Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Conservatives' fear = the terrorists win

Posted By on Tue, Nov 17, 2009 at 2:24 PM

Many conservatives like to see themselves as rugged, no-nonsense defenders of freedom, clear-thinking patriots, ready to slap down America's enemies at the drop of a hat. Too bad, then, that they're actually cowards.

The right's current collective nervous breakdown over plans to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York for his role in planning the 9-11 attacks confirms once again something we wrote about last year: the American right wing is scared stupid. When Attorney General Holder announced the forthcoming KSM trial, conservative members of Congress, columnists, TV newscasters, and bloggers just, there's no better way to put it, completely freaked the hell out. "Dangerous!" "Irresponsible!" "What if he's acquitted?!" "It invites more attacks!" Yesterday on Fox & Friends, Gretchen Carlson seemed genuinely terrified, practically on the verge of a stroke over the prospect of KSM's trial.

Here's what the stalwart patriots of the right can't seem to understand: the whole point of terrorism is to make a country's population walk around in fear every day. Conservatives, as far as I can see, threw in that towel a long time ago. Salon's Glenn Greenwald describes the conservative position as, "We're too scared to have real trials in our country," which, as he points out, "is the textbook definition of 'surrendering to terrorists.'"

Spain held open trials for the terrorists who bombed trains in Madrid in 2004. The Brits tried the London subway terrorists in, you guessed it, London. The terrorists who bombed a nightclub in Bali? A regular trial in a regular courtroom. The 2008 massacres in Mumbai? Same thing. More to the point, we've already tried terrorists in America: remember Richard Reid, the shoe bomber? Zacarias Moussaoui? Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, the guy who launched the World Trade Center bombings in 1993? Will you Fox-Rush folks please get a damned grip?

It's actually the right and their fear-mongering leaders who are being irresponsible by their public displays of terror. Again, as Greenwald put it, "It's hard to find any group of people on the globe who exude this sort of weakness and fear more than the American Right." Frankly, these sunny day patriots' ongoing surrender to terrorism would be kind of pitiful if they weren't so damned cocky about being scared to death.

Gretchen Carlson: Help - the terrorists will kill us all!
  • Gretchen Carlson: Help - the terrorists will kill us all!

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