Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, April 16, 2021

Four and a half years after 9/11, the public desire to put al Qaeda on trial is so acute that grilling the closest facsimile to a terrorist is deemed good enough to get a cathartic effect.

Enter Zacarias Moussaoui. Unfortunately, this would-be airline hijacker is using his farce of a trial as the stage to underline how ineffectual of a clown he is:

Rather than acting like a quiet professional - which Al Qaeda teaches - the man on trial for his life comes off as an Islamist Barney Fife with one bullet in his pocket.

Which makes me question why Moussaoui is deserving of the attention he’s getting. Regardless of the outcome, his fate isn’t going to serve as a fitting proxy indictment of al Qaeda — far from it. It’s like seeing your hometown baseball team win the World Series — by beating some Single-A farm team. It’s a sham prize, and doesn’t punish the ones who truly deserve the punishment.

This type of justice-seeking has ample historical precedent. During the ’80s and ’90s, when Nazi-hunting efforts started petering out toward tracking down former concentration camp guards, this same sort of dynamic set in. Aside from questionable arguments about clemency for those now-aged individuals, the more pertinent issue was whether or not it was worthwhile to mete out punishment to the equivalent of hired thugs. Regardless of their role as henchmen of the Holocaust, their executions or imprisonments would have been a questionable fulfillment of justice; succinctly, their deaths wouldn’t have been worth the bullets it took to achieve them.

And that’s how I feel toward the Moussaoui issue. Completing the obvious process toward his final punishment is a hollow pursuit. He’s not deserving of the state’s or society’s scrutiny. His fate will provide the illusion of justice, but only that.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 04/16/2006 10:27:25 PM
Category: Political, Society, History | Permalink |

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