Posted on July 12, 2010
Lockerbie snafu weakens the West
Critics of the War on Terror claim that our military is "creating more terrorists" by fighting back against them, but the thing that really sustains our enemies is their belief that Westerners are inherently weak. If our side is to prevail, we've got to stop proving their point for them.
In 2001, Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi was convicted of murdering 270 people by blowing up Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Last August, the British government granted him "compassionate release," based on medical expert Karol Sikora's estimate that he had only three months to live, before succumbing to prostate cancer.
Earlier this month, an apologetic Dr. Sikora revised that assessment, saying that al-Megrahi could live for another ten years. If that proves to be true, the duration of his imprisonment will be exceeded by the length of time he'll since have lived a free man. At the time of al-Megrahi's release, FBI director Robert Mueller angrily noted that he'd "served less than 14 days per victim."
Dr. Sikora is not the one at fault here. His misdiagnosis was a tragic mistake, but an innocent one. The same cannot be said of the Brits' decision to allow al-Megrahi's return to Libya. This act of "compassion" so defied rational explanation that it led to baseless suspicions of a petroleum-based quid pro quo between the two countries. At least that would suggest an action being taken, however misguidedly, in Britain's own interest. The more plausible explanation is far more demoralizing.
Upon releasing al-Megrahi, Scotland's Secretary of Justice, Kenny MacAskill pronounced, "Our beliefs dictate that justice be served but mercy be shown." Both of those things cannot be done, however, if one's definition of "mercy" is a nullification of justice. It is impossible to serve justice to a mass murderer, while at the same time telling him to go home, because his two weeks per murder are up.
Craven exercises in appeasement like al-Megrahi's release are not acts of mercy. Rather, they are pleas for mercy from enemies who have no capacity for it. The Islamists in Libya greeted the freed al-Megrahi as a conquering hero, precisely because of his wanton slaughter of innocent Westerners. For the West to appeal to their nonexistent humanity is like trying to shake hands with a cobra.
If the Brits' intention had simply been to show mercy to a dying man, it would have been perfectly simple to do that within the confines of the justice system. They could have given him a nice, clean bed in the Edward G. Robinson suite at the cracker factory, where he could listen to Beethoven's Sixth while watching Animal Planet until he expired. Whatever was done to ease his suffering, there's no reason it could not have been done in captivity.
Contrary to the terrorists' attempts at reverse psychology, we do not create more of them by sending our military to kill them in Iraq and Afghanistan. The way we create more terrorists is by making cowardly concessions to them in our own countries. We wring our hands over every alleged instance of their mistreatment, no matter how implausible or trivial. We incessantly worry about "profiling," and about violating the terrorists' "civil liberties."
We create more terrorists by editing cartoons that would otherwise offend them, removing images of pigs from advertisements, and cleansing movie scripts by replacing Islamic terrorists with neo-Nazis. Only since 9-11 have we become concerned about whether airports have foot-washing stations for Muslim taxi drivers, and whether or not public toilets face Mecca. Can the terrorists have any doubt that accommodations like these are the result of their intimidation?
When General Casey shows more concern for "diversity" than for the 13 murdered soldiers at Fort Hood, President Obama sends al-Qaeda-trained Uighur terrorists to live the high life in Bermuda, and the city of New York approves construction of a mosque near Ground Zero, they make us appear as vulnerable as the proverbial wounded animal trailing the pack. We might as well just ring a giant dinner bell.
If American and British citizens on the homefront -- including our politicians, judges and diplomats -- displayed even a fraction of the resolve of our soldiers in the field, our terrorist enemies would by now have found their campaign to be futile. Instead, we repeatedly invite them over to have another try at killing us. Meanwhile, all that the Secretary MacAskills of the world want to do about it is see to it that our headstones read, "They were compassionate."-- Daniel Clark is a Staff Writer for the New Media Alliance. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.
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