John Walker May Be No Fluke
WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND
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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