“A decade of war is now ending.”
Alas for our liberals, including the President and many among his formal opposition, a war cannot end without the consent of both adversaries. The Jihad will not end. It is the eternal war waged to bring infidels under the suzerainty of Islam. The origin of this war lies in the far distant past; its commencement touches and shapes virtually every era of history since; and the quickening of its spiritual antecedents by modern circumstances has inaugurated a new and terrible era.
Ours in the age of the high-tech razzia: Cell-phones, Semtex, coordinated strikes, multinational mercenaries bent on butchery, mayhem and terror.
At least two Britons are thought to have died but David Cameron still believes there have been “multiple” fatalities among British workers, who were either killed in crossfire or murdered by their kidnappers. [. . .]
But amid the horror were stories of incredible escapes as British workers thwarted the 32 kidnappers from the Masked Brigade.
Three Britons hid in total silence for two days, according to a Frenchman who was freed with them when the Algerian army fought their way through the compound. [. . .]
He said he heard a “huge amount” of shots when the terrorist attack began on Wednesday morning. [. . .]
He was eventually rescued late on Thursday after the Algerian army launched a ground assault. He said his Algerian colleagues had kept him hidden and did not betray him to the terrorists, who were stalking the buildings looking for Westerners.
One Algerian said that as the kidnappers smashed down doors they made it clear they were interested only in Westerners. [. . .]
Many of the hostages had explosives strapped to them so that the kidnappers, who had told Algerians they would kill all the “Christians and infidels” on site, could blow them up at will. They included Stephen McFaul, an Ulsterman who fled with a bomb strapped to him when a convoy in which he was travelling came under attack from army helicopters.
Those of a poetical cast of mind may recall the rumbling cadences of Chesterton’s “Lepanto” in reading this horrific tale of bloodlust, where he renders in spectacular imagery the predatory impulse of the Jihad:
”Break up the mountains where the hermit-folk may hide,
And sift the red and silver sands lest bone of saint abide,
And chase the Giaours flying night and day, not giving rest,
For that which was our trouble comes again out of the west.”
The unfolding of history, even of the grim and brutal sort, will always contain within it surprises. Even so robust a Francophile as Chesterton would not whitewash French perfidy. The sixth stanza of his great poem assays that nation in imagery marked by a sinister sensuality suggestive of perversion and treachery. But history, as I say, has its surprises. Did you, dear reader, expect to read any time soon of the French as liberators? Did you think that France under a Socialist prime minister would, quietly but determinedly, “go it alone” to wage war against Jihadists?
SEGOU, Mali — Malian and French troops appeared to recapture two important central Malian towns on Monday, pushing back an advance by Islamist militants who have overrun the country’s northern half.
French soldiers in armored vehicles rolled through the town of Diabaly, about 275 miles from the capital, Bamako, to cheers from residents, who flew French and Malian flags to welcome them.
“I want to thank the French people,” said Mamadou Traoré, a Diabaly resident. He said French airstrikes had chased away the militants without harming any civilians, a claim echoed by other residents. [. . .]
The fighters appeared to find little support among the local population, who said the harsh version of Islam they sought to impose had little resemblance to the moderate faith practiced by most people here.
“These guys, they are vicious,” said Oumar Diakité, Diabaly’s mayor. “It’s not Islam that they want. They want other things.” [. . .]
Residents who had fled to nearby towns returned to their homes on Monday after hearing that the militants had been chased away.
“They arrived, and they said they were going to bring Shariah here,” said Mohamed Tounkara, who returned on Monday. “We don’t want Shariah. That’s why I left with my family.”
He said he was grateful to the French military but had little faith in his own country’s army, which in the past year has let half of Mali’s territory slip away and ended two decades of democratic rule.
Vive la France!