Say ‘Salaam’ to my little friend!

May 4th, 2011


I’m not sorry Osama bin Laden is dead.

I’m not glad either. Unlike the many who gathered in Times Square, I do not celebrate death. OBL probably got what he deserved and his last words may well have been: “Say ‘Salaam’ to my little fr…”

This probably did not happen.

President Obama ordered Navy SEALs into OBL’s compound and watched the proceedings live. I imagine Obama knew that OBL would not want to be taken alive, but we do not know whether the mission was a planned assassination from the outset. Initial reports said that a SEAL shot OBL in the head when OBL fired at him, but the Whitehouse now says that OBL was unarmed. Even so, considering the penchant Muslim terrorists have for blowing themselves and people around them to Paradise, I probably would have shot him on sight too. Or thrown up. Not sure which. But one of those two.

Of course, the Whitehouse is already backtracking on what supposedly happened, but that is to be expected. It turns out OBL was not armed, he was not using a woman as a human shield, the mission was not carried out by Navy SEALs but by actual seals, the blubbery kind.

I don’t believe the mission was ever to take OBL alive, however, because what would they have done with him? Put him on trial? That may well have had every self-esteem-lacking, brainwashed Al Qaeda wannabee flying planes into buildings all over the world, demanding the release of OBL. Alternatively, it might have made the statement that counter-terrorism should be about law, and not a military mission that kills thousands more innocents than terrorists.

No, I believe it was an assassination and that’s fair enough. OBL was a bollix. Mourn him not. Even if you are a Muslim reading this and you hate what the West does in many Islamic countries, OBL was not a bearded Robin Hood. He was a murdering bollix who sent other people out to kill and die. Quite similar to most world leaders in that respect.

What interests me, though, is the two-faced language that has come out since.

President Obama said: “Justice has been done.”

Really? Justice?

Let’s see what the Merriam-Webster dictionary of American English has to say about justice. There are several definitions relevant to this context:

  • the maintenance or administration of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments
  • the administration of law; especially : the establishment or determination of rights according to the rules of law or equity
  • the quality of being just, impartial, or fair
  • the principle or ideal of just dealing or right action
  • conformity to this principle or ideal
  • the quality of conforming to law

Notice the use of the word “impartial”. Justice is impartial. But what happened in Abbottabad was not about justice, despite what the eloquent Mr. Obama might say. It was highly partial. I don’t have a problem with that. Had my loved ones died in New York, London or Madrid at the hands of terrorists, I doubt I would have the dignity of the “September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows”. Read their response to the news of the killing of OBL here. I would probably be punching the air.

But Obama revealed his true nature when he said this was about justice. The naive part of me was hoping he would be honest and say it was about revenge. Although, to be fair, it might not have been about revenge for Obama. As Frank Castle said:

“In certain extreme situations, the law is inadequate. In order to shame its inadequacy, it is necessary to act outside the law. To pursue… natural justice. This is not vengeance. Revenge is not a valid motive, it’s an emotional response. No, not vengeance. Punishment. “

Of course, I should point out that the Marvel character ‘The Punisher’ is a vigilante who is himself considered a criminal by the authorities.

In any case, Obama is just another politician playing to the crowd.

Speaking of the crowd, I assume that the majority of those gathered in Times Square to celebrate where Christians. I couldn’t quite make out what they were shouting and at first I thought it was:

“In your face, Jesus, with your panty-waist, un-American, turn-the-other-cheek nonsense!”

It turns out the ordinary citizens were claiming credit for the actions of the US Military with cries of “We killed bin Laden!”.  As Gary Younge points out, if they claim that, then they must also claim collective responsibility for the many atrocities committed by coalition forces in the the so-called “War on Terror”.

Again, if I had lost a loved one, I would probably be chanting too, but I hope, with a little more honesty.

I think Steve Bell sums it up beautifully and without a single word:

My final word is to recommend a book by Pumla Gobodo-Madikize, titled “A Human Being Died That Night” (subtitle: ‘Forgiving Apartheid’s Chief Killer’).

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