June 19, 2004


CNN reports:

Three chilling photographs on an Islamist Web site appear to show the beheaded body of American hostage Paul Johnson, who was kidnapped a week ago by Islamic militants connected with al Qaeda.

UPDATE. The Independent’s Andrew Gumbel looks on the bright side:

Is this the horror that will finally undo George Bush's presidency?

UPDATE II. Got them:

Saudi Arabia announced it had dealt a body blow to Al-Qaeda gunmen who have terrorized Western residents of the kingdom, by killing their alleged chief Abdul Aziz al-Muqrin and three comrades as well as arresting 12 others.

Posted by Tim Blair at June 19, 2004 05:05 AM

God's blessing on him.

Posted by: FJ Harris at June 19, 2004 at 05:07 AM

May Paul's soul rest in peace.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at June 19, 2004 at 05:09 AM


Posted by: jafa at June 19, 2004 at 05:12 AM

my deepest sympathies for him and to his family.

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at June 19, 2004 at 05:12 AM

oh come on, that happened like 10 minutes ago. Its time we got over it!

Posted by: Oktober at June 19, 2004 at 05:14 AM

"oh come on, that happened like 10 minutes ago. Its time we got over it!"

Very Good. I'm surprised the various media outlets could pull themselves away from the 'Prison Torture' and 'Crucify the US' coverage to even mention this. I'm sure they'll get back to the all bad news about the US all the time broadcasting soon.

My heart goes out to his family and to the innocent people who have to live among those who would do this. It makes something like this even more disgusting because our 'elite' (media, politicians, academicians) seem to treat this as almost non-news compared with the 'Prison Torture'.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at June 19, 2004 at 05:37 AM

We will avenge him by hammering terrorists worldwide (unless Kerry gets elected, of course).

Posted by: Easycure at June 19, 2004 at 05:38 AM

Next up:
North Korea

Posted by: Easycure at June 19, 2004 at 05:39 AM

It seems that the coverage that the terrorists were
getting put them on center stage...right where they
wanted to be. I think they'll do it again soon. My
sympathies to the Johnson family.

Posted by: Mike H. at June 19, 2004 at 05:59 AM

Jesus Christ. According to what I've read, the guy was very into the culture and was thinking of converting to Islam. If this isn't a textbook case of "They really don't care who you are, they just want you dead," then I don't know what is. Sympathies to the family; they must be in hell right now.

On a sidenote: word to whoever mentioned, a few threads down, how much they hate the word "chilling" in news reports. Thanks, CNN, I'm fully capable of realizing that photographs of someone's dismembered body frighten and repel me.

Posted by: Sonetka at June 19, 2004 at 06:07 AM

I don't think anyone's surprised they ended up killing him. Horrible regardless. My thoughts are with him and his family.

Posted by: Zach at June 19, 2004 at 06:09 AM

Why's everyone here blaming using the word terrorists. It was "militants" who carried out these brutal actions...

Posted by: Richard at June 19, 2004 at 06:23 AM

Illustrations on Arab Bravery (#117 in a series)

When confronted with a Westerner with a rifle, the Arab either: 1) cries, 2) surrenders, 3) cries while surrendering, or 4) hides and hopes it gets dark enough to shoot him in the back of the head before running.

When confronted with a Westerner tied, gagged and bound, the Arab either: 1) boasts of his military powress, 2) parades around while brandishing scary-looking weapons, 3) issues pompous screeds of self-justification, 4) viciously butchers the helpless victim, or 5) all of the above.

Posted by: KevinV at June 19, 2004 at 06:23 AM

I was afraid that this is going to happen to him from the moment I have heard of the kidnapping. Now I am waiting for the apologies from and condemnations of the terrorists from the Muslim leaders all around the world.

Posted by: Katherine at June 19, 2004 at 06:25 AM

G-d bless Paul Johnson and all those who have fallen defending the freedoms of the innocent, and bring comfort and peace to their families and friends. May their memories be a blessing.

All strength and courage to the men and women in Iraq and around the world who continue to stand up against those who commit such vile atrocities.

Posted by: Tony at June 19, 2004 at 06:46 AM

Don't hold your breath Katherine.

After all, we must examine the root cause of what makes these poor misguided souls do such a thing....I mean Bushitler, zionist Israel, fat Big mac eating, SUV driving hegemonic Americans, oil grabbing Halliburton blahblahblah, wankwankwank....what do we expect.? I mean Islam is a religon of peace and if we were not forcing them into the only means at their disposal..........

F*** Islamofacists and the camels they rode in on. That goes also for weakminded American and European left..(Aussie left, too) and the impotent UN.

Posted by: debbie at June 19, 2004 at 06:53 AM

My usual suggested plan:

1. Find out who did this.

2. Make sure.

3. Kill them.

Posted by: Parker at June 19, 2004 at 06:55 AM

Appears?!?! It appears that the people who write the news have more eye problems than Steve Wonder

Posted by: Wes at June 19, 2004 at 06:59 AM

It's times like these when I regret not following through with my intention to join the Army when I was 18. The Royal Engineers (the unit I was set to join) are deployed in Iraq now, and it would be so sweet to get an Islamic terrorist in your battle sight and blow the side of his face off. Although right now I'm thinking more along the lines of 'neca eos omnes. Deus suos agnoscet'.

Posted by: David Gillies at June 19, 2004 at 07:02 AM

KevinV nails it perfectly. The only thing I would add is the way in which Arabs deal with nine-year-old girls who've been raped by their uncles, or any female who excites their disapproval for any reason whatsoever. Call it 118a. They do get their jollies brutalizing the helpless, don't they?

Posted by: Annalucia at June 19, 2004 at 07:02 AM

I think I heard yesterday that there are still thousands of Americans in Saudi Arabia (maybe 35k?) despite repaeated urgent bulletins from the US State Dept to Get.Out.of.Dodge.Now!

Why do they stay? Is it azll about the money or are they just figuring the odds like soldiers do?

Posted by: Carl in Atlanta at June 19, 2004 at 07:05 AM

I say FUCK the Saudis. Let's invade!

Posted by: Richard at June 19, 2004 at 07:11 AM

I'm so sorry for Mr. Johnson and his family. I'm quite sure they won't be trying to justify and excuse his killers the way Michael Berg has done.

Posted by: Rebecca at June 19, 2004 at 07:26 AM


"Why do they stay? Is it azll about the money or are they just figuring the odds like soldiers do?"

Could be they are figuring the odds and are staying because they need the money.

However, I'd bet it's more like denial than some form of logical thought. The 'this won't happen to me' mentality we see often in people who take part in high risk behaviors.

I think denial is behind a lot of the opposition to the war. For some reason, people refuse to believe there is a world wide, well organized group of people who want to kill us all. Or, if they do believe such a group exists, they refuse to believe we just can't play nice with them and all will be well.

If I had relatives in Saudi Arabia, I'd be urging them to leave now. Screw the money. Your life is more important.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at June 19, 2004 at 07:27 AM

The people still in "Saudi" Arabia have been warned, and have assumed the risk. Thank goodness we are standing firm and not negotiating for them. Of course, we should still implement Parker's plan, although I think we could shorten it to 2 or 2 1/2 steps.

Posted by: R C Dean at June 19, 2004 at 07:58 AM

Sonetka, that was me, in the goat-getting thread. Little did I know (though I did expect) that we'd have to see that mindless little meme make its appearance so quickly.

Posted by: Steve in Houston at June 19, 2004 at 08:16 AM

For Carl in Atlanta:

When I left Saudi Arabia in October, the number of resident Americans had shrunk to under 12K. The number has been decreasing consistently since then, along with the number of Western expats.

If the bastards are able to chase Westerners out, the next on the list will be Philippinos, Thais, Koreans and non-Muslim Indians. Then they'll go after anyone who might be Shi'a or Sufi: Turks, North Africans, Pakistanis, Lebanese.

Then they'll turn and eat themselves.

Posted by: Hatcher at June 19, 2004 at 08:32 AM

For Chris Joesphson:

The people who are staying there are making calculated judgments about their safey, which they reappraise after every event. Everyone there has a personal tripwire: if X happens, I'm outta here. This goes for Americans, Aussies, Brits, Dutch, Germans, Italians, French, Spanish and everyone else.

Saudi Arabia is thousands of times more dangerous than it was five years ago, but--with the exception of the current stream of terror--is still safer than most big cities in the world. Including killings by terrorists, fewer than 100 foreigners have been killed there over the past ten years. Can you say the same for Amsterdam? Newy York? London?

One can be reasonable about the level of threat and still decide to stay there. But the money isn't the biggest argument for staying; expat incomes in Saudi are far, far lower than they were in the 60s and 70s. Most are getting something like a 10% bonus in salary/compensation packages. Of course, for many Europeans, the fact that they can GET a job has something to do with it.

Posted by: Hatcher at June 19, 2004 at 08:39 AM

if al qaeda succeeds in chasing out the foreigners, then the saudis are truly screwed, as none of them can do a damn bit of work.

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at June 19, 2004 at 08:58 AM

I would like to propose a punishment for the shits who butchered Paul Johnson. I realize that the international community will be outraged. Democrats will be shocked. The New York Times will run a thousand furious repetitive headlines.

When we catch the bastards who did it, we should put panties on their heads.

Posted by: lyle at June 19, 2004 at 09:15 AM

For the sake of all things decent, let the Crusade begin!

Posted by: K. Cinosa at June 19, 2004 at 09:33 AM

I see Parker's plan has been, er, executed.


Posted by: R C Dean at June 19, 2004 at 09:36 AM

hmmm...just wondering how will NYT spin it, to somehow blame white house for another case of muslim pathology? they jus started reporting back about prison abuse, after reagan's death dtopped them for a week.

Posted by: niels at June 19, 2004 at 09:41 AM

Filthy little sand goblins.

I'm picturing a glazed car park bounded by India to the east and the Atlantic to the West.

Mmm, sweet thought.

The first news agency that manages to weave the non-events at Abu Ghraib into this atrocity is going to receive a mouthful of 'constructive criticism' from me.

I better start drafting now, 'cause sure as the sun will rise...

Posted by: Al Bundy at June 19, 2004 at 10:04 AM


Good link on that FOXNews page R C Dean pointed to.

I expect that our liberal media will be all over this one, by, oh, say, about the time Hell freezes over.

Corruption at the UN? Who'd a thunk it?

Posted by: Al Bundy at June 19, 2004 at 10:12 AM

Pity they didn't behead Paul McGeough.

Posted by: superboot at June 19, 2004 at 10:26 AM

When is the west going to get serious with these arabs? They wont fight face to face, all they can do is insane terrorist acts.
Gutless Parasites.

Posted by: John from Newcastle at June 19, 2004 at 10:50 AM

Remember, according to John Kerry, these people are "a real voice in the region..."

At least that was his opinion on Fallujah. Has he flipped again?

Posted by: richard mcenroe at June 19, 2004 at 10:51 AM

My sympathies to his family.

How long before the indymedia crowd say that the CIA/FBI/Bush are behind this? Unforunately there was no chair here which is like those ones used in the prisons - but wait a moment! He is wearing the same type of jumpsuit!


Posted by: Rob at June 19, 2004 at 12:11 PM

I would also like to offer my sympathy to his family.

I hope the perpetrators of this act are hunted down and killed.

That said, the reason we focus on the prisoner abuse scandal is because we are supposed to be better than that.
We are fighting for freedom, and torturing and humiliating prisoners is not something free countries do.
So yes, it is a bigger deal when soldiers on our side commit crimes. We know that the Islamofascists are "evil", but if we turn a blind eye to terrible things done in our name, we become like them.

Posted by: t at June 19, 2004 at 01:51 PM

My sympathies to his family.

If the westerners leave, would it be a victory for the terrorists?

Posted by: Andjam at June 19, 2004 at 02:26 PM

My heartfelt condolences to the Johnson Family.

I am so sick of this shit, for the love of god!!

I repeat, bomb to rubble every last Oil well and processing plant in the whole Middle East. Seal our borders against ME types. Let them get back to wandering the desert having conversations with Satan and let them drink their god-forsaken oil.

I am upset.

Posted by: Dog at June 19, 2004 at 02:44 PM

We should just flood the country with Westerners, Booze, Gambling, Fast Cars and Sex. That is the only freaking way to defeat these terrorist scumbags.

Posted by: JBB at June 19, 2004 at 03:04 PM

We are better than that 't'. Not perfect but we are better.

Posted by: Gary at June 19, 2004 at 03:07 PM

John from Newcastle:

And when they did have a chance to fight face-to-face - y'know with sharps, a la ye olden days of the Caliphate - the British Tommies bayonetted them to shreads. This is Osama's 'strong horse'?

Posted by: CurrencyLad at June 19, 2004 at 03:09 PM

This murder has changed my thinking in one respect. Before, I didn’t care much about Abu Ghraib. It was just a crime story of no great significance, like OJ.

Now I’m having trouble caring about it at all.

Posted by: Bill est at June 19, 2004 at 03:46 PM

according to the "unbiased ABC", the scum who did this are not terrorsits but "militants"


Posted by: David at June 19, 2004 at 03:47 PM

I hear three of the MMMs* responsible are dead?

*Michael Moore's Minutemen

Posted by: Byron_the_Aussie at June 19, 2004 at 04:35 PM

ditto the bbc
Militants killed after beheading

Photos "apparently" showing the corpse appeared on an Islamist website my quotes.

The corpse on the website is dressed in an orange jumpsuit similar to those worn by prisoners held at the US detention centre in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

Just hang in there for the conspiracy theories.

Mr Johnson had been working as a helicopter engineer for US defence contractor Lockheed Martin in Saudi Arabia.
well not quite haliburton but is this spin ?

In May, kidnappers linked to al-Qaeda beheaded a 26-year-old American in Iraq, placing the images of the beheading on an Islamist website.
Jeez i wonder who that was ? would'nt want to mention any names .

Posted by: davo at June 19, 2004 at 04:58 PM

lyle moderation!
"When we catch the bastards who did it, we should put panties on their heads"

THE SMH will never allow it. margot would have a fit.
How can you be so cruel?

Posted by: davo at June 19, 2004 at 05:07 PM

that is rubbish
it is precisely by "Sinking down to their level" that we will instill the fear of "ALLAH" into them.
Hanging underwear over their heads does nought but encourage the nearly decapitated marxist left to flagellate us for the sins we have not fully commited.
You play by the marquess of queensbury rules and i will do the same.
You play by no sets of rules and i will do the same.
Difference is at the end of the fight i will return to the former set of rules.

Posted by: davo at June 19, 2004 at 05:43 PM

Is this the horror that will finally undo George Bush's presidency?
-Andrew Gumbel, The Independent

Some people just don't get it.

Posted by: rosignol at June 19, 2004 at 06:41 PM

The left seem to think that they understand the reason for this barbarism by al Qaeda. It was done in retaliation for the US invasion of Iraq and the mistreatment of islamic prisoners there. Yet, only a day or so ago they were telling us that there was no connection between al Qaeda and Iraq.

Posted by: rexie at June 19, 2004 at 07:08 PM

I am sick about this. If these brave jihadis want a fight, come a few hundred miles up here to Afghanistan and I'll help give 'em one. Killing a bound up innocent civilian - I am at a loss to even describe those scum...

Posted by: Major John at June 19, 2004 at 07:46 PM

Andrew Gumbel - moron.

Posted by: CurrencyLad at June 19, 2004 at 08:50 PM

God have mercy on Paul Johnson- a hero.

Posted by: rhactive at June 19, 2004 at 09:10 PM

"When we catch the bastards who did it, we should put panties on their heads."

No way dude. We should put Margo Kingston's panties on their heads, and pictures of Margo and Mike Moore in their cells. That'll stop the fuckers breeding.

Posted by: Clem Snide at June 19, 2004 at 09:14 PM

Andrew Gumbel writes as if he is a moron. I can't imagine why anyone would believe the US public will 'kick out Bush' for something he is fighting against.

As far as I can tell, the US has been prepared for all the deaths we have suffered since we decided to fight back. The press here doesn't seem to quite understand that, so Gumbel has lots of company.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at June 19, 2004 at 09:26 PM

I'm just shocked, shocked, by the lack of trolls in here. C'mon guys! Can't at least one of you muster up a comment about how this is all Bushitler's fault? How about a comment where you wish they'd decapitated Chimpy? You're falling asleep on the job, people!

Posted by: Sean M. at June 19, 2004 at 09:45 PM

I can't imagine either, Chris.

All I can look forward to is the insufferable utterings of the left media or some better news from ... where?

This story is just ... sickening.

I want to know the story of the Saudi retaliation. In depth.

Posted by: ilibcc at June 19, 2004 at 09:46 PM

Hatcher, let's consider those odds of being murdered. First off, the foreigners in Saudi Arabia aren't as numerous; so if 10 are murdered a year, out of 20,000 people... that's 1 out of 2,000. There's about 8 million (or so) people living in New York City. For that murder rate to apply, 4000 people would have to be murdered a year. (I think the real number, lately, has been 700?)

But even then, you can't compare the murder stats -- and why? Some of these American murders are of cops being killed in the line of duty. Some are "domestic situations" (husband/wife/boyfriend/whatever killing spouse/children/whatever because they're an abuser/want the money/whatever). Some are drug deals gone bad. Few of these are a total stranger killing a person, and none are total strangers kidnapping people and killing them for terrorism purposes.

Yes, these people are in denial, or they really don't value their lives very much (which is possible). Those odds suck. And I rather doubt they can be compared to any Western city. Even DC isn't that bad.

Posted by: meep at June 19, 2004 at 09:50 PM

My condolences to his family.

I understand that Paul Johnson was sympathetic to Islam, was studying it, and was thinking of converting. Well, if he wanted to find out about Islam, they certainly helped him to meet that goal beyond his wildest dreams.

Posted by: Ernie G at June 19, 2004 at 10:29 PM

Parker, I'd add a step to your plan.

2.5 Stuff a pork chop down their throat, and wash it down with cheap wine.

Otherwise, spot on!

Posted by: Cybrludite at June 19, 2004 at 11:51 PM

Is this the horror that will finally undo George Bush's presidency?

Reminds me of Moore saying that he wants to ensure those who died in Iraq did not do so in vain after winning an award for "Fahrenheit 9/11". As far as I can tell, since he doesn't want the US forces to succeed in Iraq, them dying not "in vain" would mean the deaths resulting in Bush getting voted out.

Posted by: Andjam at June 20, 2004 at 12:20 AM

"remove Bush"...how ludicrous!!!that's like saying "my neighbor just got hit by a car..therefore lets REMOVE all traffic signals"

Posted by: vanharko at June 20, 2004 at 12:54 AM

Is this the horror that will finally undo George Bush's presidency?
-Andrew Gumbel, The Independent

I was just waiting for it. I knew in my heart, sooner rather than later, some unspeakable newslut would blame it all on Bush/America.

Posted by: Rebecca at June 20, 2004 at 01:42 AM

Nice to see my plan being used.

I believe it has continuing application in the region.

Cybrludite, I'm open to the use of pork products and alcohol in the process if they can be show to have a deterrent effect.

Posted by: Parker at June 20, 2004 at 02:28 AM

What some condemn as "sinking to their level" I prefer to call "respecting their culture". The Taliban prisoners could be herded into a soccer stadium and stoned to death, as they did to their own people. The Al-Qaeda terrorists could have their heads severed by a sharp knife on videotape, copies of which could be distributed to the Al-Jazzera (?sp) "news service". This is the type of fight they have chosen. As they sow, so let them reap.

Posted by: Paul at June 20, 2004 at 03:31 AM

If the foreigners left Saudi Arabia, who would do any work?

Will the newsmedia please, please, please broadcast the photos of Paul Johnson's head and body for the next several weeks? I need a break from the constant torture photos from Abu Garib - live naked men with bags over their head just give me the shakes.

Posted by: Hrunting at June 20, 2004 at 03:38 AM


You misconstrued my statement--or I stated it badly. The 10/year is a total figure for murders, not just as a result of terror. Included in that figure are the exact causes you state: domestic violence, the results of other crimes, etc. The terror figures, though, do tend to come in large chunks: bombings have a way of doing that.

And the figure for foreign population is not 20,000 (that's only for Brits or Americans). The expat population of Saudi Arabia is over 8 million. 10/8,000,000 = 0.00000125 murder rate. That is considerably lower than NYC--or DC.

The number of Saudis murdered annually runs around 30/year. Even combining the two figures, you still end up with a statisticallly improbable likelihood of being murdered there.

The complication, of course, is when you are targeted to murder because of who you are (or who you are not). If you are individually targeted, then your chances drop considerably. You can mitigate the chances, improve your odds, by your behavior, by your particular security setting, but you can't necessarily eliminate them.

So, you're not a sitting duck, even if you're a potential target.

And, believe it or not, people are there because they feel their jobs are important, not just to their bank balances, but to their countries' global policies, to the development of an undeveloped country, even to the world at large.

Posted by: Hatcher at June 20, 2004 at 03:56 AM

Message & Tip: When confronted by Muslim 'militants' intent on kidnapping you, do not believe their entreaties to not resist, hold no hope that you will get out of it alive under their terms...Indulge them in their fantasies of martyrdom. Resist by force of arms (you do have arms right?) and should you fail - at least die fighting.

Rest in Peace Mr. Johnson

Posted by: Rtfm at June 20, 2004 at 04:21 AM

Were it not for the effect on the world economy I'd say force every foreigner out. The Saudis would soon learn that you can't eat or drink sand, you can't drive it or fly it, you can't invite it to your palace, wine and dine it, and then pay it to perform unislamic sex acts on you. Without foreigners, Saudi Arabia would be Sudan.

Posted by: Sean at June 20, 2004 at 05:47 AM


I am reminded of MacBeth everytime I see how sudden the Saudis catch and execute people after they've already comitted a terrorist act.

Read this to see what I mean.

G'Day mate...

Posted by: Brian at June 20, 2004 at 05:53 AM

Hatcher, while I agree with your larger point about the relative safety of residing in KSA compared to large Western cities, I wonder about your confidence in a statistic showing only 30 (?) murders a year for the whole Kingdom.

I wouldn't expect Saudi govt bureaucrats to gather such stats efficiently. If they did, anything that is remotely critical would be suppressed by factions of the royal family and not allowed to be published. Knowing this, few government employees would be motivated to be "efficient" in a Western sense. I think any such employee who got on the wrong side of a powerful royal would be ruined.

I don't think anyone really knows with confidence demographic stats about KSA, such as what the total population of KSA is or how many murders a year. I'd imagine any stats you came across would be estimates from outside governments and their foreign services/intelligence agencies.

Also, I think electing to take a chance on being attacked from "random" crime in a large city is very different psychologically from knowing there's somebody out there looking to target you specifically. The contemplation of theoretically favorable odds will not be a comfort to anyone feeling so targeted, I'm thinking.

Posted by: Paul H. at June 20, 2004 at 08:05 AM

I'll bet that 30 murders/year doesn't include "honor killings" either.

Posted by: Michael Lonie at June 20, 2004 at 11:52 AM


I thought exactly the same thing. The timing is so coincidental; you might almost believe a conscious decision was being made about damage control.

Let them kill the infidel (control fallout from the Wahhabists)

Kill the perpetrators (control fallout from the United States)

It rings of the sort of Bedouin chicanery one might have encountered in the Lawrence of Arabia era.


Posted by: Al Bundy at June 20, 2004 at 04:48 PM

"And, believe it or not, people are there because they feel their jobs are important, not just to their bank balances, but to their countries' global policies, to the development of an undeveloped country, even to the world at large."

That's not what the Saudi guest workers I've spoken to in Australia say, Hatcher. They despise the place - the people, the culture and the climate. In particular, they tell horror stories of how the third world guest workers are treated (Filipinos, Pakis, and the like) who get much worse treatment than westerners. They freely admit the only reason they go to such a hellhole is that they can earn up to three times their salary back home. But they can't stand it for long.

Posted by: Clem Snide at June 20, 2004 at 08:26 PM

``Saudi Arabia announced it had dealt a body blow to Al-Qaeda gunmen who have terrorized Western residents of the kingdom, by killing their alleged chief Abdul Aziz al-Muqrin and three comrades as well as arresting 12 others.''

Good news, if true, but Tim: do you really believe anything the Saudis say? Isn't it more likely that they just killed a bunch of people they already had in prison (or who were annoying them in some other way) and announced it as a victory over the terrorists?

Posted by: Annalucia at June 21, 2004 at 12:36 AM

According to Al Jazeera, Paul Johnson was executed by Saudi "dissidents".

Browsing Google News indicates western news services were unclear whether the perpetrators were "terrorists", "extremists" or "militants" but the ABC and BBC were far from the only outlets to use the last term.

Posted by: Hoges at June 21, 2004 at 11:34 AM

Guess I'd better find another nom-du-blog...

When will the Leftists realise that the Islamists have hated the West for the past 1400 years, not just since Dubya was elected.

Dear Lefties, You hate Dubya. The terrorists hate the West. Do you think the terrorists will stop hating the West if Dubya is not in the White House? Do you think they only started hating the West when Dubya was elected? Do you think they weren't planning Sept 11 when Clinton was in power? If this past 4 years has done anything, it has confirmed to me the utter immorality, ethical perversion and intellectual failure of Leftism.

Posted by: Ex Paul Johnson at June 21, 2004 at 04:01 PM


Posted by: God at June 22, 2004 at 11:20 PM

It's "thou shalt not murder", cutesy pretend God. The distinction is an important one, as I'm sure you'd appreciate if someone were trying to murder you or your loved ones and the only way to stop the attackers was to kill them. Killing in self-defence is allowed, though if you offer your own, individual life rather than kill that's your prerogative. However, you have no right to forfeit the lives of others in order to burnish your own reputation, which is what most of this lecturing on "peace" and "hugs not bombs" crap is really about.

Oh what am I talking about. You're God. You'll just smite all the evildoers who are blowing up and beheading all the innocent children and women and hostages in the world. Any minute now.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at June 23, 2004 at 12:04 PM

Oh yeah -- and by the way, God -- You're banned.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at June 23, 2004 at 12:07 PM

I don’t have my Oxford English Dictionary

Anyway, didn’t “kill” used to mean what “murder” now means?

Posted by: ForNow at June 23, 2004 at 01:24 PM

Part of my post disappeared. One more try.

I don’t have my Oxford English Dictionary. I think God “borrowed” it from me. Could you get it back from him for me, Andrea?

Anyway, didn’t “kill” used to mean what “murder” now means?

Posted by: ForNow at June 23, 2004 at 01:26 PM

Who cares? I know why lefties drag out that "don't kill hey God said it!" crap. They don't really care what it really means or meant.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at June 23, 2004 at 01:46 PM

ForNow: no, there has ALWAYS been a distinction between "kill" and "murder"--both in English and in the Hebrew of the Ten Commandments--the latter being a small subset of the former.

The common law defined murder as the malicious unlawful taking of the life of another human being (malice, in turn, encompasing both intent as well as "depraved indifference.") The exact definition under the law of ancient Israel I'll leave to more obsevant and informed Jews than myself, but I assume it'd be something quite similar. Thus, if it's lawful, it's not murder (e.g., self-defense); if it's not malicious, it's not murder (e.g., recklessness = manslaughter, mere negligence = negligent homicide or possibly not even a crime if still the civil tort of wrongful death); if it's not human, it's not murder (no, PETA, meat is NOT murder, by definition); if it's not someone else, it's not murder (i.e., suicide).

Posted by: Dave J at June 23, 2004 at 03:56 PM

Actually, the Hebrew word that was translated into 'kill' more properly means murder. You know what the penalty was for breaking that commandment?

Exodus 21:12
He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death.

That's right. God is pro-capital punishment when it comes to murder.

Posted by: Half Canadian at June 23, 2004 at 03:56 PM

Thanks for satisfying my curiosity. I remember a nun, from my long-ago days at an Episcopalian elementary school, explaining to us that the commandment was really “You shall not murder.” I thought maybe the meanings of the words have shifted, because I haven’t wanted to think that the King James translators shifted the meaning of a commandment for poetic sound. (“Kill” may not be a resonant word but “Thou shalt not kill” sounds more forceful (four consecutive emphatic monosyllables) than “thou shalt not murder.”)

Posted by: ForNow at June 23, 2004 at 05:47 PM

So, did God mean it's OK for us to kill 10,000 Iraqis? Or how about the few we questioned a bit too hard so that they died in custody? I suppose God must think it's OK, because God-fearing John Ashcroft's Department of Justice justified it in its legal memos to the President. Have I got that about right? Killing is OK, as long as we're doing it?

Posted by: David in AK at June 23, 2004 at 08:50 PM

David in AK,

Actually, God sets a hard-cap on killing at 8,500, unless it is "in God's name," at which time God gives you up to 12,000.

George W. won the famous "God v. Kennedy" ruling when approaching congress, wherein it was determined by a sub-committee consisting of 2 republicans, 2 democrats, a cherubim and a seraphim, that "God supports this war, but is waiting for the full green light until he sees where McCain stands on the issue."

As a result of the ruling, the hard cap was raised to 10,000. We are still within the proper limits for murder retaliation, with another 2k possible when McCain makes his announcement. Sadly, if McCain decides to run with Kerry as VP, God will have no choice but to kill 2k of us to balance the scales.


Posted by: Big Dan at June 23, 2004 at 11:28 PM

Half Canadian,

Right and wrong.

God WAS for killing the man who killed in the old testament as a way of LIMITING retaliation, not legislating it. The OT "talion codes" were set up because if you killed a member of my family, I might kill your whole family, clan or even nation.

Regardless, Jesus updated the archaic OT laws to outlaw the death penalty in essence and in word:

-in essence when he let the woman caught in the act of adultery go (john 8) when she was guilty of a capital offense, and in his own death via captial punishment, wherein the evils of the death penalty shine through: a vengeance-filled crowd (for isn't the death penalty driven by revenge?) and an innocent dying at the hands of an unjust death penalty system.

In word, in Matthew 5, when Jesus gives six updates on the Law of Moses from which you make your claim. One of them, in verse 38, says “You have heard it said ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,’ but I say to you…” and goes on to introduce Jesus’ concept of turning the other cheek.

Posted by: Big Dan at June 23, 2004 at 11:35 PM

Big D; in my experience, you "turn the other cheek" you get it in the ass...

Posted by: DaninVan at June 24, 2004 at 04:09 AM

I wrote about this last week, excerpt below:

Europe learned the wrong thing from the world wars. They decided war is evil. They SHOULD have decided that totalitarianism is evil and would always be fought. They should see that secularist Communism in Russia and China killed multiples of the Western European dead from both world wars.

One of the reasons for this is the centuries of repeating a mistranslation of a Biblical commandment. This mistranslation seems to have confused Christians from time immemorial.

The commandment is not, nor ever was, THOU SHALT NOT KILL.

The commandment is THOU SHALT NOT MURDER

The infinitive form for the word "to kill" in Hebrew is l'rhog. The word for murder in Hebrew is l'rtzach. The latter is what is in the scripture. This is logical. This is necessary. This must be for the Bible to make any sense at all when it commands capital punishment and other times when killing is necessary. Get yourself a Bible Hebrew concordance and check out those two words. The context and differences are crystal-clear.

Translating the word as KILL gives strength to PETA and other animal-rights kooks who think Kentucky Fried Chicken is a holocaust.

KILL is very different from MURDER. Murder is limited to taking a human life without moral justification. Killing in self-defense is never murder. Killing enemy soldiers during active combat is not murder. Executing a murderer is not murder. If a school bus driver with a full bus of kids is careening toward a gas truck whose explosion would kill hundreds more bystanders, blowing the bus off the road with a bazooka, risking some of those kids, to prevent the worse outcome IS NOT MURDER.

Indeed, 60,000 appearances on Google of "thou shalt not kill" versus 7,910 appearances of "thou shalt not murder" seem to quantifiably verify that the wrong exceed the right translation by sevenfold. And it holds true if we use the more modern "thou shall not kill" (11,500) and "thou shall not murder" (997) as well as "do not kill" (58,700) and "do not murder" (9,830).

There is a strong case that a core reason the West has become ethically and morally stupid is the underlying spiritual decay caused by mistranslating one Biblical commandment.

Secularism and the scriptural illiteracy of the West's so-called religious among us is going to kill us. Murder us.

Think I'm exaggerating? When Abu Ghraib is likened as worse than 9/11 and "educated" college students don't scream, there's a deep problem in our society, a soul-sickness.

Is there a vaccine or a cure for such soul-sickness?

When will we be willing to be impolite at cocktail parties? When will we be willing to shut our teenager's damned idiot boxes off and risk their tantrums to beat some moral sense into their idiot Kant-infected moral eqivalency-damaged brains?


Until religious Christians and Jews EXPUNGE "Thou Shalt Not Kill" from their religious vocabulary, we are in deep trouble.

Posted by: Aaron's Rantblog at June 25, 2004 at 09:28 AM