In a Wall Street Journal article (August 28, 2008), Judea Pearl referred to Samir Kuntar, recently released from Israeli prisons, as the "arch-symbol of barbarity." Pearl is the father of slain journalist Daniel Pearl.
Daniel Pearl, remember, was captured and beheaded in Karachi, Pakistan, for which British national of Pakistani origin, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, was sentenced to death in 2002. More recently (2007), Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, at a military hearing in Guantanamo, said that he personally beheaded Pearl.
The modern "barbarians" are not simply members of other tribes as they were in Greek and Roman civilizations. Samir Kuntar, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed have all seen themselves in the romantic image of the “noble savage”; and the tribes in which they committed their barbaric acts have hated them. How do these young men become savages?
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Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh's life took a turn when he volunteered for charity work in Bosnia in late 1992. The Bosnian war was raging, and he saw atrocities committed by Serbians on Bosnian Muslims. He returned to Britain, a committed Muslim radical. In 1993, he emerged in Pakistan as a member of a militant group fighting for the liberation of Kashmir from India.
In 1994, Saeed began training at a camp in Afghanistan. Soon he was teaching the classes. He developed close ties with al-Qaeda while training. By year-end, he became known as Osama bin Laden’s “favoured son” or “my special son.” From then on, Saeed was a full-fledged terrorist, expressing his hatred in barbaric deeds against the “enemies of Islam.”
What about the "alleged chief planner" of the 9/11 attacks? His crime was so barbaric that he deserved to be paid back with nothing less than the most sophisticated barbarity. He was tortured in Guantanamo by being shackled to the ceiling and forced to stand for as long as eight hours.
Are these three any more savage than their captors? Do they have any less reason to be barbarians than their torturers? Look at some numbers: 3000 were killed in the World Trade Center for which al Qaeda and the Taliban became the objects of American hatred, and for which Afghans paid with more than 15,000 civilian deaths.
Judea Pearl dubbed Samir Kuntar “the arch-symbol of barbarity.” Simply reading about how he allegedly slaughtered a four-year-old girl by smashing her head with a rifle butt makes his deed unforgivably sickening to any half-decent human being, just as it was agonizing to read about Daniel Pearl’s beheading.
Wasn’t the genocide of thousands in Shatila and Sabra refugee camps or the deaths of Palestinian children in Gaza and the West Bank or the liquidation of 1,255,026 Iraqis also agonizing to read about? NO! Unlike the descriptive images used to portray the deaths meted out by the three barbarians, the equally savage and brutal killings of Palestinians and Iraqis and Afghans have not been described in horrid detail. They are merely numbers.
According to Remember These Children, Palestinians have killed 123 Israeli children and Israelis have killed 1050 Palestinian children. Does that make Israelis almost ten times more barbaric than Palestinians?
Most people aren’t sickened by numbers. Expert propagandists in the US and Israel know how to sicken audiences with the images of others’ brutality. They never provide the same graphic imagery for the horrid crimes they commit.
Those celebrating the release of Samir Kuntar have seen the gruesome pictures of slain and mangled bodies of their children. Kuntar is a barbarian by any definition; but so are the unnamed, anonymous savages of Israel and the United States who slaughter innocents with little fanfare.
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