Even as we speak, hoards of loyal readers of The Age/Sydney Morning Herald are putting pen to paper about the death of Osama bin Laden to write to the papers claiming, variously, that the death was “murder”, that he “should have faced trial” and that “violence never solves anything”.
Sharper minds than mine have dealt with these issues already but just for the hell of it, here’s my two-cents worth.
It was murder/he should have faced trial.
Personally, I would have loved to see the bastard hauled off in chains to court but that was never going to be a realistic option. The US troops involved in this were apparently given instructions to take him alive if possible but I think things had reached a state where it was unlikely bin Laden was going to stick up his hands and use the Arabic equivalent of “fair enough Guv’nor, you got me bang to rights, I’m coming quietly”.
There was an exchange of gunfire, during which bin Laden was shot dead. I fail to see how this was murder.
Violence never solves anything.
Well, sometimes it does – it certainly did for the fascists pretty good in 1945.
As Obama said in his speech announcing bin Laden’s death, “the American people did not choose this fight” and at the risk of repeating myself, bin Laden chose to attack the US and other western countries not for their vices but for their virtues.
The fact that bin Laden despised the west for its (relative) free, open, secular nature shouldn’t be forgotten.
He wasn’t that fond of Jews or women either.