james brosnahan
July 16, 2002 12:56 PM

John Walker Lindh's lawyer gave an excellent interview on NPR this morning in response to the settlement agreement reached yesterday.

He spoke about being worried that we weren't as free in America as we used to be. He spoke about the American public's willingness to hate a kid who followed his religious beliefs. He spoke about our quickness to assume guilt, our conversion of fear into violence.

And the interesting thing was: what he said could almost have exactly been placed in the mouths of strangers to answer the question we keep asking. Why do they hate us?

They hate us because we all think exactly the same way. Threatened people are quick to react to push the threat as far away as possible.

The week that Lindh came back to the country, everyone at work and on the news seemed to be calling for a lynch mob. Actual conversation [overheard]:

"He fought for the Taliban, kill him."

"What did he do, exactly?"

"Who cares? He's evil!"

I'm embarrassed that we're still sending a man (a boy, practically) to jail for doing what the US Government itself did. But we send people to jail for foolish things all the time. And being practically, or even literally, only a boy doesn't do much to keep black boys out of prison for their misguided youth.

Still. At least we're not getting what we thought we wanted: some perfectly ordinary kid's head on a stick. That's some relief; I can't believe anyone would have been happy with that outcome.

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your wicked thoughts

We all think the same way? I'd say that's a gross generalization, and you only have to look inside your own head for refutation. And as for Lindh being a "perfectly ordinary kid," if leaving one's country to fight in a foreign Army is perfectly ordinary, then I must have missed some people at my last high school reunion.

these are the thoughts of Chris on July 16, 2002 06:06 PM

i think that last paragraph there was written with a bit o'sarcasm. but, right or wrong, its not surprising.....i've had friends tell me they'd help out a few terrorists if it was ever propositioned. of course its always in the, "Damn the Man, I'm off to join the Taliban" type of angsty context.

these are the thoughts of eris on July 16, 2002 11:04 PM

the people who appear on your blog and have never commented before have such an endearing habit of completely misunderstanding you. thanks to eris for getting the sarcasm.

and chris, your comment was exactly the same sort of thing i was already talking about - the kid did not leave for the the purpose of fighting in a foreign army. yes, he ended up there, but is it really that impossible for you to imagine yourself in someone else's life?

these are the thoughts of april on July 17, 2002 08:51 AM

Mr. brosnahan is a true patriot. When everyone was ready to lynch Lindh, Mr. Brosnahan was ready to stand up for his rights and get him a real trial. I say, Bravo Mr. Brosnahan, bravo...

these are the thoughts of eric wolfram on July 28, 2003 12:26 PM

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