As an American I value the freedoms I have enjoyed since birth, often taking many of them for granted. As a journalist I value the freedom of speech I have to write whatever I want, for the most part, without fear of being censored or sued. As an attorney, I value the privilege to defend these freedoms for those whose rights have been violated. It is with these liberties in mind that I am greatly troubled by the dancing in the streets celebrated by dozens of Americans over the death of Osama Bin Laden last night.
I was angered by the attack on the United States on September 11, 2001 and I remain fearful of the world which lies in its aftermath. We have become, with good reason, a society of anxious, nervous individuals, seemingly willing to abandon America’s fundamental principles in retaliation for the great wrongs bestowed on us nearly ten years ago. Yet, are we then not becoming just as the freedom-deprived individuals who attacked us out of envy and ignorance?
War is a conflict between nations and NOT between individuals. Generally, individuals are placed on trial for war crimes and not assassinated. Many other suspected terrorists have gone on trial here and abroad and their fate has been adjudicated accordingly. That’s what civilized people do.
In the 19th century, British philosopher and noted pacifist Bertrand Russell stated “War does not determine who is right – only who is left.” Only time will tell what we are left with. Only time will tell if Islamic terrorists will deify Osama as a martyr or be liberated from his mental grip to enjoy the freedoms most Arabs now seem to want.