Friday, July 15, 2005

You love life and we love death

Mark Steyn from March last year:
Here's a story no American news organization thought worth covering last week, so you'll just have to take it from me. In the southern Iraqi town of Amara, 20 men from Scotland's Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders came under attack from 100 or so of Muqtada al-Sadr's 'insurgents.' So they fixed bayonets and charged.

It was the first British bayonet charge since the Falklands War 20 years ago. And at the end of it some 35 of the enemy were dead in return for three minor wounds on the Argylls' side. If you're used to smart bombs, unmanned drones and doing it all by computer back at HQ, you're probably wondering why a modern Western army is still running around with bayonets at the end of their rifles. The answer is that it's a very basic form of psychological warfare.

'If you're defending a position and you see someone advancing with a bayonet, you may be more inclined to surrender,' Colonel Ed Brown told the British newspaper The Guardian. 'I've never been bayoneted, but I can imagine it's pretty gruesome.' Or as Corporal Jones, veteran of the Sudan, used to say every week on the ancient BBC sitcom 'Dad's Army': 'They don't like it up 'em.'

By comparison, a Cruise missile, an unmanned drone, even a bullet are all antiseptic forms of warfare. When a chap's charging at you with a bayonet, he's telling you he's personally willing to run you through with cold steel. The bullet may get you first, but, if it doesn't, he'll do it himself. To the average British squaddie in the 21st century, the bayonet's main practical purpose is for opening tinned food. But when you need it on the battlefield, it's still a powerful signal of your resolve, your will.

As Wellington remarked of his own troops, "I don't know what effect these men will have upon the enemy, but, by God, they frighten me".

"You love life and we love death", say the Islamofascists. History proves - and I think it is too often forgotten by our own media and metropolitan elites - that, once roused, the British may well be the most deadly and implacable foe in the world. If you love death, you've come to the right place.

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