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John Walker May Be No Fluke

WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND

By David C. Stolinsky | March 2002
David C. Stolinsky, M.D., who is of the Jewish faith, lives in Los Angeles. He is retired after 25 years of medical school teaching at the University of California at San Francisco and the University of Southern California. An earlier and shorter version of this article appeared on the website NewsMax.com, and is used with permission.

Much has been written about how John Walker — or John Walker Lindh or Abdul Hamid or whatever he calls himself today — is a traitor. But a traitor to what?

Many consider him a traitor to the U.S. That, strictly speaking, is a legal question. Aside from that, one might consider him a traitor to Western civilization and the Judeo-Christian tradition. But the real question is this: How can he be called a traitor to something that he never really was a member of, or that he was hardly familiar with?

That is, what did he learn from his parents, his church, his community, and his schools? Were traditions and deep beliefs handed down to him, which he later discarded? Or, as now seems likely, were few or no such traditions and beliefs taught to him? In that case, is it accurate to call him a traitor? If so, a traitor to what?

One thing I am sure of — I was much more fortunate than Walker. I grew up in a different America, one so different that today’s America sometimes seems like a foreign country.

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