When Sleep the Sentinels

When sleep the sentinels, ’tis the barbarian at the gate who strews their eyes with dreams.  Then are they vanquished by the desert, leaving the gates free to turn noiselessly on their well-oiled hinges so that the city may be fecundated when she has become exhausted and needs the barbarian.

Sleeping sentry, you are the enemy’s advance guard.  Already you are conquered, for your sleep comes of your belonging to the city no more, and being no longer firmly knotted to the city…And when I see you thus I tremble;  for in you the empire, too, is sleeping, dying.  You are but a symptom of its mortal sickness, for ill betides when it gives me sentries who fall asleep…

For if you no longer know that here a tree stands, then the roots, trunk, branches, leafage have no common measure.  And you can you be faithful when an object for your fidelity is lacking?  Well I know you would not sleep were you watching at the bedside of her you love.  But that which should have been the object of your love is dispersed into fragments strewn at random, and you know it no more.  Unloosed for you is the God-made knot that binds all things together.

–Antoine de St-Exupery,  Citadelle

12 thoughts on “When Sleep the Sentinels”

  1. I don’t suppose anyone thought it necessary for dance-halls for homosexuals to have armed guards. I suppose some will think it now, not least for fear of a copy-cat effect.

    Anyway, trust O and Hillary to fail to rise to the occasion. What sorry creatures they are.

  2. Dearieme, I understand there was an off duty policemen working at the club at the time of the attack. If true, then there was an armed guard at the place. Given the size of the crowd–300+–and the subsequent massacre, that wasn’t enough.

  3. “there was an armed guard at the place”: then how did the terrorist get in carrying a long-barrelled weapon? I suppose more will be explained as the days roll by.

    I can see the risk of having an armed man among a crowd who are drinking. I suppose an obvious armed guard at the door is at risk of being shot before he can be any use.
    And we have been told that the terrorist was himself an armed guard by trade.

    What’s O preaching today? Beware of the backlash?

  4. According to this timeline on CNN

    An officer working extra duty in full uniform at the club responds.

    He and two officers nearby open fire on the shooter, and a gun battle ensues.

    The shooter goes inside the club, where a hostage situation develops.

    We can only speculate at this point, but unless the guard was right at the front door the gunman could have easily forced his way in or shot his way in. From the looks of the diagram, he entered into a small crowded section with lots of revelers around for cover, especially if a stampede started. If the guard is in the main section and the other two responders are also coming from there or even through the front door, then the gunman easily pushes into the bathroom.

    Wikipedia says this:

    Many described a scene of panic and confusion caused by the loud music and darkness. One person hiding in a bathroom covered herself with the bodies of victims for protection

    We know from people who received text messages from the hostages that he forced them in the bathroom. That was probably where most of the victims died. Small space, scared unarmed hostages lined up, plenty of time and opportunity to reload.

    If an armed guard is instead able to block the bathroom it’s a whole other ballgame. If you can engage him from the bathroom, that opposite door from the main section, and the front door then you have triangulation.

    The other thing was the actions of the hostages. Never, ever go anywhere with a gunman. Run like hell, at an angle if possible. You may still get shot, but chances are far more favorable that he’ll miss than if you’re lined up against a wall. If all those people ran away instead of going into the bathroom, far fewer would’ve been killed.

    Easy to say now I know. This is why they prey on the vulnerable.

  5. No doubt, in hindsight, the club could have taken better precautions. However, perhaps the main point here is that while many of us see a clear pattern of increased domestic Islamist terrorism, the people in charge of our national security continue to ignore the obvious to an extent that invites more attacks. Meanwhile they try to shift blame to people who aren’t responsible, because to do otherwise and acknowledge what is actually happening would conflict with their ideological and political agendas.

  6. They were inside at Bataclan, they were inside here. It’s reported elsewhere that he was employed at a security agency (with a DHS contract). Most nightclubs don’t allow patrons to walk in with long rifles, as we all must realize.


    In the aftermath, his enablers begin calling for “gun control”, which to my mind is what the bottom line is. The Martin case was to be a referendum on concealed carry and stand your ground. Reno torched minority women and children in Waco. Despite living in the rainbow house, and advocating for the anything goes toilet, the occupant can only propose a regulation on inanimate devices.

    Last night I watched an old video with Larry Grathwohl were he describes talking to Bill Ayers about bombing a Detroit police station. A restaurant that served black clientele was directly adjacent, and Grathwohl told Ayers that it would most likely suffer the brunt of the blast. He told Ayers this, because he knew that he was in solidarity with “the community” and would want to know. His reply was something to the affect that, “sometimes innocent people have to die”.

    The mask continues to slip.

  7. “If all those people ran away instead …”: that reminds me of advice given to people who might be forced by a gunman into the boot (trunk) of a car. Don’t! Run for it, fight him, whatever, but don’t get in. You’re doomed if you do.

    It’s the surprise, and the being unprepared, that does for people. If they’d all thought it out beforehand, they’d know that if they’d all broken glasses or bottles and rushed him with their new glass weapons, far fewer would have died. But their astonishment defeated them. The obvious example is the airliner that crashed on 9/11. There the passengers were in their seats, learned from the fate of other planes that they were anyway doomed, and so tried to fight the terrorists. It might have worked. In a nightclub with a civilian:terrorist ratio of 300:1, it probably would have worked. Poor sods.

    I suppose we are about to learn whether gays or Muslims have the upper hand at the great game of competitive victimhood. If the Muslim had been a black man I suppose the result would be obvious. But he was only an Afghan; does that leave the result hard to predict?

  8. H/T Clayton Cramer’s blog:

    “A former Fort Pierce police officer who once worked with 29-year-old Omar Mateen … said he was “unhinged and unstable.” Daniel Gilroy said he worked the 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. shift with G4S Security at the south gate at PGA Village for several months in 2014-15. Mateen took over from him for a 3 to 11 p.m. shift.

    Gilroy, a former Fort Pierce police officer, said Mateen frequently made homophobic and racial comments. Gilroy said he complained to his employer several times but it did nothing because he was Muslim.”

    I suppose the truth of such tales will emerge.

  9. Dearieme – it is difficult to say what/how this all happened, but I tend to agree with you. I once read some solid advice on how to improve your chances in this type of scenario, and the most important thing was for everyone to immediately throw everything they had (including themselves) at the shooter – as you mentioned, there were probably hundreds of bottles and glasses around. Probably would have cut the death toll down considerably. But…night club at 2am means that most are likely not thinking clearly. This, in addition to a lack of cohesion among the victims seems to have doomed many, in these types of situations. Again, it is impossible to put yourself in this type of situation, but fighting is clearly a better choice than cowering.

  10. I would think that any similar setting, a collection of Muslim victims, should have a booth with armor for the guard. It sounds like he also killed lots while the police waited outside, violating all we learned from Columbine.

  11. I can just picture the scenario, the frenzied rush to pack whatever belongings are left from the bombed-out apartment, to take on the boat to Greece, and the argument that ensues: “My mother’s silverware, No, the baby pictures, and then in unison, Noooo! the blueprints for the gas pipeline outside Deming!”


    Just call us Stradivari, as we are being played…

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