On Inspiration

by | April 19, 2007

In the immediate aftermath of the Virginia Tech massacre, it seemed like some conservative commentators were almost hoping that the murderer was an Islamic terrorist. He wasn't. But that hasn't stopped some of these conservative commentators from trying to link Cho Seung Hui to Islamic terrorism. Witness Charles Krauthammer's performance last night on Fox News (via The Corner), during which he discussed the pictures Cho sent to NBC:
If you look at that picture, it draws its inspiration from the manifestos, the iconic photographs of the Islamic suicide bombers over the last half-decade in Palestine, in Iraq, and elsewhere. That's what they end up leaving behind, either on al Jazeera or Palestinian TV. And he, it seems as if his inspiration for leaving the message behind in that way, might have been this kind of suicide attack, which, of course, his was.
Or maybe the picture draws its inspiration from a South Korean movie. Or maybe there was no "inspiration" at all for what Cho did--other than his clearly severe mental illness. But I guess it would be unfair to expect Krauthammer--who only was once a practicing psychiatrist--to consider that possibility. --Jason Zengerle

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//blog/the-plank/inspiration