Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called U.S. President Barak Obama on Monday to congratulate him on the assassination of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden the day before.
I'm somewhat uncomfortable with the idea of the US President ordering the murder of another man. I'm uncomfortable with it for the following reasons:-
- It's what "they" do, the bad guys. They murder people who they don't like, rather than bringing them to trial for it. By doing the same, we become them, a little. And before anyone says "but it's Bin Laden", Eichmann and Goring were tried in a court of law, so it isn't.
- It raises him from a criminal mass murderer to a political martyr in the eyes of many people. Bringing him to trial might have meant that people around the world could see him as a criminal mass murderer. Killing him in this way will do nothing to help that "hearts and minds" thing.
- Somewhere deep down, I don't like the words "congratulate" and "assasination" in the same sentence. It's probably my Christian upbringing, but I consider killing to be what you do once other options are exhausted. A policeman in the US would be facing trial if he saw a suspect and just shot him, but would also be allowed to shoot a suspect leaving the scene of a crime.
- I really don't trust the government. No, I'm pretty damn certain that OBL did it. I don't believe there's a conspiracy between Bush and some lizard men to blow up the World Trade Center. But I know that if someone like OBL can get a trial, then so can I. And if the government thinks it's OK to go and assassinate OBL then who else do they think it's OK to assassinate? (there are times when government shoot-to-kill actions are quite legitimate, like hostage situations).