Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Day After Thoughts

There's been a bit of hand-wringing over a few issues involved with the killing of Osama bin Laden, and I think each should be addressed in turn:

1) Should President Obama get credit for this? Sure he should--he okayed the operation, and just as Commanders in Chief have to take the blame when our military operations go foul (cough, cough Jimmy Carter) they deserve some credit when they go right. I may not care much for Obama but he deserves his due for this.

2) Is it wrong to exult in OBL's death? I'll admit that generally I don't take any pleasure in the death of another person, even where that death was necessary to prevent greater evil (say, Stalin's death). And, if we'd captured the guy alive, I would have had a problem with executing him, because there's a difference between taking someone out when they're at large versus killing them when they're harmless and at your mercy (as happened with Saddam Hussein, another evil man who deserved death but for whom execution is unseemly). Yes, I adhere to a moral code created in classic westerns. But I think in the case of OBL, cheering this news is entirely appropriate, as it is not just the "justice" of this evil man getting his due, courtesy of the Red White and Blue, but this is also celebrating the fact that this particular master terrorist will never kill again. That alone is worth cheering.

3) What effect will this have on our War on Terror? Well, I'm hoping this gives us the excuse to start pulling out of Afghanistan, since our Nobel Peace Prizewinner president should really get on that. But I doubt it will change the airport security theater that has turned flying into the undignified mess that it is now. Surely a lot of jihadists will be spurred by revenge to strike at us in whatever way they can, and maybe someone will take OBL's place. But we've been decimating Al Quaeda over the years by taking out their top leadership repeatedly, and the second and third stringers aren't likely to be able to pick up the slack. Add their lack of state apparatus and funding cutoffs, and this group becomes less lethal by the day. They can probably do some damage though, so I doubt much is really going to change after this.


  1. You know what the celebrating on Sunday night reminded me of? The West Bank. On Sept. 11. Young people cheering the death of someone they've been taught to hate.

    Not that he didn't deserve one in the head and one in the chest (as the news reports have said), but it makes me wonder how much different we really are.

  2. Foggy--I can't equate the two unless the West Bank cheering crowd was under some impression that the thousands killed on 9/11 were all actual murderers.