Instapundit links to an excellent interview with Professor Robert H. Schmucker, a former U.N. weapons inspector on the German TV Show Tagesschau. As the interview is in German, Instapundit also links to a Google translation of the article, which is rather amusing but not particularly informative. It’s a very good interview, though, so here’s an informal translation:
March 6, 2003
The S.F. Chronicle reports that Johnny Jihad, otherwise known as John Walker Lindh, has been attacked in prison, and even ended up with a few scrapes. All this for a guy whose only “crime” was fighting a war against his own country on behalf of a terrorist state. What is this world coming to?
By now you’ve probably heard of Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur and her inane comparisons between al-Qaeda and our nation’s founding fathers, so I won’t bore you with the details. In fairness to Ms. Kaptur, however, there are some important parallels beyond the ones she raised. For example, both groups were enemies of Great Britain, both were aligned with France, and both had very strong opinions about the United States. And while Osama may brag about all the Muslims who love death as much as westerners love life, yadda yadda yadda, Patrick Henry did hint imply that if he couldn’t have liberty, death may be an acceptable alternative. [And hey, maybe weren’t not all that different nowadays, either. After all, the New Hampshire DMV exhorts all of its citizens to “live free or die,” without so much as stating a preference between the two. And then there’s that legislator in South Carolina who wants his state to offer vanity license plates that read “Choose Death.”]
OK, sure, so maybe one group was a band of terrorists and the other, freedom fighters. Picky, picky. Besides, “one man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter,” right? In some cases, perhaps. The phrase freedom fighter describes the goal pursued, while terrorist describes the methods employed, so it is quite possible that some people are both terrorists and freedom fighters. John Brown, the Sons of Liberty and certain Contras come to mind. But lest we miss the forest for the trees, as Glenn Reynolds has aptly pointed out, al-Qaeda, like Mao and Ho Chi Minh, does not fall into that category for the simple reason that al-Qaeda doesn’t fight for freedom. I will say, however, that Glenn’s definition of freedom fighter may be a little too narrow, though. A “crime fighter” is a person who fights crime, not a person who fights for crime. By the same logic, why can’t a person who fights against freedom call himself a “freedom fighter?”
P.S. You know things can’t be going well for Kaptur when even the terminally polite Eugene Volokh describes her positon as that of a “moral idiot.”
P.P.S. Miss Kaptur further shores up her idiotarian credentials by linking to a series of mostly anti-war articles under the heading “Iraq and Oil.” Conspicuously absent from her site are any new press releases to clarify her most recent remarks about the parallels between Ethan Allen and Zacarias Moussaui.
UPDATE: FoxNews reports that Kaptur is attempting to explain away her ludicrous remark:
Taking an apparent shot back at her critics, Kaptur said in a written statement Friday, “It appears my statement has been purposefully taken out of context. It is not surprising to me that the Republicans have chosen to twist my words and silence any effort to understand the root of this threat.”
Oh, I almost forgot; comparing our nation’s founding fathers to terrorists and mass murderers isn’t always bad; it’s only bad in certain contexts. Someone ought to explain to this braniac of a Congresswoman that the first thing to do when you find yourself stuck in a hole is to stop digging.
According to this report on Khalid Shaikh Mohammed’s interrogations, we now know that Osama bin Laden is either dead, alive, or both. That’s comforting to know.
UPDATE: Matt Drudge claims that the Jerusalem Post claims that President Bush is about to claim to have captured bin Laden. The Jerusalem Post itself, however, makes a somewhat more modest announcement, stating only that Bush is expected to announce “significant progress” in the search for bin Laden. Stay tuned.