May 1, 2011

Bin Laden Dead

One has to be uncomfortable in celebrating the death of anyone. It is difficult not to be happy to learn that Osama bin Laden has been killed by U.S. forces in Pakistan, however. Celebrating this death seems to be in the same category as expressing satisfaction with the death of Adolph Hitler.

The President suggested that justice has been done. That is perhaps not true, but what would justice for bin Laden really look like?


  1. A very judicious response.

    I have appreciated this from Mark Twain that I have seen on Twitter: "I've never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure."

    Should I be happy? Probably not. But I am.

  2. Some of the celebrations in the United States were eerily similar to the expressions of mass hatred towards the West common on the streets of Islamic countries. So that's another moral high ground bulldozed flat.

  3. Justice would have been being able to capture and try him and then keeping him in prison until his natural death so he could do no further harm.

    Even leaving aside the fact that the US has the death penalty, that solution might not have been politically acceptable as he would still have been a living cult figure to his followers, a little like Nelsons Mandela was for us. And that has huge mobilising potential.

    Quiet relief is probably an acceptable response.


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