Thursday, June 2, 2011

Two Ways to Look at Bin Laden’s Death

Conservatives and liberals have reacted much differently to the Navy SEAL’s operation that killed Osama bin Laden. On the right there was pride in the capabilities, precision and bravery of an elite commando team. There were no illusions that victory had been achieved over international terrorism and islamist fanaticism. But there was a feeling of satisfaction, if not relief, that retributive justice was finally delivered to a heinous mass murderer. There was hope that this could be a turning point in a protracted and continuing war, along with renewed resolve that we persevere for as long as it takes.

On the left, there was no celebration. The liberal penchant for guilt was indulged with hand-wringing about a lack of due process in what may have been a planned “kill mission.” (So what? We are at war!) Abstract moralizers lamented the tragedy of any human life being taken. But even more revealing of the leftist mindset and their detachment from the real world was their indignation over continuing security precautions, which they regard as an affront to civil rights.

They fretted that bin Laden’s death might cause the Patriot Act to be continued, that the CIA and the FBI would still be allowed to conspire together (i.e., share information to thwart terrorist plots); that Gitmo would remain open; that the Transportation Security Administration would continue to inconvenience air travelers; that terrorist phone calls would be monitored without warrants (but with court approval under the Foreign Intelligence Act,); that captured terrorists might be subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques; that American troops will remain abroad, and so on.

These things are all true for the simple reason that we are still at war with suicidal fanatics who are intent on randomly killing innocent American civilians.

I think it is high time that we, Americans, quit being so guilt ridden with the fact that we need to protect ourselves and the ones we love. Let’s end this war on terror with a victory!

This blog post was largely excerpted from the Denver Post 2 June 2011, page 11B. It was part of an editorial written by Mike Rosen.

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