Saturday, February 25, 2006

Me and Kissinger

Henry's not going to mind having his name dropped just this once,* given that it's a good cause. Anyway, he and I have been thinking about the c-deck on 4A Wednesday:

The men recruited others to fight a holy war against the U.S., an indictment says.

... apparently drawing on the fifth graf:
The federal indictment does not specify whether any attacks were imminent but says the suspects recruited others as early as November 2004 to train for holy war against the United States and its allies in Iraq.

What yanks Henry's and my chains about this is the "holy war" bit. The nice thing about being a realist is that you don't have to worry about whether wars are holy or not. You don't have to worry about whether Bin Laden is good to his mom or not. You don't have to worry about whether the sucker is crazy as a bedbug or as sane as you and Henry. All you have to worry about is what he'd like to do and whether he thinks he can get away with it. (And when you think about it, that's quite enough.)

The crime in question isn't "holy war" (which sounds like the AP and the AG having a race to the bottom to figure out how to translate "jihad"**). The crimes are conspiring to kill and maim people and destroy property and threatening to kill the president. Doesn't matter whether the cause is holy, greedy, stupid or any combination of the above. You're just as dead when you're killed for a psychonationalist cause as a holy one.

Don't let the government try these guys on made-up charges, and don't let the AP turn its Scary Words amp up to 11 by way of carrying the government's water. At least, that's how Henry and I see it. (He's not a rim rat, so he's not going to point out that recruiting people to train isn't the same as recruiting people to fight, but I will.)

* Just let me know if you do, but don't use the campus e-mail address, OK?
** Wow. A two-way race with both guys finishing second.


Blogger nicole bogdas said...

We've been having reproduction issues as of late so, of course, a task force has been formed. It's important to note that this is a printing plant task force and not a newsroom one, however there are posters up all over inviting us to find the "Cure for Quality." We've been joking all week about how we don't have to look far. Seems like you and ol' Henry didn't have to either.

(I keed, I keed. I know we're all learning here.)

4:40 AM, February 26, 2006  
Blogger Boxcar Rob said...


On one hand, I see the point (and there's no argument about the "fight"/"train" thing). I was running wires Tuesday night and was a bit surprised by how that article's lede stressed the Muslim/Middle East angle.

But at the end of the day, I'm not sure I agree right now. The indictment (I'm not talented enough to link, so it's at seems to say pretty clearly that these defendants were allegedly linked into a global network of militant Web sites and contacts with "brothers" in the Middle East. If the indictment is correct -- which, of course, isn't known yet -- then this isn't just a domestic militia plotting an attack, but a wing of a global movement that the U.S. has declared an enemy. So I'd have to suggest that the issue of this allegedly being a "holy war" is pertinent.

This doesn't seem akin to the whole made-up "hate crime" issue, where a killing is a killing is a killing whether for money or hate or whatnot. The "hate crime" distinction looks only at motive. The jihad distinction -- at least in the context of this particular case -- would seem to suggest not just motive, but also -- and more importantly -- means.

11:37 PM, February 27, 2006  

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