where the writers are
Vengence, Justice, or Smart Thinking re Osama bin Laden

In writing this as a reply to the replies to Maureen Dowd’s Op-ed in the “Times,” I was unaware of the “Times” clock ticking off the only few minutes left for posting and lost my opportunity for fame. Oh well, there are readers here as well and likely more reflective.

Her message seem to be, Americans have won a battle in the killing of Osama bin Laden and celebration is good; that his death, and presumably the death of his propensity for malevolent thinking. avenges the twin towers tragedy. The overwhelming countervailing opinion was in killing him, we stoop to that level and that he should have been brought to trial. They following occurred to me.

Some suggest the only road to “justice” is through the courts. I disagree. First, justice comes from balancing the scale, the return of that lost, the equality of actions, and not from the opinions of lawyers, and judges or other best effort devices we may invent pursuant to that end. Second, the Nuremburg trials, while more vociferously criticized then, were much more appropriate because the enemy was defeated and retaliation was not in the cards - not so today, and likely quite the opposite.

This is war, as an earlier post points out, and when at war one kills the enemy or finds himself dead. Those we have honored, and still do, in bunkers and trenches before us did not hold court during firefights. Perhaps we would engage a different method for settling differences if given sympathetic conditions; so far no such conditions have found home among contemporary men.

We like to think we consider all options before acting. It’s the smart thing to do. And while we may not all see all there is to consider, we give ourselves credit for looking. Capturing bin Laden may not have been likely and attempting it may have had unacceptable “collateral” results. (Why should the innocents in that local community pay for our marginal gain, if one could perceive his life over death such a gain?) And this only one such consideration.

I don’t think there is much to dance over, celebrate in the streets - as we managed without criticism on VJ day after dropping the big bombs over Japan - but certainly this is a milestone to provide credit in a war in which only small victories are won.