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What To Do With John Walker

1238 words - 5 pages

What to do with John Walker? Since September 11, 2001, all Americans can think about is getting even with the Taliban and Osama bin Laden. So, when an American young man is found fighting for the Taliban and not for the United States, turmoil erupted and we, as Americans, became the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, shouting "Off with his head." But what of this young man-this 20-year-old boy? Was he brainwashed like his father comments or is he just against Americans? Claudia Rosett, author of "Johnnie Walker on the Rocks," Michael Kinsley, author of "Forgiving John Walker," and John Cloud author of "U.S. v. Lindh, Round 1" each express their opinion on what should be done about ...view middle of the document...

The weakest argument is that Rosett does not go farther with what she thinks about Walker. She says that a line has been crossed and that the readers should connect the dots, but what about what should be done with him? In contrast, the article "Forgiving John Walker," written by Michael Kinsley, says that John Walker has, of course, made a mistake, but everyone does and he needs a second chance. According to the article, Attorney General John Ashcroft wants to "make an example" of Walker, but whom to, Kinsley asks. He points out that we do not have a problem with young Americans wanting to join the Taliban. Kinsley also asks, "Is Ashcroft here confirming his reputation as someone who brings more enthusiasm than reflection to the process of trying people and punishing them?" President George W. Bush says, "When I was young and irresponsible, I was young and irresponsible," and he says about Walker that, "this poor fellow obviously has been misled." Kinsley says, "Walker obviously has been irresponsible in ways the young George W. never contemplated." Moreover, as Kinsley points out, Walker played some unknown but small and ineffectual role in defending Afghanistan from an attack by the United States and he does support what happened on September 11, which is, as Kinsley says, "repellent but not a crime." Walker has not any special treatment, and will probably not face any while on trial. What Kinsley is trying to get across is that though Walker did all this, he still is an American citizen and deserves a chance to tell his story and have someone fight for him. Kinsley ends his article by saying, "The superior benefits of American citizenship are "˜why they hate us,' as the President points out, and what we're fighting to protect. Now that the Taliban is defeated, even John Walker has the right of every American to forget about Afghanistan." In my opinion, Kinsley's strongest argument is about how it is not proven what John Walker has done wrong except for supporting the attack on September 11, which of course is not illegal, just unpatriotic. In my opinion, I do not think Kinsley has a weak argument. I...

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