Paul Johnson is an American who loved Saudi Arabia, lived in Saudi Arabia and made his home in Saudi Arabia. He is a loyal American and seems to have been a good man. He was murdered by terrorists Friday. The great Andy McCarthy had the following reaction on National Review's The Corner:
MEMO TO DEMOCRATS, THE NEW YORK TIMES, & CO. [Andy McCarthy]
Every time you parade the Abu Ghraib photos, every time you parrot the patently ridiculous pretension by these repulsive murderers that decapitations are motivated by what those photos depict -- rather than by a belief system that exudes hatred and murder -- you are guaranteeing that there will be more Daniel Pearls, Nick Bergs and, now, Paul Johnsons. You are telling these monsters that they get a free ride: They get to kill, which they would do anyway, and they get to have you tell the world that the proximate cause of the killing is the U.S. government rather than militant Islam. Scorecard: al Qaeda - win, win; America: lose, lose; Americans: die, die.
There are two possible story lines here: choice (a) Paul Johnson was viciously beheaded today, becoming just the latest of thousands of victims slaughtered by a menace that cannot be managed, need not be culturally understood, and must be totally eradicated; or choice (b) Paul Johnson died today; an Arabic website, upon first breaking the news, explained that his death was retaliation for the scandalous abuse of Iraqi prisoners by occupying U.S. forces in Baghdad, where the Bush administration is alleged to have employed harsh interrogation tactics -- in violation of the Geneva Conventions -- in order to press for intelligence about weapons of mass destruction which have yet to be found.
Anybody have the slightest doubt which choice we'll be reading and seeing?
Ten minutes later, McCarthy followed up:
SURPRISE [Andy McCarthy]
The winner, already, is choice (b). This just in from Reuters:
After describing the three photos of "what appeared to be Paul Marshall Johnson's severed head[,]" the story elaborates:
"This act of revenge is to heal the hearts of believers in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq and the Arabian Peninsula," the statement said.
"This is God's voice rising in anger... at the treatment of Muslims in Abu Ghraib, al-Hair (prison), Guantanamo, Ruwais (Saudi prison) and others," it added, referring to U.S. military prisons in Abu Ghraib, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Johnson was an employee of defense contractor Lockheed Martin, which manufactures U.S. helicopter gunships.
The statement said al Qaeda had killed him because of "what Muslims have suffered from American Apache planes and their rockets."