Another attack. Another official response—in this case, a good one. British PM David Cameron wasted no time in naming the most recent atrocity for what it is: “terrorism.” He vowed that Britain would never yield to it and would fight against it. Good for him. Good for all of us. Some heads of state seem shamefully reluctant to even name the enemy for what it is or acknowledge the fact as it really is: we are at war.
Yet there was another message that was sent in this terrorist attack in London. The message was encoded within the very confrontation that happened that night. It is a message that epitomizes this war we fight and maybe signals the very ideals that are at stake.
Watch the video. The crazed, radical Islamic terrorist murderer prowled about like a blood-thirsty beast over its ravaged victim’s remains, screaming, “We are at war!” Then came the shock—to him and I hope to the radical Islamic enemy we face. The murderer and his roaming pack of warlords lurking in the shadows met with…A cub scout den mother from Cornwall (think “Louisa” from the “Doc Martin” TV series). She leaps from London bus no. 53 as the terrorist act unfolds. She was overcome with righteous indignation. Without regard for her own life, she intuitively sought to help the bludgeoned, young soldier, Lee Rigby, of 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, right there on the streets. When she found no pulse she turned and went for the Islamists. There, on the veritable battlefield of one of our great cities of Western Civilization, a mother, a symbol of all that we cherish and hold dear, and yet still a defenseless but defiant female, stood as a golden visage of hope between the Enemy and a dead soldier just 200 yards away from the Royal Artillery Barracks, Woolwich. The murderer, still griping the blood-stained meat cleaver, faced off with the unarmed woman who asked him if he really thought he could win a war against all of us. She told hime he could never win. As if trained in terrorist negotiations (she is a mother and cub scout leader after all), she asked for them to put down their weapons. Then, realizing that her baggage was still on the bus, she returned to no. 53 and was off. Yet before doing so, this heroine had executed a brilliant battlefield move. Her courage stunned them. The police then shot the murderer and fellow Islamic terrorist.
For one instant, this whole conflict became extraordinarily clear. Barbaric brutality in the form of a seemingly possessed madman, insanely chanting to a god of violence, worshipping with the blood of a young man smeared over his hands, waving a meat cleaver weapon, like an insane warrior from another century, being chastened by a quite, intelligent, brave, and unrequited cub scout leader and mother from a small English village. Heathenism at its worst being stood down by civilization at its best. “She spoke for all of us,” David Cameron said. She stood for all of us.
We are at war. The President’s recent speech seemed to convey the idea that “all wars must end” and so he seemed to suggest that this global struggle is now over. “It is more regional now”—whatever that means. The Prime Minister’s urgent and strong message, on the other hand, following this horrible act of war in the streets of London, was a realistic and necessary response needed to awaken us from the potentially deadly slumber of thinking that withdrawing our troops means cessation of the Enemy’s mission of violent world domination. But no act has spoken more loudly than one mom from Cornwall standing down radical Islamic terrorism with nothing more than her will, her dignity, her poise, and her courage. She is the shocking image of decency and civilization that must surely startle the enemy: a woman, a mother, a quiet but firm and resolute voice of intelligence and honor. Louisa the village school teacher from Portwenn takes on the Taliban.
She is why we will win this war.
“Haply a woman’s voice may do some good When articles too nicely urged be stood on.”—William Shakespeare, Queen Isabel in “Henry V,” Act V, Sc. 2.