The Death of Osama bin Laden
Posted 10 May 2011 - 01:43 PM
(I have no facts or figures to back that up)
Posted 11 May 2011 - 03:15 AM
Posted 11 May 2011 - 08:50 AM
Posted 18 May 2011 - 11:32 AM
It is simply not the case, as the great British theologian N.T. Wright regrettably asserts, that this was a lawless act of cowboy vigilanteism. The raid was legal. It had the sanction of international law and was conducted in accord with that law.
This operation was also conducted, to the extent that we can tell from the account emerging from various reports, with a commendable and largely successful effort to abide by the ethics of law as described by those “just war” principles we’re always discussing here — the same principles President Barack Obama discussed in his lecture on Reinhold Niebuhr in Oslo (on the occasion of being given the Nobel Peace Prize). . . .
I admire and respect N.T. Wright greatly. I am deeply grateful to him for several books that have enriched my thinking, my faith and my life. But his argument that this raid was unjustifiable is simply wrong. The series of analogies he presents do not correspond to the facts of the matter. They would only be relevant if we completely disregarded the existence and importance of those U.N. resolutions and authorizations that Matt Yglesias points toward. That’s an odd thing to disregard in the midst of what amounts to an argument for such resolutions and authorizations. “By what right?” Wright asks, but then unfortunately doesn’t seem interested in listening to the answer. . . .
Fred Clark, Slacktivist, May 7
- - -
Just, juster, justest
The alternatives were not between this raid by Navy SEALs and a similar raid conducted by federal marshals armed with Tasers, pepper spray and handcuffs. President Obama was not faced with the choice between ordering this military raid or ordering bin Laden’s criminal arrest. He was faced with the choice between ordering this military raid — conducted by military troops, employing military means under military rules — and doing nothing. Given such options, I believe he made the right choice. . . .
Today it might seem like we’ve got that equation backwards. Due to the continuing presence of tens of thousands of American troops in Afghanistan and the ongoing, if ill-defined and amorphous, so-called “war on terror,” it might seem like military measures have become our dominant means of dealing with terrorism. But for all the blood and treasure spent on those efforts, the reality for many years now has been that law enforcement has played the primary role in preventing terrorism and prosecuting terrorists. From the would-be shoe bomber to the would-be underwear bomber to the dozens of stings and arrests and prosecutions in various cities around the country, it has been the FBI — a branch of that same Justice Department that Grant established to fight the terrorism of the Klan — that has taken the lead, supported by good local police work and the assistance of the occasional Dutch tourist or Times Square street vendor. (Thank you again Jasper Schuringa and Duane Johnson.)
The effectiveness of that primarily law-enforcement approach has been vindicated time and time again, and that vindication doesn’t seem to me to be undermined by the recent raid on bin Laden’s compound. That raid seems to me an example of military action in support of the larger, primary work done by law enforcement, an example of the military playing a lead role when — and only when — they were uniquely capable and there was no feasible course of action for the FBI or police.
The architects of the so-called “War on Terror” are desperately trying to portray this raid as, instead, a vindication of their approach. I don’t think that’s correct or even plausible — the “War on Terror” approach would have required the invasion and indefinite occupation of the entire nation of Pakistan. This wasn’t a military action against Pakistan or against “Terror” in the abstract. It was a focused action directed against a single compound.
I see this raid as an opportunity to finally begin sloughing off this idea of an elastic, unrestrained and unrestrainable “War on Terror” and to bring its many dubious, lawless, immoral and counterproductive tactics to an end. Proponents of that never-ending “war” could always point to the enduring freedom of Osama bin Laden as Exhibit A that this unfinished effort must be continued. They have now lost the ability to make that argument. . . .
Fred Clark, Slacktivist, May 10
Posted 14 June 2011 - 06:25 PM
Edited by Persiflage, 14 June 2011 - 06:25 PM.