Why The London Beheading Sets A Dangerous Precedent (VIDEO)

London beheadingOn Wednesday, two militant Muslims attacked, killed and beheaded Lee Rigby, 25, an active service member of the British military. The story has been receiving a great deal of coverage because of the grisly nature of the attack. To summarize, the two men hit Rigby with a car, then proceeded to hack him to death with knives and meat cleavers, eventually beheading him.

We know the London beheading is a terrorist attack because during the time it took for the police to arrive, the two men calmly spoke to the horrified onlookers:

Video footage broadcast by ITV News showed a black man, his hands covered in blood and holding a cleaver and a knife, speaking after the attack. “We must fight them as they fight us,” he said in a London accent. “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Your people will never be safe. Remove your government, they don’t care about you.” The man apologized that women had to witness the incident. “In our lands, our women see the same,” he said.

When the police arrived, the still-armed men made a move towards them and were summarily gunned down although both survived.

Here’s the video (NSFW and contains disturbing images):

Since then, two more people, a man and a woman have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder in relation to the incident.

The London beheading represents a new and very disturbing tactic for fundamentalist Muslim intent on disrupting Western societies. Make no mistake, that’s what terrorism is, nothing more, nothing less. The very worst thing we, as a country, can do is to validate it.

9/11 was not a great strike in a war on America nor was 7/7 an opening salvo in a war on the UK. Both were PR stunts on a large scale. There are over 300 million people in this country and a tiny minority of them are Muslim; waging a “war” is a ridiculous proposition. Yet, it accomplished the exact goal it was meant to, probably beyond bin Laden’s wildest dreams. Instead of a measured response and a serious manhunt, America launched a massive invasion of not one, but two countries, declared war on a religion and savagely curtailed the freedoms of its citizens. We have thrown away the lives of thousands of American troops, left tens of thousands more seriously injured both physically and psychologically, wasted over a trillion dollars, abandoned any pretense to moral superiority and bred entire generations of Muslims who will hate and despise the United States with actual cause.

And so the terrorists have won.

But the election of President Obama threw a bit of sand in the gears. Yes, he intensified the war in Afghanistan and implemented a questionable policy of unaccountable drone strikes but he did so with no intention of continuing the Never-Ending War that both the terrorists and the right wing neo-cons so clearly wanted. Obama pulled us out of Iraq, we are scheduled to leave Afghanistan by 2014 and while Obama has killed dozens of key terrorist leaders, he has not gone on TV thumping his chest like a bellicose cave man shouting “Bring it on!”

Even worse, Obama got Osama. The boogeyman that Bush conveniently stopped looking for couldn’t find was hunted down a little over two years into Obama’s first term. The American people’s reactions varied but the overall consensus was, “Ok. Can we bring the troops home now?”

Large scale attacks on American soil and other western countries have become difficult and impractical. The wars overseas are ending. America, tired of the blood-lust  will start to notice that they gave up a whole lot for the illusion of security. Attacks on embassies and consulates will anger us but not enough to declare another war. Even the bombing of the Boston Marathon, while horrific, did very little to reignite our desire for revenge. What’s a terrorist to do to keep America in a blind rage?

Hacking a person up in broad daylight is one way.

If the United Kingdom gives in to the temptation to lash out at its Muslims community, it’s a sure bet that this kind of savagery will be repeated here in the US. Our passions are much easier to stir and we’ll play right into the terrorist’s hands. There’s a reason we haven’t had a number of terrorist inspired mass shootings: we’re unfortunately inured to them. But this kind of barbarism in the middle of a city in the middle of the day? That, we’re not used to at all and it’s very easy to see us overreacting.

When it happens here, and I’d bet money that it will if the UK treats the London beheading as more than just a sick crime, we must resist the darker impulses that sent us down the road to disaster after 9/11. If we don’t, we’re simply giving them what they want. We’re supposed to be better than that, and it’s time we showed the twisted neo-cons and fundamentalists that abuse Islam that we are.

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