The Plastic Hippo

May 3, 2011

Ten years after

Filed under: History,World — theplastichippo @ 9:35 am


Osama bin Laden was and remains the sort of person most rational people would not want to share the planet with. One can only hope that he now realises the error of his ways when he discovers that heaven has run out of virgins.

Driven by a warped interpretation and corruption of one of the world’s greatest religions, the privileged son of a millionaire justified the slaughter of innocents by evoking God. God, however, is not available for comment but is, according to the world’s great religions, more than capable of passing judgement. Justice, though, seems to be a completely different faith system.

Waking up to a world without bin Laden, western politicians past and present were falling over themselves to get in front of a camera and talk about justice being done. Like Munchkins singing “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead”, they danced along a yellow brick road of self-congratulation at the violent deaths of other human beings. Sadly, these expressions of righteous vengeance might not signal an end to evil times, but may herald a new dark age. This is not a case of all’s well that ends well.

The death of public enemy number one came exactly 66 years after Adolph Hitler bit down on the cyanide capsule and discharged his own Walther PPK into his skull, thereby escaping justice. Justice came to Osama bin Laden in the form of Black Hawk helicopters landing on the roof of his “mansion” in a posh part of up-state Islamabad in the dead of night. In this disturbing world, justice is not administered by due legal process, but by stun grenades and shooting off someone’s face using an automatic weapon. Just 24 hours earlier, an air strike on a residential area in Tripoli “took out” Gaddafi`s youngest son along with three of his grandchildren all reportedly under the age of 12. When your assets include F-16`s and cruise missiles, a judge and jury become superfluous.

Frustrated at long, drawn-out and expensive trials of war criminals who suddenly develop a serious illness when it is time to face the music, democratic western governments have taken to reading rejected Terminator scripts where capture and conviction do not even make it to the sub-plot. Even losing a helicopter in Abbotabad is cheaper than all those lawyers and the spontaneous outpourings of joy at ground zero and at the gates of the White House may have provided some sort of closure. But singing “God Bless America” at the news of further death and destruction may signal the start of the next phase of the war on terror.

The operation to eliminate Osama bin Laden raises questions that will probably never be answered. The role of Pakistan and his proximity to that nations military elite and the nature of the raid itself could result in further trouble. President Obama may have secured his re-election and the western alliance may have found a desperately needed exit strategy from Afghanistan, but Al-Qaeda will not now simply evaporate and the war between Islamist extremists and the oil hungry west is far from over. A dead “martyr” is a more effective recruiting sergeant than a live recluse.

The wanted dead or alive policy might provoke the tub-thumping patriotism of a royal wedding, but by shooting on sight, the west has handed the terrorists their final, if posthumous, victory. Descending into eye for an eye vengeance rather than the rule of law is a suicide bomb waiting to go off and can only result in further barbarism.

Civilisation lies rotting, wrapped in a sheet at the bottom of the Arabian Sea and in three small graves somewhere in Tripoli.

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1 Comment »

  1. It is a bit worrying that Obama went for the Rambo solution; what happens now if tooled-up representatives of another government crash through the windows of Chequers or Chevening and take a pop at our glorious leaders?
    Why is our murder right and theirs wrong?

    Comment by martin — May 3, 2011 @ 1:53 pm | Reply


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