Monday, May 02, 2011

The Only Good Terrorist

Okay, deep breath. We cannot, honestly, rejoice at any man's death. It diminishes us, because we are involved -- that is Donne's word -- in mankind. Still, when the man in question attacked our home and murdered our friends, with no goal other than to inspire fear and create unrest, it is hard for us to keep from smiling a tight, grim smile when the bell begins to toll.

So when we awoke this morning and learned that Osama bin Laden was dead, we shed no tears. He was an evil man, who brought shame to his nation, his family and his faith.

We have no idea whether bin Laden's death will deal any spiritual blow to al Qaeda, shaking the confidence of its leaders or making them doubt their course. We are inclined to think not. It will surely deal them no operational blow. Honestly, al Qaeda has long been less of an organization and more of an "-ism."

Should he have lived to stand trial? Perhaps that would have been for the best. Nobody should claim this criminal as a martyr. We would have liked to see him in the dock at the Hague, and best of all to imagine him spending his life in prison. If we had our way, it would have been Spandau, for all the symbolic resonance.

And yet, even if that would have been the better course, we can't find ourselves complaining too very much. This outcome gives us a certain ... we will not call it pleasure, but ... satisfaction.


Anonymous said...

web says -

stynxno said...

I like your use of the word satisfaction. To me, the word I would use is relief. And I feel that it is okay to celebrate that feeling of relief.

At LTSP, this conversation will happen a million times this week. The NT and OT are going to be thrown around all over the place. Not sure how much good it will all do but I at least hope this event will cause a period of reflection. That's where I find myself at the moment.