Topeka Capital-Journal – Nov. 2, 2001
Osama bin Laden has been around so long, hating and killing Americans, that it’s a wonder he’s still alive. You’d think that by design or by accident someone on our side would have found him and made him history, or someone on his side would have turned on him, taken aim, and said, “Go with Allah.”
It’s a near-miracle that nothing bad has happened to him, considering he has made the terrorist rounds, setting up camps, recruiting suicide squads, giving interviews and even going on television to tell us he’s going to kill as many of us as he can.
We have a right to fear him. He apparently has enough money to carry out his threats for years to come, and he has thousands of believers willing to fly airplanes into buildings, or do anything else he asks.
Worst of all, he has time. He’s in no hurry. It could be months, or it could be minutes, before his next scheduled massacre, and it could happen almost anywhere. He has us living in fear, and we’ll continue to live that way until he’s gone.
It can be said of him that he truly is getting away with murder, and to stop him we have to find him, or get lucky with a 500-pound bomb or some subtler weapon, like 500 gallons of napalm in his favorite cave.
The life he’s lived up to now is the stuff of fiction, and the questions keep coming back: How does he get away with it? How much longer is he going to get away with it?
Topekans mulling those questions could be understandably discouraged. They ask: How can we expect this country to ever stop Osama bin Laden if we, the solid, upright, patriotic, fed-up citizens of Topeka, can’t stop a man who has been spreading hate here for years?
We ask, how much longer do we have to put up with a hate-monger who has buffaloed the law, the leadership and the local citizenry into believing he’s untouchable? What is it about him that makes him immune?
Fred Phelps doesn’t preach terrorism or violence, doesn’t threaten to kill anyone, doesn’t deal in weapons, doesn’t equip and train suicide squads, and he doesn’t hide out. He doesn’t need to, because so far nobody has figured out a lawful reason to round him up and herd him out of town. Continue reading