Lots of these in various forms. One reader (is USMC) writes in response to JPII’s remark that “Do not think that courage and strength are proved by killing and destruction. True courage lies in working for peace”:
Re bin Laden-
Yeah, I felt whiplashed too… Felt a great sense of relief, justice done,
something like that. Said a decade of the rosary for him last night. That
doesn’t mean I’m any less gratified than everybody else that he received the
rough temporal justice he’d been begging for for lo, these 20 or 30 years,
or less proud of the SEALs (so it’s being said) that got the job done.
Hanging judges used to say ‘May God have mercy on your soul,’ to the perp
being sentenced. That’s about right. I don’t mind if he’s still in
Purgatory when I get there, but I pray he wasn’t lost to the real Enemy.
It DOES take courage and strength to run into a house full of bad guys,
facing the possibility of taking one between the running lights. Maybe it’s
not the same kind of courage and strength Blessed John Paul II was talking
about. It is courage and strength; and, being physical beings, we shouldn’t
scoff at physical courage (as I was taught to do in elementary school, and
believed until I went to OCS). That said, strength comes with the
responsibility of using it the right way – to protect and defend. This is
what those SEALs were doing. You’ve long since persuaded me that OIF I
didn’t pass that test. Osama’s War on us didn’t pass that test. If he was
interested in economic equity for his people, he could have co-opted
congressmen and college kids to work political solutions. He could have used
his share of bin Laden group’s wealth to promote Islamic unity, peace,
justice, etc. He didn’t.
BTW, yes, they were guys. There are no female SEALs, or Recon Marines, or
Rangers, or Delta Force, or …
There are women serving in combat – because combat comes to the FOB and the
Logistics Patrol, and the checkpoint, and the female engagement team, in the
form of IEDs and small-arms fire — and they’re coming home with serious
wounds, PTSD, and all. From what I hear, they’re having trouble getting
recognized as combat vets when they go to the VA for their very-hard-earned
benefits. That needs to be fixed.
They’re NOT, however, doing the full-on, door-kicking, trolling for combat,
seeking out and destroying the enemy by fire and maneuver that the grunts
and special forces do. I hope we can solve that problem, without overlooking
the distinction, and putting women into ground-combat specialties. PC-ness
has the potential to get enlisted grunts killed to improve women’s chances
of wearing stars; and although, as a Marine, I want to run to the sound of
the guns, as an officer, I’d have harsher feelings for any of my peers who
were willing to risk being promoted over an enlisted Marine or soldier’s
corpse, than I do for Sheik Osama.
I think my reader get pretty much everything right in this letter, including the estimation that JPII doesn’t have the brave SEALs in mind in that saying, but rather the bellicose politicians and laptop bombardiers who imagine that violence is always our first, best option for dealing with every problem. I’ve got nothing but pride and congratulations for the courageous men who, as my reader said, were using their power the right way, to protect and defend.
Speaking of which, another reader wrote me to ask:
How is this not State-sanctioned assassination? Is this justice, or is this vengeance?
Granted, I am by no means an expert on geo-politics and international law, but the fact that we are rejoicing that our government sanctioned a hit on a person without trial makes me very queasy.
It’s war and bin Laden was a combatant. In fact, he was a general. We didn’t try members of the Wehrmacht when they shot at us. We shot back and killed them.
Congress declared war on Nazi Germany. It was a legal, Constitutional war. There has been no declaration of war on al Qaeda. And bin Laden is a general only in the sense that bosses in the IRA or the Mafia are “captains.”
Had U.S. troops been tasked to capture bin Laden, then killed him once he resisted, that would be one thing. But it seems that troops were sent in with orders to kill him. How is that not State-sanctioned assassination?
Because it was certain that bin Laden would not just come quietly, so troops were very sensibly told to just kill him. If it turns out he surrendered and then they just shot him in cold blood, that’s another story. But I’m thinking they were simply dealing with reality on the ground: “He’s holed up here. Go get him.” I doubt capture entered into the planners’ minds because, quite frankly, one of our troops is worth a thousand of him. If it was a choice between risking American lives to capture him and just storming the place and gunning him down, I know I wouldn’t want my son’s life risked to please the delicate sensibilities of a HuffPo writer.
On the other hand, we also have sundry people writing trying to justify, not only killing Obama, but wishing him in Hell and embracing neo-Calvinism with dogmatic statements that God “hates” the wicked (by which they never mean themselves, of course) and therefore we may delight in the death and presumed damnation of Osama.
Ahem. Some biblical passages for our cocksure gloaters to contemplate, courtesy of one “Captain Peabody” over in the Register comboxes:
“Says the Lord: have I any pleasure at all in the death of the wicked? But rather I will that the wicked turn from his way, and live.” Ezekiel 18:23
“When your enemy shall fall, be not glad, and in his ruin let not your heart rejoice: Lest the Lord see, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him.” Proverbs 24:17-18
“And when you shall stand to pray, forgive, if you have aught against any
man: that your Father also, who is in heaven, may forgive you your sins. But if you will not forgive, neither will your father that is in heaven forgive you your sins.” Mark 11:25
“You have heard that it has been said, You shall love your neighbour, and hate your enemy. But I say to you, Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you: That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven, who makes his sun to rise upon the good, and bad, and rains upon the just and the unjust.” -Matthew“Bless them that persecute you: bless, and curse not.” -Romans 12:14
“And when they had come to the place which is called Calvary, they crucified him there: and the robbers, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. And Jesus said: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:33
It amazes me that people can’t get the hang of the idea that you will the death of an enemy in self-defense, yet you must not relish it or (worse still) relish the idea of his eternal damnation, but pray that he, even he, might find grace and mercy. The stunning lack of self-awareness which can casually consign somebody else to eternal torments while never stopping for a moment to wonder how one’s own accounts stands before the Divine Bookkeeper is like a biblical parable just waiting to happen. Have none of these people gloating over the death of the wicked man ever seen a Twilight Zone episode? Have they never seen somebody in a movie loudly bray “This ship is unsinkable!” and then stroll away to reveal the “Titanic” life preserver hanging on the wall? Have they never heard Jesus say, “Because you say ‘we see’ your sin remains!”
In more terrestrial news, the birther nuts are regrouping after a very bad weekend for The Donald due to his serious pwning both at that Press Dinner and then with the killing of Osama.
Frank Beckwith is already having way too much fun as the paranoid conspiracy theories begin to hatch and the kooks start figuring out some way to keep Osama alive along with Hitler, JFK and Elvis in Area 51. Meanwhile, on the political front, Obama is, of course, basking in the glow of what brave troops under his command accomplished (thus do pols always exploit the troops they send to fight for them) while poor Rush Limbaugh is left with the thankless task of trying to figure out a way to tear down and mock what Obama actually did while ignoring that George “Not that interested” Bush couldn’t be bothered to do it a mere six months after 9/11. Limbaugh’s deeply pathetic and partisan sneers of sarcasm are a sorry attempt to detract from a rare moment of American unanimity, not around Obama or Bush, but around the fact that a monster whose continued mocking presence on planet Earth was a festering sore infecting Ground Zero, the Pentagon, and Shanksville, PA–and that this monster is finally gone. In contrast, George W. Bush showed genuine class and a spirit of love for his country and for the victims of Osama. For just one day, I wish Limbaugh could have shut up, forgotten the party spirit, and been glad for his country’s sake. His behavior demonstrates everything that’s wrong with elevating good of party over love of country. We get it, Rush. You despise Obama. Let it go for one day and be glad, for your countryman’s sake, that justice has finally come to the architect of 9/11, even if it costs letting Obama look good for a day.
Elsewhere, people are going through the normal jitters as the Dead Osama does his Voice of Saruman trick and tries to scare the west with warnings of terrible things to come should we kill him. Yeah, yeah. Whatever. So he’s had nukes in reserve all this time but refused to use them out of what? Politeness? Sorry Osama. You’re already dead. Meanwhile, what is extremely clear from all this is that good intelligence work, not three wars costing 1.2 trillion dollars in fruitless nation-building and meandering confusion in Libya are what did the job here. What’s also clear is that we are never leaving our Empire, nonetheless, till our economy collapses under the weight of it. That might happen sooner than we think.
Next up: on our Secular Messianic America Worship Front, we have this exquisite sacralization of the soldier, whom FOX News is using as a sort of human shield for the America worship which both neocons and secular liberals (but I repeat myself) love to indulge:
Justice was done—heroically—by Americans exquisitely trained to deliver it, carrying forth intentions and carrying out orders from a chain of commanders reaching back more than a decade. These are Americans who pledge allegiance to our flag and who, I have no doubt, are conduits of the power of God with which this country has always been aligned.
One can commend American troops for acting bravely. One can commend their commanders for doing a fine job. One can cheer for their taking out a very bad man. But FOX wants more. FOX wants you to sign on for the vision of America as the Kingdom of God on earth and if you don’t, then the brave troops are gonna get it and you are gonna be the trigger man. You don’t want *that* on your conscience do you? Of course you don’t. So just shut up and nod when the Neocon Network tells you that our country is the conduit of the very Power of God. We have no king but Caesar! Nothing creepy here.
Finally, Dale Price has a two word reply to hand-wringers who are fretting that Osama might not have gotten the perfect Muslim burial: “Tough. Sh*t.” Works for me. My only regret is that he wasn’t buried with a pig and dog as a warning to his admirers. I pray that his soul finds mercy with God. What becomes of his body matters to me only insofar as it might be used to keep other Islamic nuts from turning more people into corpses.