"But war, in a good cause, is not the greatest evil which a nation can suffer. War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. When a people are used as mere human instruments for firing cannon or thrusting bayonets, in the service and for the selfish purposes of a master, such war degrades a people. A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical injustice – a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their free choice – is often the means of their regeneration. A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever-renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other."

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.


The Accidental Blogger said...

I personally am opposed to the death penalty, but watching the convoy taking him to the airport, part of me sincerely was hoping for a 'Syriana' style intervention... Not that that would have been in any way a good idea, but... Letting him out sends a terrible, terrible message.

Cincinnatus said...

I haven't seen Syriana, but I think I know what you're getting at ... as it is, I'm not saying I want the man's blood. But good lord, if we can't even bring ourselves to keep mass murderers in jail for their allotted sentence, western civilization doesn't deserve to endure. I don't know how families of the Scottish victims could possibly find any solace in the bomber's release, but I wholeheartedly agree with FBI director Mueller that freeing him makes a mockery of the grief suffered by almost two hundred families in America.

The Accidental Blogger said...

Let's just say a caravan meets a guided missile at one point in Syriana... I really don't understand the logic by the Scottish judge, so I'm assuming there's an oil deal at work somewhere there.

Andrew said...

ITB, see Syriana. Put that netflix account to good use.

I agree with you. The sad part is that the majority of people who cared about this story will only think about it one more time in their lives: when he dies. Amen and Alleluia to our 24-7 news-never-ends collective ultra-short-term memory. Lets move on to the next tragedy. (I hear it has to do with MJ).

Two other quick points: I did enjoy hearing "Lockerbie" all the team. Just a fun, cool name. Right up there with The Hague and Petoria. Also, you may have missed it, but "dear leader" and his cronies canceled the "war on terror". I think its called something else now. Just a heads up, I don't want you getting it all wrong. That would be embarrassing, you know, not wanting to fight terror and all. Uhm... moving on.

Cincinnatus said...

AJG, methinks I have a copy of "Syriana" on my tera-drive as part of my Al Asad download binge. I shall research more closely and make it the next thing I watch (after I finish re-watching season 3 of BSG, that is; and if Aaron lets me turn off Thomas).

I'm sure you're right about the media microsecond this story will stay in the news (indeed, given that Ted Kennedy passed away this morning, it's already forgotten). I only hope that the Scottish minister who orchestrated the deal finds himself out of a job soon, since the heat will probably stay on on his side of the Atlantic while we trouble ourselves with other matters over here.

I'm also aware that DL made the GWOT go away. I'd argue that the bomber's release is part and parcel of the same attitude, namely, that we're not REALLY fighting a war and if only we showed enough sensitivity and humanity, the people who use young men and women as human bombs or saw off the heads of infidels and Jews on YouTube would return the favor. And I think the lesson will be missed this time around as well, as we saw in the hero's welcome the man received in Libya: they don't care how humane and sensitive we are. They truly don't. And if we continue to be the only side that bends over backward to accommodate, we will suffer, and we will lose.