Ross Caputi, a Marine who served in the American occupation of Fallujah, Iraq, recently published in article in the Guardian which I found extremely powerful. Caputi was writing on the recent conviction of Tarek Mehanna, a Muslim American who was found guilty of conspiracy and giving material support for terrorism. He was sentenced to 17 years in prison. Caputi had the following to say in the beginning of his article:
… if Tarek Mehanna is guilty, so am I. I, too, support the right of Muslims to defend themselves against US troops, even if that means they have to kill them, and I try to give the Iraqi resistance a voicethrough my website. I have done everything that Tarek Mehanna has done, and there are only two possibilities as to why I am not sitting in a cell with him: first, the FBI is incompetent and hasn’t been able to smoke me out; second, the US judicial system would never dream of violating my freedom of speech because I am white and I am a veteran of the occupation of Iraq.
I found Caputi’s argument both striking and persuasive. Indeed, he powerfully communicated what I’ve been writing about for the past several years, mainly that we, as Americans, have a gross double-standard when it comes to identifying ‘terrorism’.
I highly recommend the article at the Guardian.