Heroes & Villains

I know you’re all probably getting sick of hearing about Osama Bin Laden and the “War on Terror” by now.  And I promise I will get back to stories of booze and boobs tomorrow, after this one last, final rant on our war with Islam.

The “War on Terror” did not start on 9/11, 2001.  And it did not end with Osama Bin Laden’s death.  If you’ll permit me just a couple minutes, I’d like to take you on a very quick journey through recent history.  Below are a few people you should never forget:

— John O’Neill.

John O’Neill was an FBI agent obsessed with the threat of Al Qaeda long before most of us had even heard of the terrorist organization.  Starting in 1995, when he helped capture one of the leaders of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, he spent the next six years tracking Al Qaeda and Bin Laden and sounding the alarm about the threat they posed.  In a sad irony not even Hollywood could have dreamed up, after O’Neill left the FBI due to disagreements over the handling of the USS Cole investigation, he took his next job in August, 2001, as head of security at the World Trade Center.  He died less than three weeks later in the second tower on 9/11.

For the complete story, read the New Yorker article here.

— Leon Klinghoffer

Leon Klinghoffer was a retired American businessman, confined to a wheelchair.  A peaceful man, with no ties to the military or any form of law enforcement, Klinghoffer was on a cruise with his wife for their 36th anniversary aboard the Achille Lauro when it was hijacked by a faction of the Palestinian Liberation Organization in October of 1985.  (16 years before 9/11.)

During the hijacking, Klinghoffer was singled out for being both an American and a Jew.  He was executed, shot in the head and chest, and both he and his wheelchair were thrown overboard off the coast of Syria.

The leader of the hijacking, Abu Abbas, escaped prosecution for his involvement in Klinghoffer’s murder by fleeing through several communist countries before finally settling down in Iraq.  There he was sheltered by Saddam Hussein for almost 20 years before finally being captured in 2003.  (Don’t ever say Saddam and Iraq weren’t involved in terrorism.)

— Robert Stethem

US Navy Seabee Robert Dean Stethem was aboard TWA Flight 847 in June of 1985 when it was hijacked by members of Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad.  (Isn’t it funny how the same groups that were hijacking planes twenty-some years ago are now passing themselves off as legitimate political parties in the “peace process” with Israel?)

Stethem was singled out by the terrorists for being an American serviceman.  They beat him, tortured him, and finally shot him in the head and threw his body on the tarmac of Beirut International Airport.

One of the hijackers, Mohammed Ali Hammadi, was caught two years later in Germany, attempting to smuggle explosives.  He was convicted of Stethem’s murder and sentenced to life in prison.  However, he was paroled in 2005.  In June of 2010 he was killed by a US bomb near the Pakistan-Afghan border.

— Imad Mughniyah

You should never forget Imad Mughniyah either, but for far different reasons.  One of the worst terrorists ever, Mughniyah was behind more attacks and murders than we can even begin to fathom.  Just a few of these include the aforementioned hijacking of TWA Flight 847; the bombing of the US Embassy in Beirut in 1983 (sixty-plus killed); the Marine barracks bombing, also in Beirut in 1983 (241 Marines killed); and the bombing of the Isreali Embassy in Argentina in 1992 (29 killed).

Mughniyah evaded capture much longer than Osama Bin Laden, but eventually he also met his demise.  In February of 2008 he was killed on the street in Damascus, Syria by a car bomb exploded as he walked by.  It is still not known whether he was assassinated by Israeli intelligence or by a rival faction within the incestuous world of Islamic fundamentalism.  But as long as he’s dead that’s all that matters to me.

And there you have it.  Three heroes and a handful of monsters.  Don’t forget any of them.  Notice two of the heroes were murdered long before Osama Bin Laden ever came along, long before Al Qaeda was a household word.  And notice none of the monsters had any direct links to Bin Laden or Al Qaeda, and yet each of them died quite recently right in the middle of the “War on Terror.”

This war isn’t over.  Not by a long shot.



  1. Very well done!

  2. Thanks for this piece. It is important for us to remember that just because one terrorist is dead that the war is not over. Now will someone really tell me what happened on 9/11?

    Yours Truley,

    Captain Conspiracy

    • Did you read the New Yorker article I linked on John O’Neill. They made a PBS Frontline episode about it, blew me away. Literally the first time in my life I changed the channel from an Illini football game.

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