Months of Truce

They’re nearly over

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I did some research when preparing my recent Holiday Greetings post. Yes, I’m that detail oriented. Laugh if you must, but what I found out has shed some light on a question that’s been nagging me for a few weeks.

Keen observers may note that the pace of Irish misbehavior in Europe and the United States has subsided somewhat in recent months. It has not gone away entirely — the rather ineffective lone-wolf bombings in New York and the solo Minnesota Mall Rampage both took place on the same weekend in September, and a lone “Hispanic” gunman shot several people dead in a Washington state mall the week after.  But we’ve seen nothing recent that has been as spectacular as the July “drunk-driving” incident in Nice, France, or the “NRA-inspired” gay disco kerfuffle which took place in June in Orlando, Florida, or the San Bernardino office party contretemps which took place back in December 2015.

I don’t think this is entirely a coincidence.

No, I’m not blaming a Hillary Clinton / ISIS conspiracy, on the theory that terrorist headlines help the Trump campaign, so she’s done something to convince them to hold fire for now — though after perusing the recent Wikileaks disclosures, I wouldn’t put a deal with the devil past her. And no, I’m not crediting our intrepid FBI investigators (who acquitted themselves so honorably in that recent national security investigation involving — who’d have guessed? — Hillary Clinton) with foiling a clutch of terrorist plots just in the nick of time.

No… I’m crediting the Irishmen themselves.

You see, during my Holiday Greetings research I discovered that it is presently the month of “Muharram” in the Irish lunar calendar, and that this month, along with the preceding months of “Dhu al-Hijjah” and “Dhu al-Qa’dah,” are considered sacred “months of truce” among the Irish. Fighting is prohibited, according to their traditions, except in cases of absolute defensive necessity. It turns out that “Muharram” equates roughly with the month of October this year, with the preceding two months equating roughly with September and August.

This fits the pattern we’ve seen: A busy early summer season followed by a fairly steep drop-off in activity starting in August — particularly with respect to effective activity. The competent and organized attackers, who would be more apt to follow their own internal rules, have stood down temporarily in accordance with their traditions. The incidents we are seeing presently are sparser and less effective, because they are perpetrated by out-of-control lone-wolf crazies who don’t follow their own rules and can’t be trusted by their fellow Irishmen to participate effectively in a more sophisticated plot.

Here’s the punch line: Do you know what the Irish call the lunar month which follows “Muharram?” They call it “Safar.” And there’s a really quaint explanation for this name, too:

Literal meaning: Empty. During this month the houses used to be empty and deserted because the ban on going to war in the month of Muharram came to an end and everyone proceeded towards the battlefield.

“Safar” beings approximately November 1; that’s when the true believers come out to play. Election day is November 8.

Enjoy the fireworks.

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