Response to “The 9/11 of 1859”
Similarities in “strike force” and belief in religious purpose do not justify even a mild comparison of John Brown and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. For starters, John Brown was not solely dedicated to the suffering of others. Rather he was a man dedicated to creating a free and just country who acknowledged the cost of the emancipation of slaves. Free from the constraints of racism, John Brown died “for the furtherance of the ends of justice.” Although his actions were, admittedly, slightly misguided, would anything less have brought significant attention to slavery, an institution oppressive in itself? In the name of white supremacy, thousands of slaves were murdered, overworked, punished for disobedience. John Brown brought the issue of slavery, as an institution, to the forefront rather than masking it in a veil of free-soil advocacy, which manipulated slavery as a means to achieving a political and economic advantage.
I would be remiss if I do not acknowledge the complexity of the civil war. Yes, John Brown helped catalyze the civil war, a war that would lead to tremendous casualties on both sides. But he did so as part of a multitude of other accusations the South would levy against the North, in respect to “Southern Rights.” The civil war was not simply an overreaction to John Brown’s raid. Most importantly, his actions were guided by a just and moral desire to abolish human bondage. What was Khalid Shaikh Mohammed’s, “the architect of the 9/11 attacks”, cause? A global jihad designed to create as much carnage as possible.
John Brown and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed simply cannot be rightly equated, on any level.