Is Osama bin Laden’s Death Justified?

Vern ponders the question, “Does one deserve to die even if he was the most evil man on Earth?”

On Sunday local time, news began to streak in that the world’s most wanted man – Osama bin Laden is dead.  The reports were sketchy. Practically no details were given save that the leader of Al-Qaeda was killed by US commandos in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

I was a bit shaken by that news but unlike the Americans I was not rejoicing. And unlike the supporters of Jihad, I wasn’t engulfed with grief either.

I had only one thought on my mind – was the killing justified?

The reports were sketchy so I decided not to form an opinion until I’ve been further informed as to what really transpired that fateful day.

Today, the White House press secretary released an official narrative of what actually happened in that operation.

Here’s an excerpt of the narrative.

* US military personnel flew in on two helicopters, one of which suffered mechanical problems and was later destroyed. The team methodically cleared the compound, moving from room to room in an operation lasting nearly 40 minutes. They were engaged in a firefight throughout the operation. Bin Laden was killed when he “resisted”.

* In the room with bin Laden, a woman – bin Laden’s wife – rushed a US commando and was shot in the leg but not killed. Bin Laden was then shot and killed. He was unarmed.

* His body was washed, wrapped in a white sheet and placed in a weighted bag. A military officer read prepared religious remarks, which were translated into Arabic by a native speaker. The bag was then placed on a flat board that was tipped up, and bin Laden’s body was eased into the sea.

This is where things begin to fall apart.

I do empathize with the Americans and the pain they have suffered since 9/11. There is no denying that 9/11 was perhaps the blackest day in history of the American people (civil and world wars aside) and that Osama is a twisted, degenerate maniac for engineering such an attack.

But was the killing really justified?

I find the following 2 statements contradictory.

They were engaged in a firefight throughout the operation. Bin Laden was killed when he “resisted”.

Bin Laden was then shot and killed. He was unarmed.

What are the rules of engagement in an operation such as this? Does one kill an unarmed man even if that man was responsible for the slaying of thousands of your kin?

Is this morally correct?

If my brother was murdered, do I have the right to avenge his death by killing him in return?

What gives the Americans the right to kill at will?

He was unarmed. It would have been easy to capture him alive and put him to stand for his crimes.

He was resistant to arrest?

How could he when he was unarmed? He was going to fight Carbines with magic and sorcery?

Isn’t it a right of every individual to be given a fair and transparent trial, no matter how heinous the crime?

Why does the United States get to play police, judge and executioner – all at the beck and call of one man in the White House?

I would have preferred if he was captured alive and put to trial in The Hague. Even senior leaders of Democratic Kampuchea – responsible for the genocide of almost 2.5 million people were given the right to a trial.

This whole operation just reeks of conspiracy.

Why is there a need to dispose the body so quickly and in such secrecy? Why are there fake photos of a deceased Osama circulated online? How can a helicopter suddenly suffer mechanical failure in the middle of such an important mission?

The most important question of all is why isn’t Osama captured and put to stand for his crimes?

Is this a classic case of American arrogance?

We see it in their film industry. In Armageddon for example, only an American digger could save the world from total elimination.

We see it in their foreign policy. The Vietnam War was prolonged and casualties amounted to an estimated 3 million due to American interference.

We see it in their exclusiveness. They’ve got their own football rules and the winner of the Super Bowl is deemed as world champions even if it’s only played by Americans. Instead of immigrants, anyone not born in the United States is called ‘alien’.

Or is there an even bigger conspiracy? One questions the convenience of the timing. Barack Obama is seeking re-election at a time where his ratings are at its lowest. What else could give an instant boost of ratings but the disposal of America’s public enemy number 1?

I am disappointed by America’s play.

It would have been a far greater victory to let the whole world watch as Osama takes the stand. It would have been so much more painful for Osama and his followers to watch their leader be tried as a normal human being and not like the divine being they make him to be.

More importantly, capturing Osama and giving him a fair trial would have been the right thing to do – the human thing to do. It would have sent a message to the world that America is not only the most powerful nation in the world, but also the most compassionate.

Giving him instant death only serves to achieve two things – escalating Osama’s status to martyrdom.

And sealing the fate that the US of A is as usual, the unwelcomed big brother as prophesized by George Orwell in his book 1984.

Excerpts taken from

Contrary to contents of this article, Vern is an American fan-boy. He spells color without the U and calls hired cars – cabs. He credits his dashing good looks to an over exposure to McDonalds and considers Lost to be the greatest thing since sliced bread.

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Posted on 5 May 2011. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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