Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Faisal Shahzad, Times Square, and Responsibility

A whole lot of people weren't killed in New York City's Times Square in May of this year. Not for a lack of effort, though. If Faisal Shahzad had known more about making bombs, we'd be missing quite a few more "little Eichmanns." (April 3, 2009)

Faisal Shahzad was convicted for setting off a smoking SUV that encouraged an evacuation of Times Square. Some of the charges were:
  • Attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction
  • Conspiracy
  • Attempt to commit international terrorism
It's all the fault of America, of course. Or Western civilization. Non-Muslims, anyway. According to Mr. Shahzad.
"Times Square bomb plotter sentenced to life in prison"
Deborah Feyerick, CNN International (October 5, 2010)

"A judge in Manhattan sentenced Faisal Shahzad to life in prison for the botched Times Square car bombing as the 31-year-old Pakistani-American defiantly warned in court to 'brace yourself, the war with Muslims has just begun.'

" 'The defeat of the U.S. is imminent, inshallah,' Shahzad said on Tuesday during the sentencing.

"Speaking in a 14th-floor courtroom where a clear view of the World Trade Center site can be seen through a window, Shahzad said Muslims have been defending their people and their lands.

"If that makes us terrorists, 'then we will terrorize you,' he said, imploring people who embrace Islam.

"U.S. District Judge Miriam Cedarbaum, who sentenced Shahzad to the mandatory sentence of life in prison, noted that he failed to show remorse for his actions...."
Blowing up folks out for an evening1 in Times Square is defending Islam?

Makes sense - by the sort of standards I've run into from time to time.

For all too many folks, everything and anything is the fault of:
  • The Commies
  • The
    • Blacks
    • Chinese
    • Irish
    • Japanese
    • Whites
    • Whatever
  • The Capitalists
  • The Military-Industrial Complex
  • Big Oil
  • Fluoridated drinking water
And let's not forget the space-alien, shape-shifting lizard people.

Faisal Shahzad invoked a variation of a philosophy which has been quite popular in some American subcultures.

In my 'good old days,' people who decided to hurt other people were called "victims of society" by the self-styled best and brightest in the land. That slogan got stale: I think because too many people had run-ins with "victims of society."

But long after the slogan faded, the basic idea - that people like Faisal Shahzad weren't responsible for their actions because of what others did - remained quite popular.

That sort of charity-on-acid approach to jurisprudence seems to be waning. The emergence of 'victims' rights' as a consideration - and the identification of whoever got assaulted as a victim - was a major step toward sanity. In my opinion.

Then some people decided to fly airliners into New York City's World Trade Center.

Over 3,000 people stopped living - some very abruptly, some while trying to evacuate the towers, some while going in to help them escape.

By fits and starts, I think that people in positions of responsibility in America are becoming aware of a somewhat-ignored facet of reality. They're deciding that, on the whole, it's a good idea to protect the folks who want to follow the laws from those who don't.

As for Faisal Shahzad's assertion that the Americans/Westerners/Non-Muslims made him do it? A few generations back, that defense might have worked.

Related posts:In the news:
1 Times Square evacuation started around 6:30 p.m. May 1, 2010.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.