Thursday, April 19, 2007


Make no mistake about it.

With the emergence of the sickening video that Cho Seung-Hui sent to NBC in an unbelievably calculated move, mailing it between his first murder and the second rampage, it is clear that he deserves to be remembers not as a pathetic loner but as a terrorist, driven by ideology to inflict maximum suffering upon the "guilty."

And the guilty in Cho's world were kids he perceived as rich or spoiled. Kids he saw as filled with debauchery.

His hatred is breathtaking, almost as breathtaking as his actions.

For those who have seen the snippets of Cho's videotaped manifesto, now filling the airwaves, there is a striking similarity to so-called "martyr" tapes made by Palestinian murderers or members of Al Qaeda. There is the same warped sense of religious purpose, the serving of a deity who desires the murder of innocents.

There is the aggrieved sense of some sin committed by the victims, the delusion that the impending act of suicide/murder will have a cleansing effect, restore some cosmic balance.

Was Cho victimized? Picked on as a kid? Subjected to racist comments? Abused even by the stepfather he eludes to?

The answer is who the hell cares.

With information slowly emerging about the victims of his hatred, one thing we know is that his own suffering or hardship as a young boy could not compare with that one of his victims: Professor Liviu Librescu, the Romanian Holocaust survivor.

Professor Librescu's suffering did not turn him into a suicide killer, even against the Nazis who imprisoned his family. His suffering inspired him to rise above adversity. His final act was a heroic act, sacrificing himself to allow his beloved students to escape.

He stands now, I am convinced, in the center of the great quadrangle of heaven, comforting the spirits of the students who were not so fortunate to have him as their protector.

As Cho's video makes its way through the internet and airwaves, let us not fall into the trap of viewing him as a victim driven to a desperate act. When all else is taken from us, we still have free will.

Cho freely chose the path of death and destruction, plotting his spectacular act of terrorism in a manner that has earned him a permanent place in Hell.

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