Okay, so headlines all across America said it yesterday: "America, you lost!... I won!" This was the response from Zacarias Moussaoui to a jury's decision to recommend life in prison rather than the death penalty for his role in the 9/11 attacks.
Now, far be it from me to contradict the esteemed deranged terrorist loony, but I must disagree.
You seem to be under the impression that you've won something because the jury decided to let you rot in a federal prison rather than granting you the martyrdom that you've been gagging for since the 9/11 attacks were in the planning stages. Allow me to correct you on a few points.
First of all, let me remind you that even the jury could tell you were little more than a "bit player" in the attacks on September 11. If I recall correctly, al-Qaeda didn't even want you on the planes that day; they tucked you away for another attack later on down the line. Sure. Another attack. A later attack. Did you really believe that when they said it to you? Have you seen American Dreamz?
But let's go ahead and assume that there really was a subsequent attack planned, and that Osama bin Laden wasn't just trying to get you out of the way so he could carry off his terror attack without your Three-Stooges-esque incompetence screwing things up. Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that you really did have an attack of your own to carry out. How'd that work out for you? I don't seem to recall further fear, bloodshed or loss of life in the months following 9/11, and that might just be because you got caught. You killed no one. You got the attention of no one. You struck fear into the hearts of no one. The sole purpose of a terrorist is to instill others with terror; what do we call a terrorist who couldn't terrorize the binky out of a two-year-old? A loser.
So that's pretty much where you stand, Zack. No martyrdom. No virgins. No fame, no terror. Your name will become a footnote in a textbook, forever preserved in history as a guy who didn't blow up so much as a Ruby Tuesday's. All you've won is a lifelong hitch in Florence, Colorado, a soundproof cell in the "Alcatraz of the Rockies," where you'll disappear and be forgotten just as easily as that terror attack you failed to pull off. And when some three-hundred-pound bald man named Tiny is making you his woman, I hope you'll be able to yell, "You lost! I won!" and I hope it'll give you some comfort.