Harry Truman vs.Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
The New Yorker has a detailed article, like most of their excellent writings, on the so-called mastermind of 9-11....KSM, who should have been the original target after the terrorist attacks rather than Osana Bin Ladin. We have the terrorist in custody, and we could have claimed a clean victory and forgot about the other one who really has been more talk than action.
In the article, KSM displays the same type of wit that you can garner from the quips of Harry S Truman that have been recorded. Neither one of these guys would ever be accused of being an intellectual or very deep, and both have left their marks on history in the terrorism department. I think neither ever has or will lose a night of good sleep thinking of their victims, either.
KSM masterminded the 9-11 attacks which have changed history, and HST gave the green light to the nuclear bombings of civilian Japanese populations that hastened the end of wwII, but also pioneered a horror that still haunts our human race, and may until we all are extinct.
KSM's terrorism was an attempt to draw the attention of the USA's population to the desire of Islamic extremists to see us withdraw entirely from the middle east. And, lest we forget, was met with dancing in the streets and celebrations in places like Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan. The man enjoys hero status in those places, even as we look at him as Satan's spawn.
HST dropped the atomic bombs to save lives of US servicemen preparing for a land invasion of the Japan mainland, and also the lives of the Japanese that would have died during the invasion, and to undoubtedly show the Russians, who had a huge army hurrying to take part in the conquest and occupation of the Japanese mainland,too , that the USA was not going to set back and let them control any part of Japan. Truman was not the same old man that Stalin had bested at Yalta, and Truman made some pragmatic decisions that were good ones, even though they were barbaric and horrific.
Does anyone doubt, though, that if somehow the Japanese had been able to rebound, maybe with atomic weapons of their own, and to win WW II , that the fate of HST would have been sealed as that of a war criminal? Do you doubt that HST would have also been confined into a cage awaiting execution....just like KSM currently is?
Something to think about, in the week of remembrance following the 9-11 attacks: Our terrorist may be someone else's hero, and vice versa.
Even though Plato probably never said it, and the Spanish intellectual George Santayana was probably the mind that originated it, the following quote is a sobering one:
Only the dead have seen the end of war.