Monday, November 16, 2009

A Criminal Trial for K.S.M.

On November 13, 2009, it was announced that K.S.M.-the moniker given to terrorist strategist Khalid Shaikh Mohammed- and four of his co-conspirators will be tried in a New York courtroom.

Mohammed is the self-proclaimed mastermind of the series of terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001.

Despite the arguments of others, I believe this form of attempted-and hopefully successful-prosecution of these men full of hatred towards the United States.

I believe that the conviction of Khalid and Company is inevitable. Any jury consisting of Americans with conscience will be biased towards this band of ill doers. These men caused the death of over 3,000 Americans in the Twin Tower attacks. Also, during March 0f 2003, Mohammed was subjected to 183 instances of waterboarding torture. He confessed to all of his ties to terrorism and the Al-Qaeda. Not only his acts of terror, Khalid also confessed to himself decapitating journalist Daniel Pearl-a justification to the choice of a criminal trial.

While it is likely that the evidence collected at Guantanamo Bay may be stricken from the trial, its effect will cast shadows of doubt in the reasoning minds of the jury. Though stricken, it is quite hard to forget such crucial 'evidence'.

Despite my predictions of easy conviction, this trial will cast a light of justice and fairness on the United States. Says criminal lawyer Joshua Dratel, "It will be a victory for the system of justice and rule of law." This less dictorial trial would make the U.S. seem less cruel and more fair. Therefore, the hated U.S. may seem less evil in the eyes of the Middle East as we have shown tolerance on their beloved jihadist hero.

However, this tolerant trial is quite a risk taken by the Obama administration. There is a chance that much the trial will become a unending source of military information to the Al-Qaeda. Former Bush lawyer John Yoo writes, "trying K.S.M. in civilian court will be an intelligence bonanza for Al-Qaeda and the hostile nations that will view the U. S. intelligence methods and sources that such a trial will reveal."

Though I know heavy risks are entailed, I believe the benefits of the reshaping of the American image through this trial outweigh them. It is crucial that the American government gain more allies in the Middle East.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Taliban: A Religious Group?

After the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, the Taliban took control and entered the country as a saving grace-saving their people from the Russian brutes and restoring Muslim values to the country.

In Khaled Hosseini's novel depicting real world Afghan life, A Thousand Splendid Suns, Hosseini depicts the Taliban parading down the streets of Kabul welcomed by the cheers of a crowd.

These religious extremists were heroes to the Afghanis at the beginning of their seizure of power. A few years later this happy picture would change.

The Taliban-which translates into 'religious students'-were considered mujihideen, or holy warriors. Their rule was based on a "strict interpretation of Sharia- Islamic law."

But in the Taliban's enforcement of Islamic law, they responded with often an unmatched cruelty, a contradiction to most philosophies of religion. It was a regular occurrence for violators of the law to be flogged or stoned in huge soccer arenas. Women were beaten if they were seen without a male escort. Women could have their fingertips sliced off if they were caught wearing fingernail polish.

Another contradiction to the 'unwavering' beliefs of the Taliban was their source of income. They generated capital through smuggling and the dealing of opium.

The Taliban do not hesitate at the murder of innocents. One of the greatest American tragedies is the destruction of the two towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. On September 11, 2001, Osama Bin Laden arranged the hijacking of four planes. This series of attacks killed thousands of innocent Americans.

I find it hard to believe that the Taliban can call themselves devout Muslims despite their Sharia jurisdiction. They are known murders. They ran a large opium cartel. They were overly cruel to minor offenses. They beat their own country men in the primitive form of the gladiators of Rome.

In my eyes, the Taliban are a fellowship of cruel hearted men who have lost sight of their god-Allah.