Wednesday, August 04, 2004

One Wife to Another

MEMRI has translated this "Letter" to the wife of Paul Johnson -- the American beheaded in June in Saudi Arabia-- purportedly written by the wife of an Islamist terrorist who was killed by security forces in Saudi Arabia. There's some confusion here, because though the text identifies her as "the wife of a martyr," the signature is "By the Mother of the Martyr."

The original appeared in Sawt al-Jihad ("Voice of Jihad"), an al Qaida-linked publication, under the title, "A Letter to the Wife of the Slain Pagan Paul Johnson from the Wife of One of the Martyrs." It's not explained when or where the woman's husband was killed.

Johnson's wife is not some caricature of American evil. She is a dark-skinned woman named Thanom. She is a Thai citizen. She wears a headscarf in public. During the crisis of his captivity, her published statements were words such as, "When I see pictures of my husband, I hurt so much, I fall to the floor. He is sick man, he need medicine. He hasn't done anything wrong."

When the "wife of a martyr" stops ranting and insulting this helpless woman, and tries to make a point, her point is that Johnson deserved to die, he was "one of the greatest criminals indeed" because he worked on Apache helicopters (she calls them "airplanes"), which are used by the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Israelis, and by the Saudi security forces.

Here are some delightful excerpts:

"I have heard that you appeared on television feigning innocence and wondering haughtily what was your husband's sin and what was his crime. I believe you are not ignorant of the fact that he was one of the greatest criminals indeed, although he is not considered that according to your standards, you infidels."

She rails against the world, for showing concern over Johnson's case but, so she says, not speaking up to that degree about the Guantanamo detentions. Aside from the fact that no one has been killed in Guantanamo, and that there is a legal process in place for either trying or releasing the detainees there, she obviously hasn't been following the worldwide outcry over American "war crimes."

"When your husband was taken hostage, there was much talk and the world was shaken. However, these same people did not speak half as much when America, the so-called country of justice and liberty, has been detaining more than 600 Muslims in Cuba for the past three years. That is besides our prisoners in Iraq, Pakistan, the land of the Two Sacred Mosques [Saudi Arabia], Jordan, and other places.

You should know that our brethren whom you detain in your prisons and our brethren whom your husband used to burn with his helicopters are not alone. Rather, there are hearts pounding with love for them, just as you have demonstrated that you have loved your slain husband. Nay, we love them more than you can imagine because the blood of a Muslim is for us more precious than the Ka'ba , but the blood of your husband is the blood of a dog because he is an idolatrous infidel."
[Emphasis added]

Like bin Laden, she wants Americans to leave the Arabian peninsula. Some people read that and say, "well, that seems reasonable." But they never seem to read the whole quote. Like bin Laden, she wants the Americans to leave "lowly and humiliated." If they simply up and leave (and they have cleared out of Saudi Arabia pretty thoroughly), that doesn't answer the purpose. They have to be defeated so utterly that they know it unmistakably. And of course the U.S. military presence is an offense, not because it is military, but because it is American -- Judeo-Christian/secular, in a word, indifel. All that land is "off limits" to any of us.

"We are just getting started and the corpse of your husband shall be followed by mountains of corpses of his countrymen, until they leave the country of our Prophet, Allah's prayer and peace upon him, lowly and humiliated. How can you claim innocence for your husband, Allah's curse on him, while you have been hearing the warnings of the Mujahideen calling you to leave our country that is forbidden for you? You however shut your ears and went obstinately with your wrongdoing. This is your penalty. May you shed tears mixed with blood, just as we wept blood because of your airplanes and your troops."

She calls Johnson "the real terrorist," after informing us it was lucky for us that her husband, who presumably is not "the real terrorist," accomplished his purpose for us.

"When my husband was killed you certainly were not interested, nor did you know about it; and if you had known, you probably would have been pleased that he was killed before he reached your husband and his countrymen. However, I find solace in the fact that the Mujahideen were able to reach their target with precision, and they killed your husband by slaughtering him. By Allah, on that day I rejoiced a lot because the real terrorist was killed having been gorged with the blood of our Muslim children."

And, it can't be more clear than this:

"I don't know whether you know that we hate you, infidels, and we loathe you to the bone. ... Tell the government, which has appointed itself over us [i.e. the Saudi government], that what they do with our youth who are engaged in Jihad is good: If you kill them, you thereby send them to heaven in the shortest way, Allah willing; and if you let them stay alive, not having overcome them, that is fine for they will fight you and will force out the infidels form the land of Islam."

"Go ahead and kill us, we like it, and if you don't, we will kill you." Have it your way, then.