Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake
jaylake

[politics] bin Laden

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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