Saturday, August 22, 2009
Signing our own death warrants
Right, so I said I was on hiatus, but this is beyond unspeakable. The Scottish government yesterday decided to release Abdel Baset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, the man convicted of planting a bomb on Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988, which exploded over the Scottish town of Lockerbie and killed all 270 on board, as well as 11 people on the ground. He was released on 'humanitarian' grounds, as he has terminal prostate cancer and, with about three months to live, appealed to spend those last days with his family. I don't understand what the Scottish government hoped to gain by this exercise in spinelessness (though rumors have circulated about lucrative trade deals; I won't buy that until I see solid evidence, since I'm perfectly capable of believing in a Western government acting with unilateral stupidity). Somehow, this is supposed to demonstrate Scottish values. If those values include contempt for justice and craven appeasement in the face of growing Muslim populations within their borders, they've succeeded. I hope there's a little reorganization in Edinburgh after this. If someone in Washington had decided to release Timothy McVeigh on 'humanitarian' grounds, you know his head, and a few others, would roll. The civilized world's war against the perpetrators of terrorism and atrocity just got harder, now that future bombers know they can plead to go home to their families after murdering the families of others. But the worst part about this is that it's not the first time the West has caved in the face of barbarism: we've already released Revolutionary Guard operatives in Iraq who've killed Americans, and everyone from the print media to legions of lawyers are lobbying to dismantle the intelligence apparatus that's kept us on the offensive. The only message Scotland is sending to murderers-in-waiting is this: you can do what you want to us and we'll bend over backward to make your punishment as painless as possible. You killed almost three hundred innocent people? No problem, you can die in bed surrounded by your family, and we'll just forget that your victims were incinerated in mid-air or plummeted thousands of feet, alone and terrified, to their deaths. It is this attitude, not any battlefield setback, that will bring us defeat in the Long War; and it is growing stronger.