I've believed for a long time that most conservatives are thoroughly craven, cowards to the core, and afraid of their own shadows. They're terrified of change, terrified of anyone who doesn't look like themselves, and indeed are even terrified of their own neighbors. Watching C-SPAN this weekend didn't change my mind.
The news that shaped much of the discussion, both by the on-camera experts and pundits and the folks calling in, was the announcement that the US Justice Department will place Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four alleged co-conspirators on trial in federal court in New York City on charges they were involved in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. I swear every single right-winger, both on camera and via telephone or Twitter, was practically paralytic with fear.
Fear of what? Another terrorist attack if we put these guys on trial, among other things. Will not trying Mohammed et al. prevent another terrorist attack? Obviously, no. There are always going to be fanatics out there, some in this country and some overseas, who decide they hate something or someone (the government, family planning clinics, banks and/or bankers) and then act on that hatred.
I've always thought we as a nation have made a huge mistake in the way we dealt with the 9/11 attacks. We elevated a group of low-life thugs to the level of being military equals instead of labeling them as the criminals they are. We helped turn Al Qaeda into heroes, freedom fighters protecting Islam from the Christian crusaders, when they should have been framed as common criminals who got lucky. (Osama bin Laden is on record on saying they never thought the towers would fall; they also didn't believe they'd succeed in hijacking all four planes.) We helped legitimize them within the Muslim world when we should have been doing the opposite. Trying Mohammed and his fellow lowlifes in criminal court instead of in front of a military tribunal is a good first step towards changing their image.