Miscellaneous musings from the perspective of a lefty (both senses) atheist with a warped sense of humor.

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Location: Madison, WI, United States

I am a geek, but I do have some redeeming social skills. I love other people's dogs, cats, and kids. Snow sucks, but I'm willing to put up with it just to live in Madison.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Dammit! They're NOT Martyrs!

2008 July 10

Letters to the Editor

Re: Does Osama bin Laden still matter?,8599,1819903,00.html

In his report on Osama bin Laden, Peter Bergen writes: “Two of the bombers ... made martyrdom tapes with al-Qaeda's video-production arm.”

Martyrs? Please do not further abuse the English language by associating that word with such terrorists.

True martyrs …
 • are killed for their beliefs by oppressive, intolerant regimes.
 • would much rather keep on living.
 • want to accomplish many more things in THIS world.
 • are helpless to prevent their fate.
 • frequently suffer profoundly before death finally releases them.
 • do not take helpless innocents along with them.
 • have earned our sorrow and sympathy.

None of these conditions apply to the deranged zealots who bomb bazaars full of women and busses full of children. They call themselves martyrs so we will identify with them, feel sorry for them, think of them as victims and ultimately as heroes.

Don’t give them the satisfaction. Don’t play their sick game. Find something else to call them: murderers 1st, suicides 2nd, martyrs not at all. Those aren’t “martyrdom tapes”, they’re “maniac recruitment videos”. Do not continue to sully the memory of real martyrs by likening them to these depraved butchers.


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