Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald offers this calm and even-tempered assessment of Frank Lindh and his notorious son:
That family man, and father of John Walker Lindh, thinks that his hideous son, and the criminal negligence of that hideous son’s hideous parents, are to be forgiven. Why? Because his son was for all the world like a Bryn Mawr girl on her Junior Year Abroad, just “learning about new cultures and acquiring new language skills.”
I don’t think that his rotten son was ever “a decent and honorable young man embarked on a spiritual quest.” I think he was one more empty simpleton, raised by empty and simple-minded parents no doubt trying to “find” themselves — here, there, god knows where they looked or are still looking — at the same time that their son was looking for himself on his no-doubt-to-him fascinating Spiritual Search. But unfortunately instead of Hari Krishna or Father Divine or Bob Jones or some other spiritual ponzi scheme, little Lindh found Islam — and his upbringing became a moral tale, in which those parents do not fare well not because they divorced (for all you family values folk), but because they were both very very stupid, which is an incurable disease, and very very negligent in their doctor-spockism run amok, and more than amok — chose the very worst thing he could have chosen.
They thought it was just fine, just peachy, when he took up Islam? It never occurred to either one of them to find out what Islam was all about? In all those years, since John Walker Lindh discovered Islam by going to a movie about Malcolm X (by the way, in Algeria Malcolm X discovered a lot about the Muslim Arabs that proved quite disturbing to him — but that isn’t in the movie), and went from there, they never discovered anything? No one thought to find out about Islam? Don’t parents stay up late when a kid comes home an hour or two after he or she has promised to? Not in the blasÃ© Lindh household, where this little brat was allowed to travel to Yemen, and then to Pakistan, and to train — what the hell does that mean, if not train militarily — in camps in Pakistan, and then end up in Afghanistan?
He did nothing, this kid? Then why did he plead guilty? Because the Gestapo-government of the United States was so unfair to him? He was working with, training with, aiding and abetting, an organization — the Taliban — that routinely stomped women to death in front of whole stadiums of cowed or cheering crowds, that smashed in the heads of people for doing such things as flying kites, that decapitated anyone (and still does) who dared to teach little girls to read and write. Don’t dare to tell us about the innocence of your rotten son, who by the looks of this speech is the rotten son of a rotten father.
And then? And then the world changed. Islam didn’t change. The Taliban didn’t change. No, they were just as innocent and wonderful as ever. What changed was the United States: “What happened unfortunately for John is that the United States made an abrupt change after the 9/11 attacks,” Frank Lindh said. “We switched sides.”
Yes, “we switched sides.” You see, just before 9/11 the United States had been on the side of the Taliban murdering those women in those stadiums, killing those Afghani folk singers showing up at weddings, those kite-flyers, those teachers who deserved death for instructing little girls in their ABC’s, and those horrible women who dared to go out without a burqa. That’s it — we changed sides, overnight.
And what’s more, we didn’t have the decency to let the Lindh family know, much less to send a DSL package, full of new instructions, to the Afghani address of John Walker Lindh.
Tell me your reaction if Lord Haw-Haw, or Tokyo Rose (actually, she was not one but a composite of several people) had tried to plead, in extenuation, that the former was already in Germany before the war began, and the latter in Japan, when we were still at peace, and it wasn’t they who changed — it was Great Britain, and the United States, that had changed overnight.
I don’t think John Walker Lindh should ever be let out. As for his nauseating father, he is already under his own house arrest — arrested moral development.
Meanwhile, let’s listen to the father of Mike Spann, and his view on clemency for John Walker Lindh. Perhaps he will agree with me that John Walker Lindh, once he has finally served his sentence, should — like Mike Hawash, like all other American citizens found to be working with, giving aid and comfort to, objectively promoting or furthering the aims of, the Jihad anywhere and everywhere — be stripped of his citizenship, and expelled to a Muslim country. Mr. Spann, unlike the man whose vaporings are all over the news today, deserves to be heard.