Friday, October 19, 2007

Remembering "Johnny Taliban"

You all remember the sad and lamented fate of one John Walker Lindh, who made the fatal mistake of investigating and adhering to the "wrong" religion.

When he was just a callow youth, Lindh managed to take off to foreign climes where he began to study Islam, became a true believer, and ended up in Afghanistan on the side of the Taliban, who were at the time fighting the so-called Northern Alliance.

Remember, all this happened in early 2001, when Baby Doc was still actively sniffing the butts of the Taliban. After all, they were still in charge in Afghanistan, and the oil baron puppeteers who pull Bush's strings were hungering after a treaty which would allow them to build a pipeline across the country from the oil-rich fields in the "Stans" in the north to a Pakistani port on the Arabian Sea.

But then, unfortunately for Johnny Taliban, 9-11 happened, the US suddenly was an enemy of the Taliban ("Oceana was at war with Eastasia; Oceana had always been at war with Eastasia." -- 1984) and Lindh was captured after US forces invaded Afghanistan.

Even more misfortune was to befall Lindh, when he was first photographed with CIA agent Johnny Mike Spann, and immediately thereafter Spann was killed in a prisoner uprising.

After several days of hiding in a basement, which was hit with such non-violent tactics as bombing, burning fuel and freezing water, the prisoners gave up, and Lindh was among them.

The world remembers the image of the naked and immobilized-by-duct-tape Lindh being carried on a stretcher. But, since the image was cropped, the world does not remember that Lindh had a potentially life-threatening wound in his leg.

But we also remember that Lindh, despite any evidence that he ever even considered taking up arms against the US, accepted a plea bargain that netted him 20 years at the Colorado "Super Max" prison.

Where he has been held incommunicado ever since.

Jeez, you'd think that this was, just maybe, "cruel and unusual" punishment, but not according to the wingnuttery. According to them, Lindh was everything from a traitor to a terrorist, all because of that liberal upbringing of his in "liberal Marin County", California.

And it wasn't just the right wing spin machine. If you'll also recall, there was not one single contemporary news story that did not feature prominently that upbringing in "liberal Marin County".

Contrast that, if you will, with the concurrent news coverage of school-teacher-turned-child-rapist Mary Kay Letourneau, all of which happened pretty much at the same time as the coverage of Lindh. Hardly a single news story revealed the fact that she was a product of conservative Orange County, California.

And, to make matters even worse, hardly any news stories about Letourneau revealed the fact that she was the daughter of Über Conservative (and Republican, naturally) former US Congressman and former presidential candidate John G. Schmitz. I'll repeat that: Hardly any news stories.

And there's your goddam liberal media at work again.

So back to Lindh. There he is, being held at the Super Max and not allowed to talk to the media or pretty much anyone else. He's probably glad that he wasn't disappeared, like some hapless Argentinian, into the American gulag, as an "enemy combatant".

But is he being held incommunicado because he might be able to blow the whistle on war crimes committed against the Taliban in that basement? When you add bombing, burning fuel and icy water to the mix, it sound a little like overkill to me.

I'm just asking...

2 Comments:

Bill said...

You actually take up for this bum?

Bottom line, right or wrong, government conspiracies, whatever, Johnny Taliban had no business being over there, except to kill people who had done nothing directly or even indirectly, or by proxy to him.

The Northern Alliance never did anything to Johnny Taliban.

Screw the Taliban, and screw him too! They are both history, and even if they both live on, they'll never be what they once were.

They were brought down. I don't know how you can justify anything about this goofball? He wanted to leave home and fight people on his own.

He's lucky to even still be alive if it weren't for the "evil" Americans who brought him home rather than having executed his bum ass and left him in the dirt.

So what, the news media reported nothing about some child abuser, while covering Johnny T.

Maybe, we like to know how many of our misguided youth use their American freedoms that apparently you fought for to be abused, by going off to be part of their own private little war and become a petty killer with no state backing, or any kind of control or organzation.

That's what terrorism is Mr.

People going around pissed off about some personal vendeta and killing people.

The Taliban is an Islamic mofia.

Are you defending the Taliban?

Would you rather some group like the Taliban run the big show?

If so, I doubt you would continue getting your VA disability check in the mail from that old screwed up government that sent you to Nam in the first place, right?

Man, Nam sure did screw up some people didn't it? You got the conspiracy Nam Vets and then the Patriotic Nam Vets. Guess it would only make sense, there would always be two sides. Can't ever achieve total uninamity, afterall.

Johnny Taliban was a bum who ditched his American values, culture, and even his own religion and beliefs. That was his problem - he didn't have any beliefs so he had to go and try to dig up some.

He was some hippie on a personal soul searching expedition, and found hell at the end of some sewer hole. That's his problem!

He's nobody to even take interest in, except to be made an example of what happens to idiots who seek the sword, they usually will find it at some point.

"He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword"!

Somebody a little more significant than Johnny T said that somewhere along the way, now didn't he?

Too bad for Johnny T.

At least he'll get out with some time left to reflect on his life if anyone will give him a job, which surely some hippie sympathizer will.

He beat the odds, and made it out alive because by most accounts, he's lucky he's still breathing air, and not some unkown human remains found or not known yet in an Islamic hell hole unmarked mass grave!

Have a good day!

Farnsworth68 said...

· "You actually take up for this bum?"
No, "Bill", not really. Your clue should have been, had you managed to be able to read that far, in my last line: "I'm just asking..."
· "Johnny Taliban had no business being over there, except to kill people who had done nothing directly or even indirectly, or by proxy to him."
You mean like George W. Bush invading Iraq and killing 700,000+ innocent civilians?
· "The Northern Alliance never did anything to Johnny Taliban."
And the Iraqis never did anything to Bush. Did that stop him?
· "So what, the news media reported nothing about some child abuser, while covering Johnny T."
Once again you missed my point, Bill. The point was that the "liberal" media wrote, in nearly every single "news" story about John Walker Lindh, that he had been raised in "liberal Marin County", while neglecting to mention the fact that America's most notorious female child rapist (not just "some child abuser") had been raised in "conservative Orange County". I never said that they didn't report on her. The point being, if you still can't grasp it, that the so-called liberal media is anything but.
· "Maybe, we like to know how many of our misguided youth use their American freedoms that apparently you fought for to be abused, by going off to be part of their own private little war and become a petty killer with no state backing, or any kind of control or organzation [sic]. That's what terrorism is Mr."
You mean like Blackwater? And BTW that's a typical Rethug mindset: If freedom is to be abused, it must be taken away.
· "Are you defending the Taliban?"
No, Bill, I'm not. Any rational person would be able to see that.
· "Would you rather some group like the Taliban run the big show? If so, I doubt you would continue getting your VA disability check in the mail from that old screwed up government that sent you to Nam in the first place, right?"
Bill, Bill, Bill. I can't believe you are leaping to this conclusion. But it's such a typical display of "logic" among those who don't have a grounding in the reality-based community. Besides, my disability check is on direct deposit into my bank account.
So "Bill", you really haven't given me any kind of rational debate here on the main issues in this post. If I may repeat myself, there is no credible evidence that Lindh ever took up arms against the US; he was in Afghanistan PRIOR TO 9/11; the only "facts" we have about him are those fed to the lapdog corporate media by the US Government, and Bill, if you were ever in the service, you know about how much credibility our government has when telling "the truth" about anything that happens on the field of battle.
If you don't, I have just two words: Pat Tillman.
Sigh. So many rightwing hypocrites, so little time...
Oh, and see also my previous post on Johnny Taliban, It's Not Good to be First, back in April of 2007, wherein I suggest that perhaps Lindh's sentencing was a little more draconian than the facts called for. If you're dead set on tarring me with that pro-Taliban brush, that one ought to set your teeth on edge.