- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 7, 2002

I I would not be at all surprised to see John Walker Lindh appear on stage as the keynote speaker at the next Democratic National Convention. The theme of his speech would likely be international tolerance and understanding.
John Walker Lindh, also known as Johnny Taliban and Johnny Jihad, is to be tried in an American court. He will be given all the usual protections afforded a bona fide American citizen, despite his clear allegiance to Islamic fundamentalist organizations bent on killing as many Americans as possible. He will enjoy the standard presumption of innocence, notwithstanding his presence in the middle of a war zone, dressed like the enemy, praising Osama bin Laden and wielding an assault rifle.
Within seconds following the first court appearance of a cleaned-up and soft-spoken young traitor, his father, Frank Lindh, was before the network cameras speaking to the world, "John loves America. John did not do anything against America." Then John's mother fought through her tears to recite these words: "My love for him is unconditional and absolute. I am grateful to God that he has been brought home to his family, me, his home and his country."
Unconditional and absolute love? What we are hearing is the rehearsed whining of a modern-day American parent seeking to excuse her parental negligence by appealing to a false interpretation of Christian values: the ill-begotten idea that God wants us to forgo distinctions between right and wrong and good and evil. It is a wretchedly wrong concept that is undermining our society.
Next to speak to the panting press was San Francisco attorney James Brosnahan, who asserted that John Walker Lindh had repeatedly asked for but had been denied the services of a lawyer. Furthermore, his client had not been advised of his rights and was illegally subjected to intimidating questions and threats.
Thus a calculated campaign of deception begins on the steps of the courthouse. Legal charlatans use the technicalities of our judicial system and the gullibility of the televised media to make a mockery of the courts and the law. Tragically, our system of justice has become a paradigm for our faltering and confused society.
It cannot be said too often that our courtrooms have become little more than subjective charades, where overpaid lawyers preen and perform for the cameras. It is where juries, being a sample of the general population, are easily misled, becoming quickly lost in a maze of moral relativism and psychological gibberish, and unable to make coherent decisions about corruption and virtue, truth and lies, and innocence and guilt.
Watching the media and the lawyers operate makes it easy to believe this would be a better world if all the liberals wallowing in the filth and muck of current events would take a bath.
The information age has not liberated us; it has captured us. It has enabled us to become, to an extent never dreamed possible, victims of vast propaganda campaigns, involving staged stunts and crafted news, making Shakespeare even more of a prophet: "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players."
Some observers, struggling to find words, have described the phenomenon of juiced-up journalism as a "media circus." This comparison cries out for rejection, it being patently unfair to those in the circus community, including the clowns, who organize and run a show fit for general viewing, and present it with precision and discipline.
Following the Islamic-Christian Summit in Rome, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said, "We should be conscious of the superiority of our civilization, which consists of a value system that has given people widespread prosperity in those countries that embrace it, and guarantees respect for human rights and religion. This respect certainly does not exist in Islamic countries."
Mr. Berlusconi was demonized as a bigot for telling the truth about Islamic countries, not a single one of which embraces religious freedom, human rights and "democratic" values.
It is liberal dogma that human life is an accident, and that we are but pawns at the mercy of an indifferent universe. There is no basis for judgment, for blame, for accountability, for punishment or for claims of superiority.
In the fatalistic words of "The Rubaiyat" of Omar Khayyam, we are:
But helpless Pieces of the Game He plays
Upon this Checkerboard of Night and Days;
Hither and thither moves, and checks, and slays,
And one by one back in the Closet lays.

We must win the war against unbelief and nihilism within and around ourselves before we can win a war "to the death" with terrorism.

Linda Bowles is a nationally syndicated columnist.

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