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[politics] bin Laden - Lakeshore — LiveJournal
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Jay Lake
Date: 2011-05-02 06:22
Subject: [politics] bin Laden
Security: Public
Tags:politics
This perspective likely won't make me very popular right now amid the national euphoria over events in Pakistan yesterday, but I find it difficult to celebrate the death of another human being. Even one as profoundly despicable as Osama Bin Laden.

Would we not have been far better off capturing him and placing him on trial? As it stands, Bin Laden will be seen as a glorious martyr to his cause, and the absence of his body in the reported burial at sea will keep him about as dead as Jim Morrison or Elvis Presley.

I can't help but think that a trial, and the humiliation of a long, slow decline in an American prison, would have made our point far better.

Not to mention the precedent. Any aggrieved Iraqi or Afghan whose family was killed by American bombs now has all the justification in the world to assassinate our leaders. After all, it's precisely what we have just done.

I suppose I believe that America should be better than her enemies. That belief has come to seem very quaint in the decade since the 9-11 attacks.

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Pierceheart
User: pierceheart
Date: 2011-05-02 13:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
As it stands, Bin Laden will be seen as a glorious martyr to his cause, and the absence of his body in the reported burial at sea will keep him about as dead as Jim Morrison or Elvis Presley.

So, essentially, in your worldview, he's Schodringer's Terrorist?
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history_monk
User: history_monk
Date: 2011-05-02 13:41 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I suppose I believe that America should be better than her enemies.

Indeed. The preferred view of so many seems to be "We should be really aggressive and violent, to frighten them". Sadly, that kind of intimidation calls the young, who want to seem brave, to fight back, even if they have to use desperate means to do it. And the cycle of terrorism goes round again.

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cathshaffer
User: cathshaffer
Date: 2011-05-02 13:46 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I do believe our guys made a reasonable attempt to capture him alive, and would have done so if they could. It seems he "offered resistance" and was killed according to reasonable rules of engagement. However, the *celebration* of that death seems inappropriate to me. I would 1000x rather have seen Bin Laden face his victims families in court, and been neutralized as an enemy by life imprisonment.
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adelheid_p
User: adelheid_p
Date: 2011-05-02 13:47 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I can't help but think that a trial, and the humiliation of a long, slow decline in an American prison, would have made our point far better.

I'm not sure this would be the case. I don't think bin Laden is the type of man to feel that being imprisoned by the Great Satan is a humiliation. I don't think this would have stopped him from still trying to run Al Quaeda or direct, in some way, it's activities. I don't think the people who truly follow him would have seen this as humiliating to him but martyring (as they probably see his death as now.)

Given the above, I still think the US should have stuck to it's stated values and attempted to bring him to trial. I hope that the intent going in was to do that but that he gave armed resistance. I haven't checked to see if the details of his death were revealed. I did see President Obama's speech last night and it did seem that the intent was to go in and kill him, though.

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Lucy Kemnitzer
User: ritaxis
Date: 2011-05-02 13:47 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thank you for expressing this. The pure atavistic ick that has surrounded this for going on ten years has been very unfortunate in general and alienting for me.
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
horace_hamster
User: horace_hamster
Date: 2011-05-02 21:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Ditto.
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Peter Hollo
User: frogworth
Date: 2011-05-02 14:09 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yup. So right.
I suspect that over here in Oz your view would be a little more mainstream that it is in "mainstream" USA, mind you.
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Jim Hetley
User: jhetley
Date: 2011-05-02 14:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yes, but . . .

We're having enough problems with holding and trying the prisoners we already have. Gitmo, military tribunals, the whole mess.
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Laura Anne Gilman: citron presse
User: suricattus
Date: 2011-05-02 14:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:citron presse
This. The international media circus that such a trial would have become... I can't see that ending well, no matter how it ended.

There would still be people who claimed that justice was not done, there would still be people who claimed we did it wrong, there would still be people determined to make him a martyr. And there would still be people who celebrated in appropriately.

As a New Yorker, and someone directly damaged by the events of 9/11, all I feel is a quiet relief that one mad dog has been put down.
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Michael Curry: minifesto douglass
User: mcurry
Date: 2011-05-02 14:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:minifesto douglass
Well said, Jay. The fact it's now been officially announced that it was a kill mission, not a capture mission where Osama was killed because he was resisting, makes it clear that there was no intention of giving the man a trial.

It really does seem to set entirely a precedent for revenge being more important than justice.
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mevennen
User: mevennen
Date: 2011-05-02 14:42 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I would have preferred to have seen a trial because I think it would have reduced the potential for glorious martyrdom etc etc. I'm not sorry he's dead, however.
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Tom
User: voidampersand
Date: 2011-05-02 14:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yes. It would have been better for us to be merciful, gain his cooperation, and use his intelligence to roll up his organization. But I don't know what it was like in the compound and whether it was practically possible to capture him alive. All I know is there was a firefight and that he was dead at the end.

As for assassination, our President should do the right thing and get out of Afghanistan and Iraq. That will do more than anything to reduce violence against America in the Middle East. But at home? Sadly, no. Obama's greatest risk of assassination is from the American lunatic right wing.
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russ: quo vadis
User: goulo
Date: 2011-05-02 14:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:quo vadis
Yeah, this all seems obvious to me too, but I found in another thread that an awful lot of people feel that the end justifies the means (and that an awful lot of people support the end of killing those other people who feel that the end justifies the means).
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Chris Coen
User: clarentine
Date: 2011-05-02 15:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It seems awfully hard sometimes to get people to understand that vengeance does not equal justice. ::shakes head::
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mlerules: Button
User: mlerules
Date: 2011-05-02 14:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Button
I suppose I believe that America should be better than her enemies. That belief has come to seem very quaint in the decade since the 9-11 attacks.


Sigh. Too true. Meanwhile, not all're happy 'bout what all the USA's been up to of late...
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jordan179
User: jordan179
Date: 2011-05-02 17:35 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
This is horrible. It's not safe to be the pal of a murderous Terrorist leader any more. What's the world coming to?
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Shaughn
User: shogunhb
Date: 2011-05-02 14:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Well said.
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Renfield
User: cuddlycthulhu
Date: 2011-05-02 15:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Would we not have been far better off capturing him and placing him on trial?

It's very difficult to capture people alive who have no intention of being taken alive AND are armed. *shrug* I'm not celebrating his death, but, at the same time, I'm not mourning him either.
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