I came across this article from the BBC about the arrest of a Saudia Arabian student in Texas for attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. He was apparently researching ways to make and conceal bombs in order to conduct 'jihad' in this country.
Please, let's contemplate for a moment this situation: the U.S. government, as we speak, is conducting research on new and insidious ways of hurting people that we cannot imagine. That same government invaded the country of Iraq on the false pretenses of looking for weapons of mass destruction, and then proceeded to drop thousands of pounds of bombs and cruise missiles on the people there (among other atrocious acts of violence). What are those weapons but highly sophisticated killing machines, or weapons of mass destruction, designed to terrorize and destroy.
And yet, here, back in the heartland, this fellow gets arrested for conducting research into committing violence of a similar nature, only on a much smaller scale.
I am not condoning his actions or suggesting that I want him to have had the chance to hurt people. I don't believe that violence solves problems, ever, no matter the scale or intent or justification.
Still, this brings me back to a questions I have been grappling with since reading Derrick Jensen's The Culture of Make Believe. I can't wrap my mind around the fact that some violence is allowed, condoned, even celebrated, whereas other forms of violence are punished. What is the difference between George W and Aldawsari? What is the difference between one one man's actions and another's, if their intent, to hurt people in order to further their cause, is the same?
It is perhaps most poignant that Aldawsari included former President George W.'s house on his list of potential targets. How many people in the world would like to see George W arrested for his role in the use of weapons of mass destruction?
I know what the supposed difference between these two men is, but I don't think it is as big as some might have you believe. The ends don't justify the means; the ends are the means. Violence breeds violence, always. War is terrorism dressed up in a uniform waving a flag.
The sign in this image, held by supporters of Julian Assange, pretty much says it all.