPDATE: See Michelle Stone's comment below.]
Well, the "Muslim ban" never happened, after being struck down by judges and filleted into meaninglessness by the lawyers of the permanent bureaucracy. But you would think, given the mountain of corpses piled up on 9/11, that at the very minimum Saudi nationals would no longer be being given pilot training in Florida. After all, fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers were Saudis, and half of those who flew the planes received their lessons in the Sunshine State.
Yet today Americans pick up their papers to read:
PENSACOLA, Fla. â€” A Saudi Arabian military pilot training in the United States opened fire Friday morning at Naval Air Station Pensacola, leaving three people dead and several others wounded before Florida sheriff's deputies shot and killed him.
Or as The New York Times headlined it:
Florida Shooting Updates: Authorities Say It's Too Early to Know if It's Terrorism
We know it's a Saudi national gunning down Americans, but it's "too early to know" if it's terrorism. Could be just "mental health issues" or "workplace violence" or "pre-traumatic stress disorder" or "involuntary self-radicalization" or whatever. Nothing to worry about and always remember (to reprise another old line of mine) that "Allahu Akbar" is Arabic for "Nothing to see here".
On "the day that everything changed" nothing changed - except the rate of Muslim immigration to the west, which doubled. A US immigration bureaucracy both cruel and stupid enough to ban a World War Two RAF pilot for life for staying with his wife until her death when she was stricken ill in the US and taken to a New Jersey hospital cannot stop itself admitting Saudi trainee pilots to kill Americans.
Recently, I marked (under the headline "Diversity unto Death") the tenth anniversary of the Fort Hood slaughter - the first mass murder in American history in which the perpetrator gave a PowerPoint presentation on what he intended to do, and to a roomful of military and mental-health professionals to boot. Some of whom felt a little queasy about what they heard, but not enough to prevent him going ahead and murdering everyone. And, in the course of our anniversary observances, I quoted Steyn Club member Kate Smyth's observation that "we'd rather die than be thought of as 'Islamophobic'". Which is, increasingly, literally true. And so it is that we go round in circles, so that this year's atrocities all seem like faded Xeroxes of last year's atrocities - an attack by Saudi pilots trained in Florida, an attack on a US military base, an attack on London Bridge, another attack on London Bridge, another Saudi pilot in Florida, another US military base...
A few days ago Kate Smyth identified another difference between the carbon copies and the originals. On the telly yakfests round about now, there'll be earnest conversations about whether this latest member of Local 347 of the Amalgamated Union of Lone Wolves has any "links to Isis". As Kate put it re even "conservative" media outlets:
There's been a very obvious shift - no doubt a confirmation of Islamisation itself. No 'I' and no 'M', with discussions limited to terrorism... What's noticeable is that there's both censorship and self-censorship as part of this shift.
From the aforementioned link: 'As Ayaan Hirsi Ali explained, because of the West's obsession with terror, we have become blind to the broader threat of the dawa (Islamic proselytizing), the ideology behind the terror attacks â€” and what drives Muslims to Islamize us.'
It follows that, as long as terrorism is contained to an 'Acceptable Level of Violence', we won't hear about Islamic terrorism (let alone Islam).
There is a lot of truth to that. Indeed, it is one of the striking differences between atrocity coverage circa 2019 and atrocity coverage circa 2002. So we will admit more Saudi would-be pilots (for no district judge would countenance an end to the program) but also order up more bollards for US military bases, and longer security lines and more sophisticated latex gloves. And, whatever happens, it won't ever be anything to do with Islam, and not even anything to do with terrorism unless you're going to a dead-drop in the park to collect your orders from Isis High Command.
Oh, and even the "Muslim ban" guy is back to the usual "the Saudis are our friends" bollocks:
The King said that the Saudi people are greatly angered by the barbaric actions of the shooter, and that this person in no way shape or form represents the feelings of the Saudi people who love the American people.
Yeah, sure. Aside from the three other Saudis who filmed the attack as it was in progress.
The flaw in Trump's "Muslim ban" was its conditionality on us "figuring out what the hell is going on". Actually, what the hell's going on isn't so difficult to figure out. But, as events at Fishmongers' Hall and the Pensacola Naval Air Station both underline, most of the western world would rather do anything than confront honestly "what the hell is going on".
And so the hell will go on, and the faded Xeroxes of faded Xeroxes will go on.
As I wrote all those years ago in America Alone, this is an opportunist infection: The likes of today's perp and last Friday's perp are able to do this to us because we're willing to have it done to us. We have not the will to resist even the most absurd provocations.
~If you're a Mark Steyn Club member, please have your say in the comments.