Friday, May 05, 2006

A good day for American justice

Zacharias Moussaoui has finally been convicted. His last words as he was led away was "America: You lost. I won,”. As he spends the rest of his life in jail, he'll have time to reflect on exactly what it was he won. The real winner of course was American justice which for too long has had its reputation soiled by Guantanamo, by Abu Ghraib, and by the use of the death penalty.

Unlike his friends in Al-Qaeda who murdered their victims in the most brutal way simply for being American, Zacharias Moussaoui received a fair trial and had a legal team provided by the American taxpayer. The US Government sought to have Moussaoui executed to compensate for its embarrassing failure to prevent 9/11, but despite everything, the jury decided to spare his life. In the end American justice triumphed.

As Gerard Baker put it, America won back something it has lost a little of in the past few years. It reminded a world that has grown a bit doubtful that the United States still represents the very highest ideals of humanity — freedom, fairness, compassion and above all, justice.