- - Thursday, September 18, 2014

The terrorists of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, prey on weakness, like Islamic terrorists everywhere. They abuse women, behead children and play the coward’s game, killing behind a mask. Australian police have broken up a scheme in Australia to embroider barbarism with savagery.

Australian police on Thursday rounded up 15 Islamic radicals suspected of receiving orders to seize soldiers on the streets of Sydney and Brisbane for beheading. The orders were intercepted. “The exhortations, quite direct exhortations,” Prime Minister Tony Abbott says, “were coming from an Australian who is apparently quite senior in ISIL to networks of support back in Australia to conduct demonstration killings here in this country.”

It was no idle threat. Last year, two jihadists who had emigrated to London used a car to run down a British soldier, Lee Rigby, as he walked along Wellington Street just outside the Royal Artillery Barracks. They used knives to take his life, but only the brave action of bystanders rushing to the scene kept the barbarians from using a cleaver to complete the intended beheading.

England and Australia were chosen as testing grounds for this cowardly and gruesome attack for a reason. Both nations have confiscated handguns and disarmed their citizens. All reasonable forms of self-defense on the streets are prohibited. It would be sheer folly for ISIS to attempt to blindside a Marine in Texas, Virginia or a point between. A terrorist might land a lucky punch, but it’s likely that if the Marine can’t shoot back, a bystander will.

It’s sad and unfortunate that the District of Columbia government, which gets so many things wrong, is trying to ignore the new ruling by a federal judge that the Constitution, which guarantees the right to “bear arms,” applies to the District, too. The D.C. Council is determined to give the chief of police the arbitrary discretion to decide who has a “compelling need” to exercise a constitutionally guaranteed right, and who doesn’t. Celebrities and politicians will get “carry” permits. Good luck to everyone else.

Every soldier in Washington has a compelling need to defend himself, and so does everyone else. A people able to fight back can never become victims of terrorists, Islamist or otherwise.

Liberals who preach the gospel of accommodation, negotiation and disarmament will never understand. If soldiers are ordered not to wear their “provocative” uniforms on public streets, they’ll be safe. If the United States abandons its interests in the Middle East, the accommodationists think we’ll be left alone. Such folly is expressed loud and clear at the White House.

The Australian prime minister has a precise understanding of the threat. Mr. Abbott remembers the Bali bombings, which killed 88 Australians, and he reminded reporters that the terrorist attacks against his country started long before its involvement in Iraq. “These people, I regret to say, do not hate us for what we do,” he said. “They hate us for who we are and how we live. That’s what makes us a target, the fact that we are different from their view of what an ideal society should look like, the fact that we are free, we are pluralist, we are tolerant, we are welcoming, we are accepting.”

The answer to the terrorists and jihadists is not to surrender our rights and liberties, but to embrace them.

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