“The West is now celebrating the death of someone who, however misled and wrong-minded, was a person who was willing to fight for the poorest and the most vulnerable people in the world to the very end of his life,” writes Curtis Doebbler, an American-born “human rights” lawyer who teaches at a Palestinian university. Doebbler cites “anecdotal evidence” that “Osama Bin Laden’s body was desecrated by over enthusiastic American soldiers” and that “Muslim traditions of respect for women were flaunted by male American soldiers who molested Muslim women in the heat of the operation. The US actions concerning Osama Bin Laden’s body look merely like the work of criminals trying to dispose of the evidence of their crime.”
Was the crime killing nearly three thousand people at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in rural Pennsylvania, or was it killing the killer of nearly three thousand people at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania?
Though the lawyer’s scribbles may be dismissed as the mental meanderings of a lone fanatic, a perusal of more mainstream sources divulge similarly crankish reactions to the elimination of Osama bin Laden. One needn’t get muddy in the Internet’s fever swamps to encounter such lunacy. The bishop’s pulpit, the prime minister’s platform, the professor’s lectern, the radio host’s microphone, and the newspaper columnist’s pen yield disturbing evidence that, nearly ten years into the war on terrorism, the Left still sticks to a script that casts America as the bad guy.
“Killing Osama bin Laden outright—that’s vengeance or something else,” writes Dan Rodricks, a columnist for the Baltimore Sun. “It’s not justice, and President Obama knows better.” Rodricks used the killing of the world’s most successful terrorist as an occasion to blast the president’s reluctance, campaign promises aside, to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center and abolish military tribunals for alleged terrorists. Rodricks reminds that “even the cops have to obey the law” in an effort to portray the military operation against bin Laden as illegal. “The idea—and it’s a grand old idea—is to bring fugitives to justice, not shoot them as they rise from slumber.”
Laura Flanders blogged at _The Nation_’s website that Sunday’s raid shows “how changed we are: no arrest, no trial.” Shifting logic 180-degress, Flanders continued that “where we are today feels like where we were…on 9⁄11 itself. Americans seeking sense and getting vengeance. Seeking connection and finding mostly media-fed jingoism.”
Ignoring (among much else) al-Qaeda’s campaign of bombings in Iraq, left-wing radio host Mike Malloy broadcast that “bin Laden really didn’t have anything to do—Did he?—with Iraq” and “his only relationship to Afghanistan was geographical…. So when does Seal Unit Six, or whatever it is called, drop in on George W. Bush? Bush was responsible for a lot more death— innocent death—than bin Laden.”
Across the Atlantic, the condemnations of the bin Laden operation have been predictably louder, and from more prominent personages.
“The reality is we are behaving much more in the sense of revenge than seeking the kind of dealings that could reasonably be described as justice,” opines Michael Scott-Joynt, Bishop of Winchester for the Church of England. On the Christmas following 9⁄11, the Right Reverend delivered “This Terror Is a Judgment Upon Us,” a sermon blaming the First World’s extravagance at the expense of the Third World for that year’s atrocity.
“You don’t rejoice at the death of a man,” lectures Massimo D’Alema, a former prime minister of Italy. “Maybe if bin Laden had been captured and put on trial it would have been an even more significant victory.” “It was quite clearly a violation of international law,” former West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt contends. “The operation could also have incalculable consequences in the Arab world.” Siegfried Kauder, a senior member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party, dubs the killing of bin Laden “medieval.” “A random killing is not permitted according to international agreements,” he explains. “If one concludes that bin Laden was no longer active [running al-Qaeda operations around the world], the killing could be seen as random.”
But there is nothing random or arbitrary about killing a man who has waged war against the West for the better part of two decades. It’s called the “war on terror,” not the “police investigation on terror.” In wars, combatants don’t approach adversaries with warrants. They do so with weapons because their adversaries wield weapons. Though Americans may feel vengeance, the reason for killing bin Laden has less to do with payback than it does with administering justice and preventing future acts of terror.
When you don’t cheer for America, you don’t cheer America’s triumphs. But killing bin Laden wasn’t merely a triumph for America. It was a triumph for Spain, the United Kingdom, Iraq, Kenya, Indonesia, Turkey, India, and every other place on the globe where innocent civilians have been deliberately targeted by al-Qaeda. One needn’t be for America, only for civilization, to recognize the victory of eliminating a serial mass-murderer. So blinding is the Left’s anti-Americanism that many of its adherents don’t see that a victory for the United States can also be a victory for humanity.
It might have been nice if the United States could have informed Pakistan of the raid without Pakistan tipping off the objects of the raid. It might have been nice to obtain a warrant, knock on the door of Mr. bin Laden’s compound, inform his confederates to peacefully turn over their boss, and take the accused to jail without incident. It might have been nice if a trial of bin Laden could have been held without the critics of his killing objecting to evidence collected by the CIA or his compatriots targeting jurors for death.
Since what might have been nice isn’t realistic, can’t we just agree that it’s nice that killing bin Laden has put an end to his killing?
Daniel J. Flynn is the author of A Conservative History of the American Left (Crown Forum, 2008), Intellectual Morons (Crown Forum, 2004), and Why the Left Hates America (Prima Forum, 2002). He has appeared on Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, Sky News, PBS, CSPAN, and other networks. He writes a Monday column for Human Events and blogs at www.flynnfiles.com.
To get the whole story on why leftists shed tears when Islamo-fascists die, read Jamie Glazov’s critically-acclaimed, United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror.