The Manchester Arena seats 21,000 people and is home to sporting events, concerts, and other spectacles that gather large amounts of people into an enclosed space. As such, it has defensive security measures in place including guards and metal detectors. To defeat these precautions, a 22 year old suicide bomber who was known to the British security services simply waited outside the arena where he managed to murder 22 innocent people and maim dozens more.
In the early 1940’s, Britain stood virtually alone against the might of the Nazi Reich. France had surrendered, America was not yet in the war, and the Soviets were working with the enemy. Unable to invade the British isle protected by what at the time was the world’s most powerful navy, Hitler tried to bomb Britain into submission.
For months upon months, Great Britain endured nightly bombing raids that directly targeted civilians, but her people never broke. My favorite story of the Blitz is of an elderly woman whose home was nearly destroyed by Nazi bombs. When the rescuers came, they found a bottle of brandy in the one part of the house that was still standing and opened it to comfort her. The elderly woman, whose home and worldly possessions were ruined, chastised the rescuers because the brandy “was for emergencies.
On my second tour in Iraq, one of our Iraqi interpreters (we’ll call him Jim) told me an astounding story. Jim had recently gone home for a week of vacation only to discover his job was not as secret as he thought. A group of men had approached his little brother outside of school and said they knew Jim was working for the Americans, and if he did not quit they would kill Jim.
I try to maintain a certain level of decorum here at Explanatory Conservatism, but after I heard that President Obama had commuted Bradley Manning’s sentence, the only thing I could think for about an hour was “WTF?”. Seriously, WTF?
Part of me wishes we could bring Hitler back to life, just to show him the Brandenburg Gate tonight.