Natural Born Killers

Arthur Bruzzone

May 2007

SAN FRANCISCO, Ca --- Here's the bloody tautology:  Seung Hui Cho was a killer on a mission.  Terrorists are killers on a mission and they share a common volcanic contempt for modern America to justify their killings.

There was nothing wrong with Cho’s brain networks.  An initial autopsy of the Virginia Tech gunman found no brain function abnormalities that could explain the rampage that left 32 people dead at the Blacksburg university. So reported the Washington Post.

There was nothing wrong with Cho’s family life. His father worked hard in Saudi Arabia to finance the family’s move to America.  I worked in Saudi Arabia.  The Korean nationals are the hardest working foreign workers in the Kingdom. 

Both Cho and terrorists aim for the maximum killing effect.  Cho chained the doors of the study hall to prevent escape.  Bombers in Iraq use double suicide bombers, one for the initial attack, the second to slaughter those fleeing.  The World Trade Towers were bombed at the start of the work day, when the buildings were filled with workers.

Both “staged” their events for the media.  Cho carefully prepared a media kit and mailed it to NBC in between his murder sprees.  Middle East terrorists broadcast taped beheadings and roadside bombings, and later make DVD’s available for future viewings.  The World Trade bombings were carefully timed so an shocked American audience would be watching as a second plane followed the first horrific crash, and a third hit the Pentagon.

Both are willing to die in the carnage, wrapping a faint nobility in their deeds, a fitting culmination of their rage.

The parallel is most complete when you examine the words of  Seung Hui Cho’s words and those of Osama Bin Laden and his  teacher, Sayyid Qutb. 

First some background.

Sayyid was an Egyptian author, Islamist, and the leading intellectual of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in the 1950s and 60s. Most important, he is also  known as the man who's ideas would shape Al Qaeda. He was recently featured in the PBS series, America at the Crossroads. 

In the late forties, Sayyid studied in America at the University of Northern Colorado.  It was there he developed his contemptuous views of American Society, views that mirror Seung Hui Cho’s. They shared a psychological profile. At the university, Sayyid was known for "his introvertedness, isolation, depression."  Sounds familiar. He despised all those around him. He described American women as follows: “the American girl is well acquainted with her body's seductive capacity. She knows it lies in the face, and in expressive eyes, and thirsty lips..She shows all this and does not hide it.”  Seung Hui Cho wrote:  “You had everything you wanted. Your Mercedes wasn't enough, you brats. Your golden necklaces weren't enough, you snobs. Your trust funds wasn't enough. Your vodka and cognac wasn't enough. All your debaucheries weren't enough. Those weren't enough to fulfil your hedonistic needs. You had everything.”

Bin Laden wrote, “God knows it did not cross our minds to attack the towers but after the situation became unbearable, I thought about it… it occurred to me punish the unjust the same way (and) to destroy towers in America so it could taste some of what we are tasting and to stop killing our children and women.” 

Cho wrote: “I didn't have to do this. I could have left. I could have fled. But no, I will no longer run. It's not for me. For my children, for my brothers and sisters that you (expletive). I did it for them.”

The twisted mind workings of hate-based, justifying killers.

This is lesson of the Virginia Tech slaughter. The country faces grave dangers.

If you encounter a mountain lion on a trail, you don’t ask why the lion wants to devour you.  You ask only one question:  what are you going to do about it – flee, freeze or fight. That is the only question America needs to ask in face of natural born killers like Seung Hui Cho and Middle East terrorists.

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