- The Washington Times - Monday, December 10, 2001

Taliban traitor
"Why is it so hard for our leaders to call the snake who is John Walker what he so obviously is a despicable traitor?
"A despicable traitor who deserves to be shot. Or is it just me?
"Four years ago, the California teen who then answered to the name John Walker picked up the Koran in one hand, 'The Autobiography of Malcolm X' in the other, changed his name to Abdul Hamid, grew a beard, donned a skirt, and dreamed of killing Americans as a Taliban fighter.
"Walker, or Hamid, or dirtbag, or whatever you want to call this human filth, now is a man of 20. Last month, he did his darndest to make good on his vow.
"Let's hope Johnnie Cochran is too busy to handle his defense.
"America should not be handcuffed by decency. We can't give a turncoat a pass because the 'poor fellow' was 'misled.' That sends a message to enemies within: You can win.
"Let us hope our government comes to its senses, and deals with Walker as he dealt with his own countrymen. Swiftly and without mercy."
Andrea Peyser, writing on "Just Call Him By His Right Name: Traitor," Wednesday in the New York Post

Beginning of the end
"If body count or media coverage are the yardsticks, 2001 was a banner year for terrorists.
"The World Trade Center and Pentagon bombings were an unthinkable masterstroke, producing a media spectacle that rocked the world. It would be hard to come up with a better symbolic bloody nose to the Great Satan than the collapsed Twin Towers and soldiers scrambling to pull bodies from the burning wreckage of their own headquarters. Worse yet, a handful of poorly trained men armed only with box cutters were able to pull this off; no guns, car bombs, or plastique necessary.
"But substitute a different set of measures namely, effectiveness in advancing a political cause and this year begins to look more and more like a cautionary tale for future would-be terrorists of how not to proceed.
"If [Osama] bin Laden and Al Qaeda's desire was the withdrawal of America from the Muslim world, then the failure is total and complete. Worse still, Muslim or Arabic solidarity has not been forthcoming, if for no other reason than that the various states fear what the U.S. will do to them. An alternative explanation, one that takes into account the frenzy of consumer activity that followed the liberation of Kabul, is perhaps even more damning: Muslims, especially relatively poor ones, desperately want more contact with both the governments and the products of the secular, commercial West. Either way, history will likely record September 11 as the beginning of the end of radical Islam."
Jeremy Lott, writing on "Suicide Blunderers," Wednesday in Reason Online at www.reason.com

Sharpton's respect
"The handy thing about political demand for 'respect' is its elasticity But respect, being intangible, is a kind of recurring political vigorish: You think you've settled your debt, and along comes another goon from Accounts Payable.
"When he ran for the U.S. Senate in 1992, the respect that [the Rev. Al] Sharpton demanded meant full inclusion in debates and so forth. Granted. Next came recognition of his status as a legitimate power broker. Granted. Then the pilgrimages, by Chuck Schumer and Eliot Spitzer and Hillary Clinton, to his National Action Network headquarters on King Day. And so on, each new demand for respect duly met.
"And now, respect means that no one may criticize Sharpton or the candidate who has Velcroed himself to Sharpton (or speculate on Sharpton's likely influence should that candidate be elected) without such attacks being called racist."
Michael Tomasky, writing on "The Untouchable," in the Dec. 3 issue of New York magazine

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