Wills and Kate finally married last Friday. Her dress, and sister, constituted much of the post-wedding discussion. Poor William got barely a mention, while Harry was slated for looking too darn hard at the bride. And who could blame him? Still, by Monday morning the media was awash with another celebration. Obama announced the death (or killing) of Osama. Americans across New York and Washington DC took to the streets in jubilation, reminiscent of Oz’s Ding Dong the Witch is Dead. Video footage displayed citizens in a drunk-like state of excitement, pride oozing from their stars and stripes. Does that make anyone else feel the slightest bit queasy?
Sure, bin Laden took responsibility for the sinking of the Twin Towers. It was an attack that saw the death of almost 3,000 civilians, fire fighters and police officers. Countless more have been affected by the loss of their loved ones and so it would be unreasonable to begrudge them their victory. Similarly, who’s accrediting any time to the families of more than 900,000 dead in the Afghani and Iraqi wars? Certainly not western media.
In an article entitled Killing Osama: Was It Legal? Jeffrey Toobin points out some of the problems solved by merely shooting Osama dead. There could be neither a military nor criminal trial. He couldn’t act as his own defence, or use the trial as a “propaganda platform”. The international community didn’t have to consider the morality of these proceedings because US armed forces made that decision for them. Toobin also questions the relevance of President Ford’s Executive Order 11905, which stipulates that the US government should not take part in political assassination. Whether the shooting of Osama could actually be argued to be political is another debate.
Four people were shot dead in the Pakistani compound less than 60 miles from Islamabad. Among them was a woman used to shield the ‘bad guys’ from gunfire. Nine children, including Osama’s 11-year-old daughter, were seized in the compound and placed in the care of the Pakistani Security Agencies. They are to be questioned by security officials. Meanwhile, both the US and Pakistan face threats to their national security, which will undoubtedly result in the entire western world clamping down further on civilian freedom. All this, the result of a revenge attack. The killing of one man.
As for Wills and Kate- they’ve had to postpone their Indian Ocean honeymoon. It has been rumoured to cost £4,000 a night for the villa. Should that be added to the £9bn already spent on ‘Operation Herrick’, a campaign launched to combat al-Qaeda’s 9/11 assaults?
One can only wonder where the merit is.
Take a look at some ridiculous Facebook reactions to Osama’s death.