The Corner

National Security & Defense

Manchester: The Chilling Sound of Terror

Watch and — more importantly — listen to this video of the moment the bomb detonated in Manchester tonight:

That sound you hear is the slowly dawning realization that something horrifying is happening, a swelling of screams of panic. And it’s the panic of hundreds and hundreds of young girls (boys too, but the sound of girls’ screams is unmistakable.) Let that sink in. This attack was the virtual equivalent of walking into a middle school auditorium for the express purpose of maiming and mutilating children.

There is no reasoning with this hate. There is no “legitimate grievance” with the West that triggers such violence. It is the product of fanatical devotion to the most evil of all causes, a cause that perversely promises paradise for the slaughter of innocents. There is no way for the West to be “good” enough to appease terrorists. There is no policy short of religious conversion that will cause them to relent. The best deterrent to jihad is the obliteration of jihadists. They thrive on victory, not defeat.

Tonight, sadly, they won a victory, and here’s all you need to know to understand the character of our enemies – they relish the sound of young girls’ screams.

David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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