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So, Osama Bin Laden was finally killed. I'm not sure about the rhetoric of 'brought to justice' - surely that would mean facing some kind of trial, but he's been killed in a firefight.

How do you feel about this? Personally I'm not sure if he was ever really as important to the AQ movement as he was alleged to be, and his restricted communication options over the last few years would have almost certainly made him less important in any terrorist structure (assuming that AQ actually has a structure and isn't a rambling set of groups using the same name for the sake of media convenience).

I would rather that he had been caught and exposed as a hate-filled individual whose teachings conflict with the principles of Islam, rather than simply killed in this way. His death seems slightly meaningless.
Also, I knew a person who was trying to write a PhD thesis suggesting that Voldemort was a metaphor for Osama Bin Laden (I really hope that it didn't get the approval to go ahead). She would have loved this news - Voldemort and Bin Laden's death were both announced in the UK on May 2nd.
Americans are crazy!!!!! (I'm an American, from New York, living in New Orleans, to provide some context). Everyone has been going nuts. Fireworks, parties, people dancing in the street. My brother, who lives in Washington DC, went to the White House to celebrate.

Don't know how to feel about this, and many more insightful friends have made posts quoting the following proverb: "Rejoice not when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles"

One friend writes:"Osama is dead but the towers and the people from my city aren't coming back"

I agree with Mata, the whole thing sounds pretty inconsequential except as a symbol for "don't f*** with the US". In the context of broader efforts against terrorism it's probably no big deal, but this guy was the face of the 9/11 attacks so him being killed sends a powerful message.

Parties in the street seems a bit much, but then again we had street parties for the royal wedding on friday which is far more meaningless.

I'm not sure about the rhetoric of 'brought to justice' - surely that would mean facing some kind of trial, but he's been killed in a firefight.
Would Bin Laden have the right to a trial if captured by the US?
Now you mention it, considering the treatment of other people who have been captured, he probably wouldn't have been given a trial. I guess there was never really a chance that he would be taken alive, but the information he had would have been very useful.

Apparently he's been buried at sea. I can see the point, in terms of making sure that there is no shrine to him, but I can also see how that would raise questions too...

Ooo, maybe they did take him alive and are just saying that he was killed so they can question him without anyone getting moral on them... CONSPIRACY AHOY! biggrin.gif
QUOTE (Mata @ May 2 2011, 02:32 AM) *
Apparently he's been buried at sea. I can see the point, in terms of making sure that there is no shrine to him, but I can also see how that would raise questions too...

News reports here are saying they did that out of respect for tradition and also that they took DNA before they did that and verified that it was in fact him.

I'm not sure how I feel about it. Just last week they decided to change our threat level indicator to only two threat levels and that currently we weren't under any immanent terrorist threat. Now we are being warned not to travel and for those of us out of the US to beware terrorist retaliation.

I'm not sure how I feel about the whole thing at the moment. I don't really like the idea of rejoicing that anyone has lost their lives.
Hmm. I've been reading a few things like this and this, which point out that, actually the US President has absolutely zero legal right to order the assassination of anyone, let alone a non-US citizen in another country. And killing him without trial is extremely iffy, although there is the question of whose law he'd be tried under, and by what court. Being shot by a Navy SEAL in a firefight is definitely not justice being done.
I don't believe that the order was ever to kill Osama Bin Laden, but I think it was also expected that he would most likely die during the firefight to try and take him in. I'm sure they would have wanted to catch him alive for the information.

How quickly can you do a DNA test these days? Are Navy SEALS even qualified to do that sort of thing? This strikes me as CSI speed DNA testing... Then again, my logical side tells me that there is absolutely no way that the US would risk making a false announcement. Can you imagine how it would look if Bin Laden popped up next week?
While I have to admit that I do register some positive feeling that he's dead, I am more wary about America's reaction and our out-of-control patriotism. I don't mind people being happy, but when my friends write "God bless America" after this, I feel a little ill. I don't think any blessing should be bestowed for killing. I'm already sick of hearing about it, and I don't think it'll change much. This does come across as terribly cynical, and I don't think it's bad that he's dead, I just wonder how much good in the long run it really does.
it's hard to say about the long run - we've definitely stirred a hornet's nest and people, let alone terrorists, tend to be even more dangerous when they have vengeance on the mind.
the positivity that has come out of this is the symbolism of removing a figurehead who caused so much horror and heartbreak all across the world.
How do I feel about the celebrating of death in the streets? Pretty sad.

I don't particularly have any love lost for for him. Nor am I surprised or sad he was shot in a fire fight. But I definitely have to say that I follow this idea:
"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy."
(that's a quote of a random and apparently very quotable internet forumite somewhere (though someone tried to pass it off as a martin luther king quote for some reason.))

His death was a powerful symbol and I suppose for some people somewhere who's lives were a bit wrecked by 9/11 it's a bit of closure on the issue. But celebrating any death with street parties leaves a pretty bad taste in my mouth.

Here's a real quote from Martin Luther King,
"Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."
I wonder when people who say that kind of thing will stop being killed? It seems to be a bit of a historical theme for Western civilisation that we kill people whose main focus in life is to say 'how about we're all a bit nicer to each other?'.

Over the past few days I've seen a lot of people expressing a similar sense of ambiguity over Bin Laden's death. Yes, he was a cockbasket, but it's more than a little uncomfortable to celebrate anyone's death, especially when the actual event doesn't really have any immediate upside - by this I mean, I can understand being a bit happy that a guy holding a dozen handgrenades is stopped from detonating them on a train, but Bin Laden's position is a lot more ambiguous. Did he really have much power or influence? Was there really no way he could be kept alive?

The reports say he 'resisted' but also that he was 'unarmed'. I'm not entirely sure how an unarmed man resists 40 Navy SEALS, and that makes me a little uncomfortable too.

Then again, I can very clearly see that capturing Bin Laden alive would have meant that every US citizen would then become a potential hostage, very likely leading to the deaths of dozens or even hundreds of people.

... But then there's still the issue of whether it is acceptable for a state to mandate the death of an individual who is technically a non-combatant.
I immediately thought CONSPIRACY when I heard he'd been buried at sea too! I think it's thoroughly sad to rejoice in the streets when someone dies however 'evil' they are considered to be. He had a family.

I am firmly on the fence with this one as I can see both points of view. My family lives in America and I know how they cover stories like this over there and I know the horror on 9/11 through their experiences. I have been told that some of the things that Osama said on television were not correctly transalated but whether that's actually the case or not I don't know unsure.gif

Sadly we are only really able to go on media 'fact', hype or spin so can we trust anything we're told completely?? God, I'm so cynical for one so *cough* young *cough* smile.gif
One of his sons is publicly complaining about his killing now -

He argues that Saddam Hussein and Slobodan Milosevic got trials but fails to appreciate the differences in their circumstances: those were leaders of countries, they were not considered likely to be responding with force to their arrest, and there is the religious aspect too, which does change the nature of the way that the individual will respond to capture. Bin Laden may have preferred to be taken dead rather than alive - a slow expiration in a cell would not have been a grandiose end to his story - but this just makes it more remarkable that the media has made this seem such a prosaic end to his life.

His son is also not convinced that Osama is actually dead: I can see how it might be considered insensitive, but if anyone has the right to see the evidence then it's the family. Then again, AQ themselves have also said that Osama is dead, so that's pretty convincing to me.

did you guys hear, Osama Bin Laden is dead?


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