February 2024
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The greatest danger is that (like in 1939) we are unable to comprehend the barbaric hatred of those who seek to destroy us

Apologies – but today’s blog is not very “Christmassy”.

One of the most sensitive issues in the Second World War was how much the Allies knew about the Germans’ plans to exterminate over six million Jews and whether the Allies could have done more to reduce the slaughter. Certainly many of the Allied leaders were deeply anti-semitic. US General Patton, for example said that Jews “are lower than animals”. And a senior Foreign Office official when hearing about the death camps noted, “Familiar stuff. The Jews have spoilt their case by laying it on too thick for years”. While another dismissed the reports as just “wailing Jews”.

But perhaps the more significant reason the Allies did nothing was that people from civilised countries were simply not able to comprehend that any human being could behave in such a barbaric depraved manner as the Germans.

Probably similar reasoning was behind the British surrender of Singapore in February 1942 by 85,000 British troops who outnumbered the Japanese by more than 2 to 1 and had more guns and ammunition than the  30,000 Japanese attackers. Had the British, Australian and Indian troops understood the Japanese would rape and murder all the nurses, bayonet any soldiers in hospital, use thousands of their 138,000 prisoners captured in Malaysia and Singapore for bayonet and target practice for their soldiers, the Japanese officers use prisoners for beheading competitions and most of those who were not killed for sadistic pleasure would be worked and starved to death, then they might have been more inclined to fight rather than give in at the first sound of gunfire. As one officer noted, “the troops just turned tail, became a rabble and let the Japs walk in unopposed”.

I fear we may be in a similar situation today with regard the Islamic fundamentalist threat to our well-being. As we live in civilised countries that respect human life, we are simply unable to comprehend the barbaric hatred of those who are obsessed with our destruction. I’ve written before about beheadings There was the indiscriminate slaughter at the Kenyan shopping centre. A few days ago in Yemen, Al Qaeda militants attacked a hospital complex and started shooting and beheading doctors and nurses – over 50 died. Then in Britain, we had the murder and attempted beheading of an unarmed British soldier by two members of our wonderful Somali community.

Most people, if they even know about these stories probably see them as regrettable but isolated incidents. Yet they may be part of a largely hidden but increasing war. Al Qaeda are taking over large parts of Iraq and they will probably take parts of Syria. Egypt is vulnerable, the Yemen is a disaster and many other Arab countries are at risk. And the greatest dangers for us is that the dominance of the bien-pensant, politically-correct prevent us from finding out what is really happening while we (like the Allies in the Second World War) are simply unable to comprehend the barbarity, depravity and obsessive hatred of those who have dedicated their lives to our destruction.

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