Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A tale of two martyrs

Zacarias Moussaoui's lawyers, desperate for the tiniest reason that the jury might spare their client's life, have resorted to asking for mercy. However, I think all chances for it dissipated once prosecutors showed gruesome photos of 9/11 victims. The psychiatric testimony about Moussaoui's childhood and supposed mental illness didn't appear that effective, so now the defense team is saying that executing Moussaoui would make him the martyr he always wanted to be. Well, which one is it? Were I an impartial juror, different appeals would make me conclude what we all know the defense is doing: they're fishing for anything.

Besides, I find there's a peculiar characteristic to Islamofascists' martyrdom versus that of other faiths. For example, Christian martyrs for two millenia have accepted their deaths -- any deaths -- as God's will. Islamofascists, however, don't just seek any death, but suicides on their own terms. If Moussaoui is executed, it would be at the hand of "infidels," not his own, nor would he have killed anyone else with his death. It would be futile, and perhaps even ignominious that he was caught so stupidly.

We also don't need other terrorists threatening suicide bombings (and doing them anyway), or kidnapping and murdering Americans, until we meet their demand and release Moussaoui from prison. On the other hand, if we send him to hell where he belongs, there might be retribution, but all the retaliation in the world still won't bring him back. As the great "Princess Bride" line goes, "There's not a lot of money in revenge." Or other forms of profit, for that matter. It's one thing to blow yourself up to get a fellow jihadist freed, but another thing to blow yourself up because, well, the other guy was executed.

Moussaou wants to die. Most of the families of the 9/11 victims apparently want him to die too. So in my mind, there's only question:

Regular or extra crispy?

There's another martyr-wannabe who was recently found guilty, except his sentence was far too light: Roger Toussaint, president of the New York Transit Workers Union. For ordering the strike despite a court injunction, a Brooklyn judge found him in contempt, then sentenced him to a $1000 and 10 days in jail. On Monday, he turned his trip to jail into a farce, marching across the Brooklyn Bridge with supporters in the same way the illegal union strike forced commuters to walk across the bridge to work. He was flanked by Rev. Al "Race-Baiter Numero Uno" Sharpton and teachers union leader Randy Weingarten. Sharpton promised he'd sit outside the jail on the first night, no doubt thankful that Wendy's is open late.

"The truth of the matter is that I have nothing but contempt for a system that gives employers free rein to abuse workers." How are the transit union workers "abused" when the pay and benefits are almost astounding? With overtime, some bus drivers can earn over $60K annually. And I believe it was just after the strike, though maybe before, that someone used a cell phone camera to take a picture of a soundly sleeping subway booth clerk. Apparently he was pulling double shifts and earning massive overtime (well over $70K a year), and now we know how he did it. Buying metro cards is fully automated, so the booth clerks basically do...nothing.

Union members' medical insurance benefits are similarly generous. In fact, negotiations last December kept breaking down because the city, faced with exponentially increasing deficits in the coming years as it pays for all workers' insurance costs, wanted newer workers to pay a mere 1.5% of their wages for health insurance. It was quite a reasonable offer, but Toussaint pushed his members to reject it.

How can any intelligent person see this putz as a "working class hero"? He pulls a generous salary (he cut it to "only" $94K annually back in 2002), is chauffered around at union expense, and runs around pretending that he cares about his union members. If he really cared about them, he wouldn't have started the strike, which garnered workers a penalty of two days' pay for each day on strike. The union was also fined $2.5 million, which will go straight to the city treasury. Though that comes to only under $76 per union member, that's still lost money.

Toussaint knew precisely what would happen, especially the public backlash. It still didn't matter that most New Yorkers developed a bad opinion of the union, or at least its tactics -- Toussaint had to feed his ego. I wonder how hard it was for his henchmen to get together a "crowd of dozens" to cheer him on? Compare them to at least a few million who'd lynch him in a New York minute.

Toussaint reportedly said he'd "do 30 years before transit workers surrender." I say we give him just that, since it seems to be what he wants, just like death is what Moussaoui supposedly wants.

Previous:
The looming New York City transit strike
Bloomberg and the transit union: playing chicken
The New York City transit union strike

2 Comments:

Blogger Vigilante said...

I'd sure like to be on Zacarias Moussaoui's Jury!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger TKC said...

As for Moussaoui, it is a no win situation. If we kill him then he is a martyr that must be avenged via a violent jihad. If we imprison him for life then he is the victim of the Imperial Amerikan Zionist Cabal and he must be freed via violent jihad.
To show how surreal it is, let us say we set him free. He'll return to the Middle East a hero and give firey speeches about... you guessed it, the need for a violent jihad against the West. And he'll claimed to have been torutured too.

I say turn him over to the 9/11 victim's families.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006 7:06:00 PM  

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