Tuesday 3 May 2011

Thoughts on extra-judicial killing

I can't exactly mourn Osama bin Laden, or even really regret his passing.  It may be that this was one of those occasions where extra-judicial killing can be justified.  I only know that, if so, it is one of few occasions.  What disturbs me is the reaction to his death.

The ghoulish crowds on the streets of Manhattan reminded me of the crowds that Charles Dickens described, with revulsion, who struggled to get closer in a public hanging.  That doesn't mean you have sympathy with the criminal.  This is an issue of taste not justice.

But the idea of Barack Obama being in at the death virtually, watching the proceedings through a camera strapped to the head of one of the soldiers, gave me a particular nightmare.  It reminded me of something, and I have now remembered what it was - it was the way that Adolf Hitler demanded to see the deaths of the July 20 plotters who had tried to assassinate him in 1944.

Again, I am not complaining about the outcome, simply the lapse in civilised values.  The sight of civilised people marching through one of the most modern cities of the world, baying in delight at the execution of a human being at home sends a shiver down the spine.  And it should do.


Radar said...

I have to say I 100% agree. I could understand it if these people were celebrating the end of the 'War on Terror' but unfortunately they are not. What they are celebrating is the execution of a man and although I shall not be mourning his passing I refuse to celebrate it.

I hadn't followed the news avidly but I find the idea of Mr Obama following proceedings on a camera particularly disturbing.

Jon said...

Obama oversaw the progress of an extremely dangerous mission that may well have resulted in several deaths of the fellow citizens he ordered to carry it out. And you're comparing him to Hitler, a delusional and homicidal maniac?

Stop being so ridiculously sanctimonious. No, seeing the victims of the world's worst terrorist attack celebrating the death of its perpetrator does not send a shiver down my spine. It strikes me as understandable and justifiable. You can set yourself up as superior to other people if you like; perhaps found your own Church of High Piety where pronouncements are made of how people should feel about death and justice. I'm sure you'll find equally self-righteous people taking the opposite view.

I'm happy just to call them fellow humans.

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