Wanted: Dead or Alive!
There was no practical reason to capture Osama Bin Laden. Too complicated. Harsh interrogation not permitted by either the military or the CIA. Name, rank and serial number. That’s about it. Locally arrested criminals probably wouldn’t fare as well. Besides that Bin Laden would have been a walking and talking piece of propaganda and there would have been a really big controversy on how to try or, even, who should try him.
Of course, the point is that he wasn’t a common criminal. He was the actual and spiritual leader of a world-wide violent jihad against infidels, particularly Americans and Jews. He was Johnny one note. His life was dedicated to killing, not persuading. He was at war with the rest of the world including parts of the Muslim world. In short, this was and still is war.
He was killed while at war. How and when he was killed doesn’t really matter. Whether he was armed, unarmed, whether he had weapons or his guards had weapons is irrelevant unless you’re looking for reasons not to kill him or agree with his cause.
The raid on his home in Pakistan was daring and incredibly risky. Had this gone wrong, as it could have in a hundred ways, it could have been a military and political disaster. President Obama took it. Good for him.
Not surprisingly at all there is negative fall out. The Pakistani’s, of course, didn’t like their sovereignty being violated. Some didn’t like the fact that he was killed or buried at sea. Some didn’t like that he was accorded Muslim rites – or at least some of them, however convoluted. And, the controversy grows.
As noted earlier, some complain that not only wasn’t he armed (hey, it was the middle of the night) but that his guards weren’t either. So, it is inferred, the Seals shouldn’t have shot anyone. No surprise that most of the Muslim world wasn’t thrilled although some showed support. Some Europeans are beginning to question the U.S. tactics and some are appalled that anyone here would actually celebrate Bin Laden’s death (they call it murder). They act as if the war time killing of a war leader is the moral equivalent of the unprovoked murder of thousands of men, women and children.
Of course, the Europeans, with the exception of the Brits, haven’t exactly been enthusiastic about our war response to 9/11. They’ve all been so used to the Americans carrying their military burden for defense since WWII they don’t have the heart and won’t put up the money for it. The UN, of course, is questioning everything even as they allow Syria to be a part of their Human Rights Commission.
The big controversy now is about releasing the photos. Some say it is necessary to prove it was Bin Laden; some say we need to see the photos for closure; some want them for curiosity’s sake; some want them to see whether he was shot in the back or not; and, some want the pictures as part of the lawfare approach to warfare.
Obama won’t allow the release because he says it would be like displaying a trophy and that it would inflame others. I support him for the first reason, not the second. Obama’s right. We don’t want to be like the Somalians who dragged our dead soliders through the streets of Mogadishu or like the Taliban and Al Qaeda who released beheading videos.
I don’t doubt that the man killed was Bin Laden. I don’t doubt that eventually the pictures will be put out or leaked out. Everything else seems to get out. In the long run, it shouldn’t matter. We aren’t going to make anyone love us and the harder we try the more stupid we look.
In the meantime, I find nothing wrong in rejoicing the death of a piece of pure evil. Go Seals.
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