Thursday, September 21, 2006

Why are we killing a failed suicide bomber?

Well, 'we' aren't, but our allies in the war on terror are. Jordan sentanced to death one Sajida al-Rishawi, a Iraqi woman, who was part of a suicide bombing attack on western hotels in Jordan a couple of years ago. Her bomb belt didn't work, so she went home, but she later surrendered herself to authorities. She didn't feel guilty, she just turned herself in after Al-Qaida took credit for a suicide bombing that involved four people, and the Jordanian officials said something like, "Uh, Ussama I'm not sure what you were talking about...we only found three bombs! So...there's someone else out there! After them, Ahmed!"

I'm not saying she doesn't deserve to die, I just question which action brings us and Jordan the best results. The crime she committed should have ended in her death anyway, so is it a punishment for us to to kill her? Is it going to be a deterant for these types of attacks in the future? Of course not. She wanted to, what, precisely, are we doing that isn't exactly what she wanted to happen?

I'm not a huge fan of the death penalty (which probably has something to do with some Tolkien quotes)), but I'll concede that if anyone really deserves to die, it would be a suicide bomber. However, all I can see happening from killing one that we manage to catch is that we marytr them anyway, after we give them a chance to tell the world about their cause in a fair court.

I would prefer to use this opportunity for some propaganda of our own, thank you very much. Lets give her a fair trial (already happened), then, lets give her a humane jail cell for the rest of her life. I'm not talking about a fancy American jail cell, with netflix and fresh bread, or even a slightly less fancy Gitmo cell. I'm just talking about maybe a 10x10 concrete cell that is dry, with windows up high from which there is no escape. I'll even give her a chance to excercise everyday (a right that is given to all of America's prisoners, including those at Gitmo, but is denied most other prisoners in the world). I might be willing to give her books to read, or a craft of her choice (within reason) on which to work. There would be no torture, no beatings, just humane treatment and detainment of a prisoner that is dangerous to society. Of course, there would be media interviews...many of them.

There are two reasons for this - first, the interviews would serve the purpose of proving our humane treatment of the prisoner, thus giving the Terrorists no cause to say they've managed to change our culture one iota out of fear. It also would increase 'our' (by saying 'our' I of course mean the allies in the war on terror, because I would do this across the board, and we Americans will get blame for anything bad that happens anyway.) civilized stature in the world. The second thing this would do is absolutely humiliate the Terrorists. Not just the woman in jail, but all those who helped her, all those who promised her a quick pass to heaven, and all those expecting the same treatment. She would be a captive - a well-treated captive - but not free in any strech of the imagination. She would be denied a chance to be a martyr, completely and totaly. She would become just another failure for the side of the terrorist. She couldn't even get us mad enough at her to leave our own principles.

I think that if we start doing things like this it will have a greater impact on the world terrorist movement than our current strategy.

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