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seeing the sailboat

seeing the sailboat

While the Beltway Sniper (as he has been dubbed in that way the American media has of dubbing every event and/or perpetrator of a crime with a nickname) was still on the loose, everyone had a theory as to the person/people commiting the crimes, their motives and their race/religion/background/how much they hated their mommy.

My theory was terrorism. People from all over the globe came out to laugh at me, point their fingers at me and call me silly names. I defended the use of the word terrorism. I defended my feelings on the subject.

Most of the detractors of my theory pointed to the "lone white gunman" theory, the one that says most serial killers and mass murderers are middle-aged white men whose mother used to force them to wear dresses and sit in the attic and pray that their pee pee would fall off and they would turn into a girl.

So, to all those who called me every euphemism for "idiot" just two weeks ago, what do you think now? Can we call it terrorism yet?

Let's take the facts as we know them at the moment:

  • In 1985, John Allen Muhammed converted to Islam, Religion of Peace™.
  • He has been quoted as being a sympathizer of the September 11 attackers, and an al Queda symathizer.
  • He has most recently been linked to vandalism on a synagogue (p.2) in Tacoma, Washington.
  • He has links to a terrorist training ground in Alabama.
  • He was a member of the anti-semetic radical group Nation of Islam.
  • His funding is in question in that he was jobless, homeless and yet was able to procure guns, ammunition, and take frequent trips to the Carribean

Need I go on? These facts do not mean that he was acting in concert with organized terrorists groups. It does, however, lead one to believe that the killings were not the random gunplay of a white boy with mommy issues, but of a man and accomplice on their personal jihad against America, inspired by their "religion" and anti-American feelings. He was reported to the authorities twice (before the shootings began) for suspicion of being involved in terrorism.

Hmmm. He's anti-America. He's anti-Jew. He's a killer.

Did you see the movie Mallrats? Remember that one guy who spent the entire movie looking at the Magic Eye poster, trying to see the sailboat?

Almost every has seen the sailboat now. Stop averting your eyes and look. It's right in front of you. And just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it's not there.

Muhammed was not killing in the name of childhood trauma or some weird sexual dysfunction or simply for the joy of killing. He had a motive, he had a mission, and the more we know about him, the more we know that he is a terrorist.

(On the subject of Islam, I would like to state for the last time (to avoid any more emails) that I do not believe, nor have I ever said, that all people who practice the religion of Islam are radical extrememists or murderers. Muhammed is obviously practicing (or interpreting) an extreme and distorted form of Islam, the same extreme an distorted form practiced by the virgin-seeking members of al-Queda.)


And like so many of his peers... trained by the U.S. government to shoot. Hooah.

"Two hundred and fifty feet! He was two hundred and fifty feet away and shooting at a moving target. Oswald got off three rounds with an old Italian bolt action rifle in only six seconds and scored two hits, including a head shot! Do any of you people know where these individuals learned to shoot?"

And that means exactly what to you?

Not the quote...I know that's from Full Metal Jacket...

I'm tired of hearing that "the military trained him" crap, another attempt to blame America. What about all the other people who were trained by the military yet did not go out and become snipers?

I don't believe it's the training that does it, it's the person who's being trained. Something in the man stopped being for America and started fighting against it. I do not believe he's typical of military trained persons in America. I do however believe that he was working as a diversion from something bigger that either hasn't happened or won't now that he's been caught. I'm not much into conspiracy theories but with the information that we know so far, I can't help but think he was a big diversion.

I've always agreed with you that it was terrorism. It doesn't matter whether it is or not, the media is already making the case about why it isn't.

We'll never be free of terrorism as long as we refuse to acknowledge it when it exists.

You sight many valid reasons why he might be associated with Islamic terrorism, or at least may have been acting in support of it, but the fact that he converted to Islam is not one of them. Lots of people convert to Islam and don't become terrorists, in the same way that lots of people get trained by the military and don't turn into serial killers. The difference is that the military gets to choose who it trains and so should be held responsible for the people who it should have turned down for training. Islam, on the other hand, cannot choose its converts any more than any other religion can.

And anyway, Christians have been killing each other in Northern Ireland and on the British mainland (including my home town) for 30 years, so I don't think we should be comparing religions on their peace-loving credentials.

I never was any good at those damn magic eye posters.

Sorry, y'all are way too damn serious today.

Is the fact that you're bored of all the "he was trained by the Marines" coverage the reason why you glossed over the fact?

Murderers are caught because they have no method. Serial killers are trickier because there is method in their madness. Surely the regimented routine of military life and the methodical fanaticism of a soldier makes him the perfect serial killer when his own beliefs conflict with his country's dogma.

Also, he's a Gulf War vet, and lets look back at past experience insofar as trauma related to war conditions goes... and yes, we see that post traumatic stress disorder accounted for a disproportionally high rate of suicide, murder, general violent tendancies, theft, and manic depression in Vietnam vets within the eight to ten years after the end of the conflict. That sort of thing must really shake apart your belief system if you're not looked after...

I think thats what it means to me.

"...methodical fanaticism of a solider..."

Here's me guessing you've never served.

In which case you can sleep safely at night knowing that I won't know how to use a Magnum AWP.

You sight many valid reasons why he might be associated with Islamic terrorism, or at least may have been acting in support of it, but the fact that he converted to Islam is not one of them. Lots of people convert to Islam and don't become terrorists, in the same way that lots of people get trained by the military and don't turn into serial killers

It's only when you take that fact and group it with the others that it becomes important. Hence, my stating it.

so I don't think we should be comparing religions on their peace-loving credentials.

Where did I compare religions? I'm an atheist, I think all organized religion has its flaws.

Is the fact that you're bored of all the "he was trained by the Marines" coverage the reason why you glossed over the fact?
I didn't gloss it over at all; the fact that he was in the armed forces had nothing to do with what I was trying to get at. I'm trying to get at a motive; not how he did it, but why.

so why did he do it? has he said yet?

Why is it so important that it be called terrorism? Especially if it's not in concert with a larger organization or plan? Was Ted Bundy doing his own personal jihad against women? Or the Nightstalker? Are they terrorists as well? Or is Anti-American sentiment important? How much anti-american sentiment? What about murderers or rapists or burglars who don't vote, don't pay taxes and then our government is a bunch of bitches? Are they doing their own personal jihad on their communities? Is an assassination attempt terrorism? Do we call Oswald a terrorist, now? Were the Branch Davidians terrorists? How about Timothy McVeigh? Ted Kazscinksi? Does our terminology change simply because we are in a post-september 11th world?

It's the same thing with hate crime...does "hate" change the crime? Is it important to call it a "hate crime"? What's that significance? Does hate make it worse than other crimes? From a legal standpoint, should things be different because "hate" was involved? How do we determine this "hate"? Isn't it subjective? What's the litmus test?

If we're going to throw out connection to terrorist organizations as a determining factor, what's the litmus test for terrorism?

somewhere up there is a "then" that should be a "think"

Um D, was that a threat?

More a half-hearted joke.

A light-hearted joke.

I knew that was going to happen.

Dude, just checking! :)

I've been getting a few of threats lately...which just baffles me since I'm such a sweet, unassuming young lady. snort

Why is it important that it be called terrorism?

Because if a criminal like Muhammed is part of an organized group, then it's important to stop the activities of that group by cutting off the source of their funding, imprisoning leaders for any crimes they may have committed, etc. If we know that he's part of a terrorist group, we go after that group. It's not an attempt to understand him personally - there's no reason why we should give a damn about this man's childhood or his feelings - but understanding his motives and correctly classifying him is part of an attempt to prevent future attacks and save lives.

I'll say what I said in the other post. While I believe that he may share some of the same views and training as terrorists, I don't believe the what he did is accurately called terrorism for one reason. He had no agenda he was trying to further with his actions. Scaring people, even whole groups of people, isn't in itself terrorism, even if the person belives in terrorism, and is sympathetic to terrorists. He never indicated that he wanted any action to be taken or that he was lashing out at any goverment policy with his actions. That's what separates terrorists from spree killers at least in my mind. Regardless of their religion or beliefs, terrorists wage war on non-combatants with the intent to further some cause, usually to instill a distrust, and lack of support in their own government. This person never seemed to try to do any of that. that's my opinion, Michelle. I certainly respect your right to have a different set of criteria for calling something a terrorist act.

D's theory about his trained to kill - the military fucked him up - he's suffering post-trauma is such BS!!

My father was a Korean vet - NEVER hurt a flea!
My second cousin flew fighter jets in Vietnam, never hurt a soul.

Muhammad made CHOICES to hunt, kill, attempt to extort!

PERSONAL R-E-S-P-O-N-S-I-B-I-L-I-T-Y , did you never learn that word?

BTW, Thank you for your blog Michele!

Doesn't sound like your relatives were particularly good soldiers then.

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