Friday, November 20, 2009

Trusting America

I simply do not understand the outcry against exposing Khalid Shaikh Mohammed to a criminal trial in New York City. Indeed most of the arguments are either irrelevant or overstated (and of course not a few of them are the result of the fact that if Obama said it was day at noontime, the vast swath of the right would proclaim it to be night). Charles Krauthammer sums up the argument as well as anyone -- which is to say, not particularly well -- in today's Washington Post:

September 11, 2001 had to speak for itself. A decade later, the deed will be given voice. KSM has gratuitously been presented with the greatest propaganda platform imaginable -- a civilian trial in the media capital of the world -- from which to proclaim the glory of jihad and the criminality of infidel America.

I have no idea what "September 11, 2001 had to speak for itself" means, and neither do you, because it is nonsense, words that are intended to be portentous and meaningful but that are instead empty and useless. But that's not the point. The point, it seems, is that Charles Krauthammer and his ilk have no faith in the very things that make us better than the KSMs of this world. They have no faith in our ability to protect a courtroom in New York City. They have no faith that our truth is better than the jihadist's propaganda. They have no faith that our judicial system can prevail.

For many on the right -- and Krauthammer is only exhibit A -- the only real factor in terrorism is that it is a useful cudgel with which to whack those they disagree over the head. In the wake of that awful tragedy on 9/11 conservatives and Republicans were quick to point out that the failures of intelligence and security were the fault of no party and no politician, or rather, of all parties and all politicians, a useful conceit for them when they occupied the White House and both houses of Congress. But ever since that moment when suddenly accountability was so difficult to glean the right has been looking for ways to paint Democrats and liberals as soft on terrorism and weak on foreign policy. And if that means disparaging the American system, so be it. When Democrats and liberals criticized foreign policy during the staggering run of incompetence that was Bush years, the right was quick to play the un-American card, so quick to impugn the patriotism of those who disagreed with them. But apparently patriotism, like everything else, is contingent upon the prevailing political winds.

I think our truth is better than the jihadist propaganda. Clearly conservatives do not. That's a shame. There was a time when he seemed to love this country. It's amazing what Democrats in the White House and on Capitol Hill will do to a man's patriotism. Who knew that conservative love of country was only skin deep?

Put Khalid Shaikh Mohammed on trial. Give his poisonous rantings the widest audience possible. Not only is it the right thing to do in terms of upholding America's values. It also is the right thing to do because unlike Charles Krauthammer, I believe both that our ideas are better than the jihadists' and that any public airing of those ideas is a win for the United States of America.

1 comment:

primerica life insurance said...

I don't think the proclamation of the glory of Islamic religion is the main reason, why the decision to send KSM to the civilian court was so stupid. Personally I wouldn't care whatever bullshit he would try to celebrate there. The problem is the justice system at the federal court which could enable these terrorists to get acquitted when its announced they were not read their Miranda rights, or when the evidence will be called inadmissible because gained by torture. I think this is a much bigger problem than some religious ideology. Lorne