Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Pvt. William A. Long, 23, of Conway, Arkansas: looks proud, doesn't he?
I don't have much to add to this story, except to note that there has not been much said in the news media about Pvt. William A. Long, compared to the publicity often given to the victims of shocking crimes and certainly compared to the notoriety achieved by his killer.
That's a shame. Pvt. Long was serving his country in uniform when he was shot dead in cold blood by a Muslim terrorist in the heart of America, not some exotic foreign place. He was prepared to fight for his country on the battlefield, but as his father pointed out, he didn't know that the battlefield was here.
Various authorities were quick to "assure" us that the terrorist, an American convert to Islam who calls himself Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, acted alone and had no links to overseas terror groups. As it happens, that may turn out not to be fully accurate (see these reports here and here). More importantly, why does it matter? Pvt. Long is just as dead at the hand of another American as if the shots had been fired by a Saudi who sneaked into the country, is he not?
Some of the many "homegrown" terrorists who have been nabbed by the FBI since 9/11 were bumbling loudmouths. But others were deadly serious, as was clearly the case with Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad. Muhammed was heavily armed and had studied other potential targets. How many lives might he have taken if he had chosen to strike at a crowded mall? The homegrown terrorists may not pose a strategic threat to the nation, as does al Qaeda, but they are surely a part of the threat, as they seem to be all to willing to respond to bin Laden's call for jihad.
In any case, let's take a moment to honor and remember Pvt. Long. He was a proud, brave young man cut down at far too young an age.
What are your thoughts? Post a comment.
Posted by J. E. Burke at 8:48 PM