3 January 2014


Could American readers, or Europeans learned in North American Demotic English, explain a phrase to me? It comes at the end of Fr Zed's post (03:01:2014) with the horrific story about Islamic atrocities in Syria (q.v.). Father ends with:  "Europe? HAH!".

The (contextual) sense?


Flambeaux said...

Fr.Z is asking "Will Europe, or any of several countries in Europe, be able to summon the political will and military materiel to deal with the inevitable 'showdown in the Middle East'?"

His use of "Hah!" is in the sense of "as if", "fat chance", or "when pigs fly".

The implication being that as bad as the US is doing, Europe, as a collective institution, is even worse off when it comes to bringing unified political will to bear on anything, least of all protection of the State of Israel and the Christians being persecuted in the Middle East.

I hope that helps explain the remark.

Don Camillo SSC said...

Alas, I suspect that like many Americans, Fr Z thinks that bombing Muslim countries will help to make the world more peaceful. By the way, I read that in recent years, while the number of terrorist-related deaths in the USA is counted in dozens, that from other gun-related crimes is counted in thousands. HAH

Anonymous said...

American: HAH
Yorkshire: Would 'e eck as like!

I hope this helps!

Maximilian Hanlon said...

Because Fr. Z cannot separate himself from those who are Fox-News-Brain-Dead, his blog no longer deserves to be read.

The Rad Trad said...

Fr Spilsbury,

Perhaps you would do well to know that violent crime has been increasing substantially every year in the UK since the gun ban, particularly crimes using guns (up 35% a few years ago) and that 46% of violent crime involved a gun. In the US, by contrast, violent crime has been on the downswing during the same period. In the most violent cities in the US, Detroit and Chicago, it is more or less impossible for a law abiding citizen to conceal-and-carry a firearm.

Criminals, in my country or in the UK, are not going to spend time filing for a license or a background check to buy a weapon whereas the law abiding citizen will.

Someone Who Doesn't Own a Gun

Anonymous said...

Fr Spilsbury,

I regret that you believe we Americans believe bombing Muslims will make the world more peaceful. For my part I know no one so misguided.

Fr. Z is no way suggesting we bomb anyone (an offensive move), but that we defend the Christians (a defensive move.) Who among us can be against defending our Christian brethren?

Matthew Roth said...

A bit uncharitable to have a pop at Fr. Z, no? I believe he reads this blog and regardless of that it's wrong. I am also under the impression that he prays for peace in the Middle East.

Sir Watkin said...

By most reckonings violent crime in the U.K. (including crimes involving firearms) has fallen in recent years.

See e.g.


Violent crime in the U.S.A. has also fallen, and more rapidly, but from a much higher starting point and is still at a much higher level than in Britain.

Sir Watkin said...

"Who among us can be against defending our Christian brethren?"

Who indeed? But the question of how such a thing might be done is not simple to answer. There are numerous options, all of which have potential disadvantages. (Et N.B. "Do nothing" is one of those options.)

"Fr. Z is no way suggesting we bomb anyone (an offensive move)" And yet attack is sometimes a necessary part of defence. So just as "Do nothing" is one of the options that ought to be considered on its merits, so is bombing or other aggressive action - along with all the other possibilities that lie between these extremes.

A rational consideration of the morality and practicalities of the various options would be more use than an empty parading of prejudices.

Liam Ronan said...

Flambeaux you have nailed it on the head. I'm a 64 year-old American and can vouch for your interpretation 100%.

Anonymous said...

Sir Watkin,

"A rational consideration of the morality and practicalities of the various options would be more use than an empty parading of prejudices."

I agree completely yet I have no answer to the problem of Christians in the Middle East. I'm not a politician or statesman (do we still have such?) However I do believe that doing nothing is akin to doing nothing when someone confides that an abortion is being considered.

There is one peaceful manner of defense: help them emigrate if they are willing. Is that not reasonable?

I live in Houston, Texas. It's a large city full of friendly people and plenty of room for some more refugees. But under our current regime I cannot imagine any such offer of refuge to Christians forthcoming.