Do Craig and Cindy Corrie Want Justice or Media Attention?
by Bill Levinson
“There’s not a lot of money in revenge.”
–Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride
Inigo Montoya had to take odd jobs for questionable characters like Vizzini because there is indeed very little money in the revenge business, so Montoya owned little more than his sword and his honor. Had he been offered expenses-paid trips to exotic locales, appearances before the era’s media, and so on in exchange for allowing his father’s murderer to escape justice, he would have preferred his sword and his honor instead. This puts this fictional character head and shoulders above Craig and Cindy Corrie, who seem to prefer media attention over genuine justice for their daughter. The Poles would call the Corries haniebny: shameless and without honor.
The death of Rachel Corrie has certainly given her parents the opportunity for worldwide travel to places like Argentina, as well as to Israel and many American cities where they are the center of media attention. If they sought genuine justice against those who were most directly responsible for their daughter’s death, as any person of honor would do, these travel and media opportunities would dry up pretty quickly.
The media has little interest in reckless, irresponsible, and relatively nameless drifters and activists. To put this statement in perspective, suppose a nameless thug or gang member murders somebody in a back alley. It is unlikely that newspapers outside the city in which the crime took place will give the investigation or trial more than passing coverage. When the suspect’s name is O.J. Simpson or (in the case of animal abuse) Michael Vick, the case gets national attention. A drunk driving arrest or conviction similarly gets maybe one or two paragraphs in the local paper unless the accused is somebody like Paris Hilton, Mel Gibson, or Lindsay Lohan; then the whole country if not the entire world knows about it.
The purported “murder” of an American peace activist by an advanced and civilized democracy* like Israel similarly gets worldwide media attention, and those who knowingly, willfully, and recklessly put Rachel Corrie’s life at risk said as much.
“When Palestinians get shot by Israeli soldiers, no one is interested anymore,” [International Solidarity Movement leader George] Rishmawi said. “But if some of these foreign volunteers get shot or even killed, then the international media will sit up and take notice.”
Joseph Smith, who was present when Rachel Corrie died and whose highest priority seemed to be to take pictures instead of, for example, trying to get her out of the bulldozer’s path, said, “The spirit that she died for is worth a life. This idea of resistance, this spirit of resisting this brutal occupying force, is worth anything. And many, many, many Palestinians give their lives for it all the time. So the life of one international, I feel, is more than worth the spirit of resisting oppression.”
Rachel Corrie’s life, of course, not Joseph Smith’s life. We know a pair of six-letter words for a “man,” and we use “man” very loosely, who allows or encourages a woman to take a physical risk he will not take himself: YELLOW and COWARD. One of the Palestinians whom Rachel was there to help meanwhile lamented only that he had no video camera with which to make a snuff film of her death.
- “Making of a Martyr” by Sandra Jordan
“‘If only they’d had a video camera,’ one Palestinian journalist lamented. ‘A film of the Israelis killing an American in cold blood would have ended the intifada.’”
He is not sorry that Rachel Corrie died, he is sorry that his friends did not have the opportunity to make a snuff film for propaganda purposes.
The problem with Craig and Cindy Corrie going after the International Solidarity Movement in the court of public opinion if not a court of law is that the ISM consists of a bunch of losers, drifters, and nobodies like George Rishmawi, Joseph Smith, Adam Shapiro, Huwaida Arraf, and so on. The media is not interested in these lowlifes, and the ISM’s complicity in causing Rachel Corrie’s death would not be very interesting. “Man bites dog” is always more of a story than “Dog bits man” and that, or else a total hoodwinking by the ISM, is why the Corries are going after Israel and Caterpillar instead.
If Craig and Cindy Corrie read this, here are some hard facts for you:
(1) As proven above, and not from pro-Israel sources, the International Solidarity Movement and the Palestinians expressed motives for wanting your daughter dead. Among those who expressed such a motive was an individual who was present when she died. To this we add a Hamas terrorist who said openly that Rachel was more useful to his cause dead than alive.
(2) As shown below, Rachel’s “friends” in the International Solidarity Movement knowingly, willfully, and recklessly endangered her life. Her death did not come out of the blue, with a bulldozer driver suddenly deciding to run over her. The ISM’s own testimony shows at least two close calls with bulldozers earlier in the day, although the drivers’ actions came quickly enough to avoid a tragedy. Rachel’s “friend” Joseph Smith said openly that the ISM knew there was a risk of death or serious injury, and the fact that the ISM went ahead and did it anyway meets the definition of recklessness. Maybe the ISM cannot be held criminally or civilly accountable because Rachel consented to the risk, but the bottom line is that your daughter’s so-called friends encouraged her to engage in a dangerous activity that cost her life.
“Picture taken between 3:00-4:00PM, 16 March 2003, Rafah, Occupied Gaza. Rachel Corrie (L) and Nick (R) oppose the potential destruction of this home (to the west of the Doctor’s home where Rachel was killed). In the instance pictured, the bulldozer did not stop and Rachel was pinned between the scooped earth and the fence behind her. On this occasion, the driver stopped before seriously injuring her.”
http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/3-22-2003-37821.asp (“Making of a Martyr” by Sandra Jordan
” Joe Smith, 21, who went to college with Corrie, said that, although they acknowledged the danger, they saw death as a ‘small, unlikely, potential risk’.”
‘We knew there was a risk,’ Smith said, ‘but we also knew it never happened in the two years that we (the ISM) have been working here. I knew we take lots of precautions so that it doesn’t happen, that if it did happen it would have to be an intentional act by a soldier, in which case it would bring a lot of publicity and significance to the cause.’
Right; Joseph Smith said it was “unlikely” that something bad would happen but that, if it did, it would be great for his activist cause. In other words, his own words express the ISM’s motive for wanting your daughter dead in a confrontation with Israel. Furthermore, the fact that another driver managed to stop barely in time to avoid killing Rachel earlier in the day showed just how likely a tragedy was if the ISM continued to engage in this form of protest.
We cannot give legal advice but here is how the law defines recklessness.
- Recklessness usually arises when an accused is actually aware of the potentially adverse consequences to the planned actions, but has gone ahead anyway, exposing a particular individual or unknown victim to the risk of suffering the foreseen harm but not actually desiring that the victim be hurt. The accused is a social danger because they gamble with the safety of others, and the fact they might acted to try to avoid the injury from occurring is relevant only to mitigate the sentence.
The ISM’s own testimony shows that it was “actually aware of the potentially adverse consequences” (getting run over by a heavy piece of construction equipment) “but went ahead anyway,” thus recklessly endangering your daughter’s life and the lives of everybody else who participated. Maybe this isn’t legally actionable because Rachel was a consenting party to the reckless activity but the ISM can damned well be held accountable in the court of public opinion. Somebody who eggs somebody on and encourages him or her to take a reckless chance is at least morally responsible for the consequences.
Craig and Cindy Corrie, you have our sympathy for the loss of your daughter and, if we could somehow go back in time to prevent it, we would. The fact that we did not agree with some of the things she was doing, like burning an American flag, does not mean she deserved to die or even suffer serious injury. If every college student suffered these kind of consequences for one or two acts of poor judgment, few would survive to graduate. On the other hand, your persistence in attempting to inflict punishment that should rightfully fall on the International Solidarity Movement on innocent third parties makes it our duty to treat you as enemies of a democracy that is friendly to the United States, and as enablers of the terrorists who attack Israel’s Rachels. There are many girls and women with that name whom the International Solidarity Movement’s friends have murdered in cold blood.
You must now choose between the path of honor and the path of self-serving media attention. The path of honor consists in making sure that the International Solidarity Movement will never again place somebody else’s son or daughter at risk the way it recklessly endangered yours. The path of honor will make sure that no other Rachel Corrie is run over by a bulldozer, shot (possibly by a Hamas sniper) during a confrontation with Israeli security forces, or killed on a Gaza flotilla ship when terrorists on that ship initiate a conflict with Israel’s navy. You should in fact join us in warning all Americans against joining the U.S. Boat to Gaza because it is in Hamas’ interests to make something bad happen to that ship, and note also that a large number of people on the Mavi Marmara initiated armed violence with Israeli security forces. The next Rachel Corrie could easily end up dead if, for example, an individual on the Audacity of Hope pointed a weapon, or something that looked like one, at an Israeli patrol ship or helicopter.
There won’t be nearly as many cameras and microphones on the path of honor and justice, but we guarantee that the company will smell a lot better and will stand with you for REAL justice for your daughter.
* By “democracy” we mean any country that is governed with the consent of those governed, in contrast to a monarchy or dictatorship. Few if any countries on Freedom House’s list of free countries are actual democracies like ancient Athens; Israel, Canada, and the United Kingdom have parliamentary systems while the United States is a Republic.