Share your best Osama Bin Laden Is Dead celebration stories

It’s difficult to imagine just how much our lives are going to change, now that a shadowy figure many thought was dead already is now officially dead, but judging by the coverage already it’s clear that it’s going to have a massive impact on all of us. Not in the sense of some of the ludicrous limits to our freedom imposed by governments since Obama Bin Laden’s September 11 2001 attack finally being rescinded and a degree of normality being restored – because that’s not going to happen. Those freedoms are gone for good. But because it’s the kind of death which can make the rest of us feel really great about ourselves.


It’s like Christmas… except without the presents or the message of peace.

For starters, it’s about time that we got to dance around in the streets cheering the death of a hated foreigner. It’s one of the things we all envy the most about the Middle East, the chanting and waving of fists, and finally we get to do some of that of our own. Booyah, as our side says. And as the happy crowds outside the White House at the moment demonstrate, there’s nothing like standing about in a mob with fellow citizens and feeling really powerful because your country was able, after only a decade, to kill a guy who turned on you after you originally armed him and set him up.


Shattering negative national stereotypes.

And Osama only has himself to blame. If he’d just walked out of that cave with his hands up when they demanded he surrender, then he would still be alive, and be on his way to prison to be held pending a proper trial for his crimes. He chose not to accept the offer of a fair trial when the soldiers announced they were taking him into custody, I assume, so no-one should be surprised that they were forced to regretfully cut him to pieces. Not for revenge, but because he was coming right at them holding an AK-47, as usual.

I propose a national holiday to celebrate this glorious victory, and not just because it’d be nice to get another day off a week after ANZAC day.

UPDATE: Check out this heartwarming footage of a mob of US cadets being encouraged by their commander.

UPDATE #2: Or, to put it another way:

UPDATE #3: Psychology Today on The Psychology of Revenge: Why We Should Stop Celebrating Osama Bin Laden’s Death:

It is hard not to think that some of the impulse to celebrate “justice being done” may also contain a certain pleasure in revenge–not just “closure” but “getting even.” The world is not safer with Osama Bin Laden’s violent demise (threat levels are going up, not down), so no cause for celebration there; evil has not been finally removed from the Earth, so no reason for jubilation on that count. The War on Terror goes on, so there is no closure in that regard. The truth is that “celebrating justice” when one person is killed–as happens regularly in the gang wars of American cities–only incites further desire for revenge, which, from “the other side’s” viewpoint, is usually called “justice.”

Think of it. If a leader in our country were killed by another government in the manner in which Osama Bin Laden was killed, as “justice” for his acts of aggression in the War on Terror–and people from that other country were shown proudly chanting the country’s name, singing their national anthem, and demonstrating in the streets–Americans would likely feel more sickened than joyful, don’t you think? The impulse to celebrate a death depends on what side you’re on.

We will only have peace when we stop the cycle of jubilation over acts of violence.

Who will stop the cycle? If not us, who? If not you and I, who will it be?

But they started it! They started it! Why do we have to be the adults?

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107 responses to “Share your best Osama Bin Laden Is Dead celebration stories

  1. Splatterbottom

    Thanks for the insight into the leftist mindset. It is hardly a surprise that the leftist-islamofascist alliance would find nothing to be happy about here.

    Celebrating victories is an important part of any war. It is good that people should be cheered by the death of this monster. Sadly his sick-fuck religious beliefs will live on.

  2. “the leftist-islamofascist alliance”

    Geez you’re an idiot, sometimes.

  3. Splatterbottom

    It’s not as though you weren’t stretching things a bit is it?

  4. And thank Christ for that (if there was one) Anything to get the silly royal family and their even sillier marriage off the front pages of the paper. I have had it up to here with this madness.

    Oh by the way SB

  5. cont. What makes your religion any different?It’s all just a fairy story, same, same. I would have thought. The Muslims abuse their wives, just like the Catholics. The only difference as I see it is the music. That stuff that they put out on the local mosque tannoy system is really shit. Give me” All things bright and beautiful” any day. he he.

  6. “Celebrating victories is an important part of any war.”

    Even Pyrrhic victories?

    Get OBL – Check

    Get Mullah Omar – Nope

    Destroy the Taleban – Nope.

    They were the three stated reasons that Rumsfeld gave for the invasion of Afghanistan. They’ve achieved one of those goals, when it wasn’t looking like they were going to achieve any they started giving us bullshit goals like ‘nation building’ and establishing democracy *snort*.. How’s that going?

    So yeah, a minor pyrrhic victory.

    USA USA USA…..

  7. jordanrastrick

    Its pretty sad that anyone feels the need to exult in another person’s death for any reason, but human nature being what it is, to many people this inevitably provides a sense of closure or justice.

    And Osama only has himself to blame. If he’d just walked out of that cave with his hands up when they demanded he surrender, then he would still be alive, and be on his way to prison to be held pending a proper trial for his crimes. He chose not to accept the offer of a fair trial when the soldiers announced they were taking him into custody, I assume, so no-one should be surprised that they were forced to regretfully cut him to pieces.

    This is hardly fair. We probably won’t ever know the true details of the operation that killed him.

    But Bin Laden is on public record plausibly claiming responsibility for repeated terrorist attacks against the U.S., its allies, and (often enough) innocent civilians in Muslim countries since they were always the softest possible targets for him.

    He has been listed as America’s most wanted fugitive for almost a decade. He and his supporters are well known to be armed and incredibly dangerous.

    He has had years in which he could have made contact with authorities in the U.S. or a more neutral country like Switzerland, and offered to surrender himself for a trial or asked for political asylum. Maybe he could never have received a fair trial anywhere in the world, but the point is he did not want or ask for a trial. Instead he styled himself as the leader of an army of demented murderous ideologues who have done nothing but target innocent civilians, of all races and religions, all around the world. Unless you want to argue that he was so deluded as to be not competent to stand trial, there can be little doubt authorities are justified in using lethal force against him.

    To use an analogy, due process does not extend to giving a man pointing a shotgun at a child’s face three chances to put the gun down before you order a sniper to fire.

  8. Splatterbottom

    Lynot: “The Muslims abuse their wives”

    Muslims I know don’t do that at all. What are you talking about? Are you taking the piss??

  9. Splatterbottom

    Jordan: “human nature being what it is, to many people this inevitably provides a sense of closure or justice.”

    In some cases this is quite appropriate. Surely it is a question of fact and degree.

  10. jordanrastrick

    Well, SB, I recently converted to Christianity, so maybe I have a bizarre sense of morality by the standards of most. But I don’t believe in our attempts to focus on degrees of right and wrong, fundamentally. Its the wrong way to align ourselves with respect to reality. Morally, we’re all basket cases; some people less so than others, but usually other people’s bad deeds primarily serve as an excuse not to talk about our own.

    In a perfect world, all of Osama Bin Laden’s victims would forgive him for his crimes. But then I would wish to see forgiveness from the victims of NATO bombs or Gaddafian shells in Libya, from the families of Israeli and Sinhalese kids killed by suicide bombs and from the Palestinian and Tamil kids shot dead by soliders. Essentially, I think we should live in a universe where everyone acts like this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amish_school_shooting#Amish_community_response

    However, we live in a fallen world, not a perfect one, and we must rely on human instruments of security and justice, flawed as they are. I trust that those in the American government who have judged it necessary to order bin Laden’s death are not significantly more evil people than I am myself, and I know they have much better intelligence of the ongoing threat he posed; so I give their decision the benefit of the doubt.

    I do my best not to judge people, especially Americans, who are genuinely exuberant to see Osama dead, just as I do my best not to judge the citizens of MENA countries who celebrated on September 11 2001, or the political radicals in my very own suburb who would have been glad to see the assassination of George Bush or John Howard. But in each of these cases, the joy in venegence surely has little connection to true justice as it must appear from the Divine viewpoint, and furthermore it blinds people to their own evils and the ongoing evils committed in their name.

  11. I probably won’t be cracking the champers but I sure as hell won’t be mourning his death either. No-one really expected him to grow old in the local Islamabad Shady Acres did they?

  12. There is an interesting thread on Reddit about this as well.

    I certainly won’t be shedding any tears over this particular death but I feel a bit odd seeing the out and out celebrations that some people are partaking in. If anything it is a symbolic victory without any real impact on ongoing operations. It also seems wrong that given the resources available to the US and it’s allies it has taken close to 10 years to achieve this goal – a single individual has managed to elude the combined power of a number of western countries for nearly a decade, it’s hardly an outstanding example.

    It’s also disappointing to see how quickly commentators on both sides are weaving this event into a political narrative that supports their favoured side. At the end of it all it seems that this is simply a political event with no real immediate impact on the status quo.

  13. jordanrastrick

    If anything it is a symbolic victory without any real impact on ongoing operations.

    Modern terrorism-centred conflicts are a symbolic wars, in which real casualties are just the ammunition for newspaper headlines. It doesn’t matter if the the US catches or kills the current logistics commander of al Qaeda, so much as it matters if young Muslim kids around the world want to grow up to be the next logistics commander.

    In this war of ideas being acted out with bombs, its far too early to say whether Osama’s death is likely to help or hurt Western interests in the long run.

    It also seems wrong that given the resources available to the US and it’s allies it has taken close to 10 years to achieve this goal – a single individual has managed to elude the combined power of a number of western countries for nearly a decade, it’s hardly an outstanding example.

    Given Osama was fortified in a mansion near Islamabad, and the intelligence on his whereabouts apparently dated from August, it seems incredibly likely he was sheltered by elements of the Pakistani intelligence community politically aligned to his goals. In fact the most plausible explanation is that the anti-Western, long dominant faction of the Pakistani ICI, with tacit support from parts of their military government, have given Bin Laden safe haven since around about the time of the battle of Tora Bora.

    The U.S. may have long suspected that to be the case, but there are obvious diplomatic and strategic obstacles to following the trail and conducting a military operation in those circumstances.

  14. The conventional opinion has been that it has been a long time since Bin Laden has been influential in al-Qaeda.

    What his assassination achieves is to allow nationalistic Americans to puff out their chests and say if you attack us we’ll come and get you. It may take a week, a month, a year or 10 years, but we’ll get you.

    Let’s hope it doesn’t set off a huge backlash from the religious zealots who have been brainwashed by al-Qaeda and its many like minded organisations.

    There’s a piece worthwhile reading here.

  15. Personally, I don’t see anyone’s death as something to celebrate – even that of a mass-murderer.

    Celebrating victories is an important part of any war. It is good that people should be cheered by the death of this monster.

    Thanks for the insight into the bloodlust of the right-wing mindset.

    Also, the US isn’t at war with or in Pakistan.

  16. He has had years in which he could have made contact with authorities in the U.S. or a more neutral country like Switzerland, and offered to surrender himself for a trial or asked for political asylum. Maybe he could never have received a fair trial anywhere in the world, but the point is he did not want or ask for a trial. Instead he styled himself as the leader of an army of demented murderous ideologues who have done nothing but target innocent civilians, of all races and religions, all around the world. Unless you want to argue that he was so deluded as to be not competent to stand trial, there can be little doubt authorities are justified in using lethal force against him.

    To use an analogy, due process does not extend to giving a man pointing a shotgun at a child’s face three chances to put the gun down before you order a sniper to fire.

    Look, there are laws about these things, you know. We don’t get to take him out while he’s sitting down to dinner with friends just because he’s had years to hand himself in and chose not to. If it turns out he was pointing a shotgun at a child’s face at the time they found him, your analogy will be apt. Otherwise, not.

  17. @jordanrastrick

    Given Osama was fortified in a mansion near Islamabad, and the intelligence on his whereabouts apparently dated from August, it seems incredibly likely he was sheltered by elements of the Pakistani intelligence community politically aligned to his goals.

    In a roundabout way I guess that was my point – the supposed omnipotence and ability of ‘the west’ (even with the contribution of non-western allies) has been proven to be far less than previously believed.

    It seems the influence the west has on other countries is far less than what we would be led to believe in the press.

  18. “Muslims I know don’t do that at all. What are you talking about? Are you taking the piss??”

    SB back at ya, you’re taking the piss now right? And here’s me thinking you were apart from your warped politics, a man of the world. I have worked in Libya, they force feed their women folk to obtain a nice breeding weight. Think I’m joking? Probably. You can get a bundle of information on how they hang women in Iran and other places of enlightenment for adultery. If that ain’t abusing the old cheese and kisses I don’t know what is.

    Jesus SB your not going all bleeding heart on me are ya? You’ll be telling me David Hicks was just a good old mis-understood adventurer next.

    Just for the record SB I’m sorry they didn’t take Bin Laden alive. Left up to me I would have taken him up to the top of a not so famous New York sky scraper and threw him off. He could then experience the horror of those poor people 9/11. I’ll wait for the usual schlock that makes me as bad as him routine.

  19. I wonder how Osama Bin Laden’s war against America will be viewed in 2000 years time (this assumes of course 1. man still exists in 2000 yrs time 2. if he still exists, is civilised and exists in a form with recorded history)? I would think its likely he’ll be in the history books.

    Unless America is writing the history books in 2000 years, Bin Laden may be written about in a similar manner to Hannabal. If you read accounts of Hannabal, he was a very capable leader fighting Roman imperialism and for a time very successfully. The Romans absolutely despised him and he was as hated by the Romans as much as Bin Laden was hated by the Americans.

    Similarly, if one is completely objective and dispassionate about it and gets away from the pro western bias of the information are bombarded with (after all we are essentially a US colony), its difficult to come to any other conclusion than Bin Laden was a fighter against US imperialism and he did have some spectacular success.

  20. jordanrastrick

    Personally, I don’t see anyone’s death as something to celebrate – even that of a mass-murderer.

    No, me neither.

    Look, there are laws about these things, you know

    Are there? What are they, and what do they say?

    In a roundabout way I guess that was my point – the supposed omnipotence and ability of ‘the west’ (even with the contribution of non-western allies) has been proven to be far less than previously believed.

    America is the predominant military power in the world, and will be for the forseeable future.

    But exerting control over other countries is always a precarious thing at the best of times. And while the average member of the public or the press might overweigh American influence, I’m sure their diplomatic, military, and intelligence communities have not considered themselves omnipotent in any sense for a long time, if ever.

  21. “Bin Laden was a fighter against US imperialism and he did have some spectacular success.”

    Indeed. It is also far from over, there will be more Bin Ladens. They have an edge we don’t. They are prepared to die not for politics, but for a fairy tale called religion. This has more power than a fleet of nuclear powered submarines.

  22. Are there? What are they, and what do they say?

    Earlier, you posted:

    Unless you want to argue that he was so deluded as to be not competent to stand trial, there can be little doubt authorities are justified in using lethal force against him.

    I got the impression from that you knew what the law said, or at least that you thought you did.

  23. Splatterbottom

    Lynot: “our not going all bleeding heart on me are ya?”

    I’m a person of moderate disposition, and as such I try not to over-generalise about such matters.

    Gordicans, like Bin Laden, Hannibal was a loser. He was the last gasp of an old empire which was destroyed by the Roman Republic as it entered an expansionary phase. There are legitimate comparisons between Rome and the US. They both represent high points of civilisation.

    There is a massive disconnect between being “objective and dispassionate” and making idiotic statements like “after all we are essentially a US colony”. However that resounding idiocy is utterly dwarfed by this insanity:

    “Bin Laden was a fighter against US imperialism and he did have some spectacular success.”

    How is it that murdering thousands of innocent civilians is “success”?

    Bin Laden was trying to impose his own degraded form of imperialism, the caliphate, on the rest of the world. The only worthwhile thing he did was fight the leftist imperialism Russia imposed on Afghanistan.

  24. How is it that murdering thousands of innocent civilians is “success”?

    It can certainly be argued that OBL had some considerable success in his fight against the US, not through the attack on the WTC itself but through the US’s incredible over-reaction to it, which OBL no doubt would have foreseen.

    The US has spent trillions upon trillions of dollars in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, which has not only contributed massively to the collapse in the US economy, but also (in the case of Iraq) brought near-universal (and well-deserved) condemnation of the US from the international community.

    There’s also the US’s abandonment of the rule of law that flowed from the “War on Terror”. The US has embraced torture and lawless indefinite detention, not to mention Bush’s illegal spying on US citizens. Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, etc. Again, all of this has resulted in massive damage to the US’s international standing, and rightly so. The cost of the WoT to civil liberties in the US is untold.

    Anti-muslim prejudice is also hugely on the rise on the US e.g. the furore over the muslim prayer centre in NYC, the threatened Koran burnings, etc. These sorts of things are no doubt great recruiting boons to muslim fundies who want to bring the US down.

    You think he hasn’t succeeded, but that’s because (as usual) you are only looking at this from one side.

  25. Splatterbottom

    Buns, the cost of the wars and the slight curtailment of civil liberties I can live with insofar it is necessary to hunt down and kill these animals. The price of freedom is having the will to pay the price to defend it. Sadly there are a lot of dickheads who, rather than doing anything constructive to help destroy those who would enslave us with their vile beliefs, instead run interference for the enemy.

    What disgusts me is the curtailments of freedom that are not only utterly unnecessary, but actually give comfort to the enemy, such as the hideous restrictions on free speech and the show trials of blasphemers by so-called civilised governmetns (including that of Victoria). The arse-end of multiculturalism is the paralysing fear to state the bleeding obvious – that some cultural beliefs are inferior to others.

  26. jordanrastrick

    Indeed. It is also far from over, there will be more Bin Ladens. They have an edge we don’t. They are prepared to die not for politics, but for a fairy tale called religion. This has more power than a fleet of nuclear powered submarines.

    Its interesting that you privilege religion amongst ideologies where a willingness to die grants such power. Do you think Palestinian suicide bombers will bring their people more peace and security than the Tamil tigers managed? If you call your cause Freedom rather than God, are your delusions somehow less effective?

    I believe that dying for causes achieves nothing, in the long run, if the causes aren’t worth dying for.

    I got the impression from that you knew what the law said, or at least that you thought you did.

    You mistake me for Jeremy, perhaps. I am not a lawyer. When I said lethal force was justified, I only meant under the ad-hoc “natural” justice principles people typically apply where there is a vacuum of genuine law.

    Having said that, to the best of my knowledge, there is as yet no legislature sovereign over acts of transnational organisations such as al-Qaeda, and no court with true jurisdiction in lawless places. Who has the right and the capability, for instance, to sit as the peers on a jury in judgement of Somali pirates?

    Afghanistan is in open civil war. Pakistan is not far from it. The Rule of Law can not be said to be established in either place.

    Saudi Arabia has disowned Bin Laden as a traitor. The mandate of international law is to mediate disputes between sovereign states, not wars between stateless individuals with box-cutters and super powers with predator drones. We do not yet have a legal framework to deal with the crimes of a globalised world.

    Where is the statute under which Bin Laden could have been prosecuted and convicted? Can you quote to me from it? Is there a nation on Earth where he could have received a fair and impartial trial?

    It can certainly be argued that OBL had some considerable success in his fight against the US, not through the attack on the WTC itself but through the US’s incredible over-reaction to it, which OBL no doubt would have foreseen.

    The US has spent trillions upon trillions of dollars in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, which has not only contributed massively to the collapse in the US economy, but also (in the case of Iraq) brought near-universal (and well-deserved) condemnation of the US from the international community.

    Bin Laden was more than successful in his immediate objectives, and probably “achieved” as much as anyone employing asymmetric violence against a super power could have hoped for. He struck paranoid terror into the heart of the Western World, bred enmity between people in Muslim and non-Muslim countries, and probably slowed the embrace of the values of modern global culture in the Middle East and North Africa for a few more years. Certainly many lives have been lost and dollars wasted in the conflicts he has helped provoke.

    But it is highly likely to all wash out to only a footnote in history. Bin Laden’s ideas, and those bred by the worst reactions to him, have no substance. The US Bill of Rights will endure long after the Patriot Act has been thrown into the waste paper bin. The young people who have grown up under Murabak, Khomeni et al are already beginning to see that Twitter is a more powerful weapon than C-4 for the overthrow of corrupt, foreign-backed regimes.

    Why die to make some foreigners scared enough to want to bomb your family, when you can live to see peace and prosperity for you and your children?

  27. “I’m a person of moderate disposition, and as such I try not to over-generalise about such matters.”

    Then this !!!

    ” Sadly there are a lot of dickheads who, rather than doing anything constructive to help destroy those who would enslave us with their vile beliefs, instead run interference for the enemy.”

    Indeed SB. Indeed.
    Some would say a bit of cognitive dissonance there, but not me.

  28. SB, you illustrate my point exactly. Rather than discuss the issue objectively you discuss it from a subjective pro western pro american perspective eg. “the price of freedom…” and we are the goodies and they are the baddies etc. You simply regurgitate propaganda and it’s pure crapp.

  29. uniquerhys

    “Where is the statute under which Bin Laden could have been prosecuted and convicted?”

    Every country in the world has laws on their books pertaining to premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit, aiding and abetting, etc. It’s the stupid attempts to charge AQ members with “terrorism-related charges” that creates the problem, since there’s no such law with thousands of years of history of jurisprudence. Good old fashioned “Thou Shalt Not Kill” would have been good enough.

  30. Good post Jeremy. They all look so young. Guess they arranged it through txting, probably bored, clearly no brains.
    It is completely repellent, but revenge at it’s core always is. Guess there was no chance Obama, could’a just shut up about it? Does any REAL good come out of his death or the announcement of it?

  31. Splatterbottom

    Jordan: “But I don’t believe in our attempts to focus on degrees of right and wrong, fundamentally. Its the wrong way to align ourselves with respect to reality. Morally, we’re all basket cases;”

    This is just muddle-headed false equivalence. There is a difference between good and evil. For example the Palestinians who celebrated 9/11 were supporting evil. That was a rotten thing to do, and far worse than the Yanks who celebrated the death of Bin Laden. People ought to distinguish between killing civilians and killing terrorists.

    Personal virtue is something to be distinguished and pursued in the decisions we make and the way we live our lives. We also need to distinguish between good and evil and the varying degrees thereof in making judgments about our support for or opposition to various events.

    Autonomy: “What his assassination achieves is to allow nationalistic Americans to puff out their chests and say if you attack us we’ll come and get you. “

    This is a good thing. It will encourage politicians to do their duty to protect their country against jihadist scum. No doubt the leftist tactic of pretending that communism wasn’t a threat to western democracy will be repeated here. Academics will produce papers to show that terrorists aren’t religiously motivated but rather are responding to American hegemony and that the west’s response ought not be to defend itself but rather to cave in to the demands of its enemies.

    It will be a sad day when the Pax Americana is replaced by a caliphate, but you wouldn’t get any sense of this by listening to the chattering classes.

  32. Splatterbottom

    Gordicans: “SB, you illustrate my point exactly. Rather than discuss the issue objectively you discuss it from a subjective pro western pro american perspective eg. “the price of freedom…” and we are the goodies and they are the baddies etc. You simply regurgitate propaganda and it’s pure crap.”

    You are correct. I do prefer peace to jihad and democracy to sharia law. Your comment perfectly illustrates my point about the failure to distinguish between good and evil.

    Unique, there is a war going on. Extra-judicial killings happen every day. The killing of the pious Muslim terrorist Bin Laden was a good thing.

  33. Academics will produce papers to show that terrorists aren’t religiously motivated but rather are responding to American hegemony and that the west’s response ought not be to defend itself but rather to cave in to the demands of its enemies.

    Well, if you won’t take the academics’ word for it, just listen to the terrorists themselves. They’ll tell you you’re wrong about their motivations. And I think they’d know.

    Those who aren’t totally ignorant of history will be aware that all acts of aggression – bar none – are dressed up as acts of self-defence. All that’s needed here is the slightest capacity to resist US’s self-serving propaganda. This is obviously beyond some people who think that we are good and the other side is evil and will doubtless continue to do so, regardless of the facts. But it’s easy to see how, in the eyes of such people, the remotest pushback against US imperialism is “running interference” for terrorists or part of a “leftist-Islamofascist alliance”. After all, we’re either with us or with the terrorists.

    Personally, I find it easy to understand that what with the US’s endless invasions, occupations, mass slaughter of civilians, torture, drones, bombings and death and destruction on a massive scale going on at any given time in a number of mulsim-dominated countries throughout the Middle East, muslims might feel inclined to return serve now and again, especially as the terrorists themselves will expressly state – as they have repeatedly done – that those things are their motivation. It would be more shocking if they didn’t. The mind boggles at the capacity for self-delusion of those who, knowing the US’s actions in the Middle East, can still cling to the fantasy that “they hate us for our freedoms”.

    It will be a sad day when the Pax Americana is replaced by a caliphate

    Anyone so detached from reality and gripped by paranoia as to think that this is not only possible but just a matter of time is to be pitied, if not committed.

  34. jordanrastrick

    This is just muddle-headed false equivalence. There is a difference between good and evil.

    Yes, there is all the difference in the world. And if, as a human with a human’s fundamentally flawed sense of morality, you claim with 100% confidence that the actions of violence of your allies are morally irreproachable, while the actions of violence of your enemies are morally indefensible, I put it to you that it is because you have been mislead by evil.

    Targeting civilians is more evil than targeting soldiers which is more evil than targeting terrorists. The best human justice we have sometimes requires people to be killed, even without a trial in some cases.

    However, you are a Christian, SB. So I respectfully ask you to read any Gospel, and tell me if you think Christ would encourage you to sit in judgement of Osama Bin Laden as a man of pure evil, and pronounce the orderers and implementers of his assasination free from any possible blame. Have you fully comprehended every party’s motivations, innermost thoughts, and the workings of their consciences?

    Tell me if you think Christians should celebrate Osama’s death, or pray that he be forgiven. Judge not lest ye be judged and turn the other cheek are not just platitudes to be mouthed like the latest vacuous slogan of a political party.

    For example the Palestinians who celebrated 9/11 were supporting evil.

    Yes, I’d guess many were; may God forgive them.

    That was a rotten thing to do, and far worse than the Yanks who celebrated the death of Bin Laden.

    Sure, it probably is worse. Then again, most Palestinians have far less access to accurate, unbiased information on world events than most Americans….

    The point is that if “the yanks” or anyone else are too busy congratulating themselves on their moral superiority to the people from some of the poorest, most war torn, anarchic, least civilised parts of the planet, they’re endangering their own consciences. If they start to go beyond relief at the removal of a threat to their lives, into genuine revelry in self-righteoues hatred and anger, and positive joy that their enemies are dead, they have begun the very same pattern of thinking that ultimately leads people like Bin Laden into their crimes.

    People ought to distinguish between killing civilians and killing terrorists

    I do distinguish between them. I think there are degrees of right and wrong. Hence my use of the word “focus”; if your moral thinking focuses on degrees of right and wrong, and in particular on drawing a line in the continuum such that you and your friends sit on one side and your enemies sit on the other, you will inevitably tend to slide toward the bad end.

  35. uniquerhys

    “Unique, there is a war going on. Extra-judicial killings happen every day.”

    Doesn’t mean we should be proud of sinking to the same moral depths as our enemies. Justice would also be served by bin Laden spending a long and healthy life in a supermax prison cell, unable to escape except by committing the cowardly sin of suicide.

    I suspect the orders were to capture bin Laden if possible – he’s a much more useful intelligence asset alive than dead after all. And we don’t need a martyr animating the remnants of AQ. But the ensuring firefight forced the Navy Seals to kill him.

  36. Its interesting that you privilege religion amongst ideologies where a willingness to die grants such power. Do you think Palestinian suicide bombers will bring their people more peace and security than the Tamil tigers managed? If you call your cause Freedom rather than God, are your delusions somehow less effective?

    No. And having earthly thoughts of notions of freedoms write or wrong in the method to achieve them are not delusions. They are the sad reality of why we kill each other. Religious wackos be they Christian, Muslim, or any other religious belief in a deity in the sky are dangerous. They all believe they are right and have the air of a moral superiority that is palpable. They are willing to die to make me believe as they do.

    SB is no finer example. Religion right wing good. Atheism left wing bad. No room for compromise, the epitome of ignorance.We created Bin Laden end of story.

  37. jordanrastrick

    And having earthly thoughts of notions of freedoms write or wrong in the method to achieve them are not delusions.

    If you want to use the word in its accurate sense, delusions are beliefs disconnected from the consensus reality of your peers.

    The religious beliefs of most people are not delusions, because they are shared by a large, mainstream community of fellow believers. Even if they are false by some other measure of objective truth, such as scientific reasoning, that does not qualify them as delusional.

    The belief that blowing yourself up to kill innocent civilians will ultimately bring about the triumph of freedom, peace, and justice, whether in this life or any postulated hereafter, is arguably on the borderline of delusional thought since in practice it is clearly not shared with sincerity by the vast majority of any population (as evidenced by the fact that there are so few suicide bombers in the world.)

    The Tamil Tigers pioneered the use of suicide bombing, and to this day remain the group identified with the largest number of suicide bomb attacks. They were a secularist, political group. I don’t understand in what sense they were less dangerous, unless you mean less dangerous to you as a Westerner, since they probably never viewed you as an ideological enemy.

  38. I do prefer peace to jihad and democracy to sharia law.

    Wow, you’re so morally superior to us. We all love jihad and sharia law around here.

  39. Splatterbottom

    Buns: “Those who aren’t totally ignorant of history will be aware that all acts of aggression – bar none – are dressed up as acts of self-defence.”

    Nonsense. Alexander the Great didn’t purport to be acting in self defense when conquering the known world. Neither did Julius Ceaser and Augustus when expanding the Roman Empire. Nor did the Islamic invaders in their conquests from the Atlantic to India.

    Apart from that, your statement is irrelevant to the question of whether a particular act of self-defence is disguised aggression.

    Jihad is all about religiously motivated spreading of Islam. Some people just don’t get that. They have been brainwashed into believing that the US is the root of all evil and they are too stupid to question the orthodoxy of the intellectual elite.

    Jordan: “However, you are a Christian, SB. So I respectfully ask you to read any Gospel, and tell me if you think Christ would encourage you to sit in judgement of Osama Bin Laden as a man of pure evil, and pronounce the orderers and implementers of his assasination free from any possible blame. Have you fully comprehended every party’s motivations, innermost thoughts, and the workings of their consciences?”

    So what you are saying is that I should shut-up until I am omniscient? The fact is that we all make judgments based on the information. There is nothing wrong with this.

    “Tell me if you think Christians should celebrate Osama’s death, or pray that he be forgiven.”

    Both.

    “if your moral thinking focuses on degrees of right and wrong, and in particular on drawing a line in the continuum such that you and your friends sit on one side and your enemies sit on the other, you will inevitably tend to slide toward the bad end.”

    How does that work? People ought to consider questions of good and evil and make decisions on their conduct accordingly. I don’t know how doing that necessarily leads them to the bad end. In fact it should lead them to make good choices.

    Two great concepts of Christianity are original sin and redemption. The former explains why we and others do nasty shit and the latter acknowledges that no matter how badly we do screw up there is always the opportunity to change for the better.

    Unique: “Doesn’t mean we should be proud of sinking to the same moral depths as our enemies.”

    False equivalence stupidity alert: the people who killed Osama are not sunk in the same moral depths as he was.

    Lynot: “Religious wackos be they Christian, Muslim, or any other religious belief in a deity in the sky are dangerous. “

    What about atheist wackos? they have killed more than all the others put together.

  40. Splatterbottom

    Buns: “Wow, you’re so morally superior to us. We all love jihad and sharia law around here.”

    If you had bothered to read the comment which I was replying to you might realise how inane your comment is.

  41. Not at all. Since nobody accused you of preferring jihad and sharia law to peace and democracy, there was no possible purpose to your statement other than smugly to distinguish you from the rest of us.

  42. Splatterbottom

    Buns I was accused of viewing things from a pro-western perspective, and pleading guilty to that charge. I do think some cultural values are superior to others. The idiots of this world are mired in s moral equivalence. The utter fuckwits of this genre actually think western values are inferior, which is generally untrue.

  43. Well, it’s untrue for you. Others are also entitled to their opinions. You are not the appointed arbiter of cultural or moral superiority, yet you speak as though you believe you are.

  44. jordanrastrick

    I think christ preached that a lot of the time we need to shut up until we are omniscient, SB, when it comes to morality.

    I don’t think we actually disagree a great deal here, although maybe we emphasize different things. I am glad Osama bin Laden can no longer threaten the lives of other people, and I agree it appears that he was quite depraved, more so than most or all of his opponents.

    Doubtless we have different conceptions of original sin and how it operates.

    But the killing of an evildoer to my way of thinking is only ever a least possible evil, not the triumph of good. Maybe that’s just framing and semantic nitpicking. But I think it matters; I think the more people are guided by that way of thinking, the less dead civilians the world will have.

  45. narcoticmusing

    The great moral divide in this debate can be summarised as thus:

    Who is more evil? The person who sins and doesn’t know better; or the person who knows it is wrong and still sins.

    Many would believe that there are many, out of desparation take a path because they can’t see any other. They would also argue that nations like the US do know better and do it anyway. That is why one might take issue with the US celebrating this.

    Personally, to hell with Bin Laden. I just hope that his death isn’t used to further erode our civil liberties under the guise of heightened threat due to the US enablign him to be martyred.

  46. returnedman

    the bleeding obvious – … some cultural beliefs are inferior to others.

    Ooooooooh – sharp intake of breath! “My fairy story shits all over your fairy story”, in other words.

    Also, SB, the examples you gave of Alexander, Caesar and the spread of the Islamic “empire” were all motivated by one thing – that they honestly believed their way of life was superior and that they should spread it as far and as wide as possible. Remind you of anything? Or anyONE? Even just a little?

  47. jordanrastrick

    Also, SB, the examples you gave of Alexander, Caesar and the spread of the Islamic “empire” were all motivated by one thing – that they honestly believed their way of life was superior

    They were usually right.

    and that they should spread it as far and as wide as possible.

    The conquerers who built civilised empires were probably right to think that they should try and spread their values, but wrong to think that they could effectively spread those values, in a lasting fashion, at the point of a sword.

  48. Splatterbottom

    Buns: “Others are also entitled to their opinions.”

    Of course. And I’m entitled to my opinion of their opinions.

    RM the issue of inferiority of particular cultural practices is problematic for the idiot end of town. They are so hamstrung by PC nonsense that they get all conflicted when faced with such issues. At the end of the day it is just racist bullshit in that they are too scared to call out hideous practices if they are perpetrated by “little brown people”. Even when they grudgingly admit there might be a problem they soon find a way to blame the US. they would rather see people suffer than call out barbarity for what it is.

  49. with some of the stuff floating in this comments section, the words of the man himself are of interest (from 1997 and on one of the Drum sites today):

    “We declared jihad against the US Government, because the US government is unjust, criminal and tyrannical. It has committed acts that are extremely unjust, criminal and tyrannical….And we believe the US is directly responsible for those who were killed in Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq. The mention of the US reminds us before everything else of those innocent children who were dismembered, their heads and arms cut off in the recent explosion that took place in Qana. This US government abandoned even humanitarian feelings by these hideous crimes….The US today as a result of the arrogant atmosphere has set a double standard, calling whoever goes against its injustice a terrorist. It wants to occupy our countries, steal our resources, impose on us agents to rule us based not on what God has revealed and wants us to agree on all these. If we refuse to do so, it will say you are terrorists.”

    Sounds perfectly sane and reasonable to me.

  50. “The religious beliefs of most people are not delusions, because they are shared by a large, mainstream community of fellow believers. Even if they are false by some other measure of objective truth, such as scientific reasoning, that does not qualify them as delusional.”

    That is arrant nonsense, Semantics. Is all your statement demonstrates is how naive and gullible people are. Moreover using your failed logic, if the majority of the people support a certain issue, then they must be right. This has never been a yard stick to prove anything, democracy maybe, but not empirical evidence for anything. Not so many years ago most people thought the world was flat.(Some still do)

    As for suicide bombers are you serious? Nowhere have I advocated this, and unlike some of my bleeding heart lefty friends I would have them strung up by the bollocks. But as well as being a vengeful person, unlike those on the right who live in gold fish bowl, I know the west does not have clean hands in their meddling in the ME. They have been playing the Arabs for suckers since the fall of the Ottoman empire.

    Until the west sits down with these people and come to some compromise on certain issues this shit fight will go on forever. Besides they only need time, we need money, and that is fast running out. They can’t beat us militarily, but can bankrupt us, and are doing so.

    Winning anything is/was/ will always be, subjective.

  51. “What about atheist wackos? they have killed more than all the others put together.”

    I don’t think so.

  52. Splatterbottom

    gordicans: “Sounds perfectly sane and reasonable to me.”

    No doubt it does.

  53. What bits are insane or unreasonable?

  54. SB, as Bin Laden describes, he was fighting a war of occupation and plundering of resources in his lands. Pure and simple. No different to any other resistance fighters throughout history. The only difference is that we happen to be on the side he is fighting against, so subject to the constant propoganda that you for example sprout without examination.

  55. buns,

    That’s pretty much right.

    Bin Laden wasn’t stupid and his diagnosis of US behaviour in the ME isn’t far wide of the mark. His suggested treatment on the other hand, is a case of the cure being worse than the disease.

    Bin Laden’s relevance is best seen from recent events in the ME – the overthrow of authoritarian regimes (tellingly, mostly friends of Washington) by the force of popular protest – which is virtually none.

    He was far more important to the West’s war-on-terror mythology, hence the silly celebrating.

    What seems lost on the celebraters is the similarity of methods between Bin Laden and the US – the use of violence to achieve political ends.

  56. Splatterbottom

    Now we see a little more of the Leftist/Islamofascist alliance.

    Bin Laden knew how to tailor his words to appeal to Western “intellectuals” and, not surprisingly, many of them lap it up. Of course they do not bother to mention the religious basis of Bin Laden’s mission which he is quite explicit about but reserves for his Muslim audience.

    It is no surprise that gordicans thinks Bin Laden’s statement was sane and reasonable and no surprise that buns can’t see why that is not the case. Gordicans says:

    “as Bin Laden describes, he was fighting a war of occupation and plundering of resources in his lands. Pure and simple. No different to any other resistance fighters throughout history”

    This is of course deeply stupid. First of all what are “his lands”? He boasted of funding religious schools in Albania, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Netherlands, Britain, Romania, Russia, Turkey, Lebanon, and Iraq. Clearly he is not a nationalist patriot, but a seeker of a global caliphate.

    In the case of his country, Saudi Arabia, to say that the US occupied it is factually incorrect but emotive none the less. This type of argument has great appeal among terminally stupid faux revolutionaries everywhere.

    Neither is the US nor anyone else “plundering” the resources of Saudi Arabia. Again a deeply stupid statement which resonates well with the idiot left.

    Describing terrorists as “resistance fighters” is the standard terminolgy leftists use to support terrorism. The bloodlusting hypocrites who use this terminology have no place in civil discourse.

    Gadj: “What seems lost on the celebraters is the similarity of methods between Bin Laden and the US – the use of violence to achieve political ends.”

    This is like comparing surgeons to the animals who beheaded Daniel Pearl because they both used knives.

    And Lynot it was the communists of the last century who legislated atheism and not entirely coincidentally killed more people than anyone else in history. That is the fruit of atheistic leftism.

  57. This is about as good as it gets for you, eh, SB? Wanking off over your Islamofascist-leftist alliance fantasy.

    It is no surprise that gordicans thinks Bin Laden’s statement was sane and reasonable and no surprise that buns can’t see why that is not the case.

    And yet you did not answer my question.

  58. mondo rock

    Like all people Osama was both a good and a bad man. He was undoubtedly capable of great kindness, love and generosity while simultaneously harboring a fanaticism that led him to perpetrate (and presumably justify)acts of enormous brutality.

    Attempting to rank him as ‘good’ or ‘evil’ is a purely selfish exercise, although ironically one of which Osama himself would certainly approve. A more useful distinction is “moderate vs extremist”: Osama was an extremist in that his personal convictions (some of which are individually laudible) became so overwhelming that he lost the tether to his humanity. He forgot that morality is relative but human reaction is not.

    I hold no sympathy for Bin Laden because he invited his own demise.

    My only fear is that, in a similar vein, the US is inviting its own.

  59. Splatterbottom

    Buns, Bin Laden’s statement was entirely without merit. It evidenced the workings of a deluded mind unable to grasp reality. Naturally it is very appealing to those who share Osama’s hatred of all things American, and who justify murdering civilians to achieve their ends.

    We declared jihad against the US Government

    Declaring a religious war is insane and unreasonable.

    because the US government is unjust, criminal and tyrannical. It has committed acts that are extremely unjust, criminal and tyrannical

    Insane hysteria. Misguided opinion is not a reasonable excuse to murder civlians.

    And we believe the US is directly responsible for those who were killed in Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq.

    Not reasonable. No evidence.

    The mention of the US reminds us before everything else of those innocent children who were dismembered, their heads and arms cut off in the recent explosion that took place in Qana

    Not sane and not reasonable. Qana was an Israeli operation.

    This US government abandoned even humanitarian feelings by these hideous crimes”….

    Not reasonable – hysterical opinion not based on facts.

    The US today as a result of the arrogant atmosphere has set a double standard, calling whoever goes against its injustice a terrorist.

    Not reasonable. The US calls those people who murder civilians to further their religious goals “terrorists”.

    It wants to occupy our countries, steal our resources, impose on us agents to rule us based not on what God has revealed and wants us to agree on all these.

    Not sane or reasonable. Sahria law is per se a crime against humanity, whether or not god revealed it. Opposing sharia law is commendable.

    “If we refuse to do so, it will say you are terrorists.”

    Not a reasonable statement of facts. The US calls al Qaeda terrorists because they murder civilians to further their religious goals.

  60. SB well done. This is your best effort yet; rich abuse and ignorant distortion packed in tightly.

    To disagree with you is to:
    * become part of a leftist/islamofascist alliance,
    * be deeply stupid,
    * be a terminally stupid faux revolutionaries,
    * be a bloodlusting hypocrite who has no place in civil discourse

    The last one is a goody, particularly when your own discourse is anything but civil. It is full of prejudice and hate.

  61. Splatterbottom

    Gordicans it depends what we disagree about. If the disagreement is about something like the appropriate level of funding for public health then none of the above apply. On the other hand if the point of disagreement is your justification of murderous terrorists as “resistance fighters” then all of the above apply, and more.

  62. “And Lynot it was the communists of the last century who legislated atheism and not entirely coincidentally killed more people than anyone else in history. That is the fruit of atheistic leftism.”

    The only fact in that twaddle is yes, the communists legislated atheism. Tell me something I don’t know. To state that atheists killed more people than Christian religious wackos is patently absurd. The concept of Christian religion in the scheme of things is but a snap shot in time. Humans who do not/ have not shared your fantasies, were not by logical conclusion atheists..especially leftist atheists. Another concept not that much older than myself. Worshipping the sun, the moon, the rivers, confusionists, rah rah bloody rah does not make one an atheist. If you have never heard of the Christian religion, and before you throw in any pedantic hog wash about pantheism, monotheism, or any other religious ism, outside of the religion you personally ascribe, will be a bit disingenuous on your part..

    The only clear fact here is, you are a so called Christian with fantasies of fighting the good fight against an ideology that has been dead for years. Conflating your paranoia with modern progressives and communism is abject nonsense. Where precisely do you think that educated people get their ideas from, that the U.S. is not what you think it is. I know it must be Pravda. No the same news source, library’s etc you get yours from, interpretation can get some what coloured when we are lied to on a daily basis to be sure. Hindsight if it proves anything is, governments of all persuasions are as corrupt as the day is long. It wouldn’t surprise me if Bin Laden wasn’t taking a swim in the Whitehouse pool. My life operates on, I don’t believe anything I hear, and only half of what I see. Try it.

  63. mondo rock

    The truth, of course, is that Al Qaeda contains both resistance fighters and terrorists (some of their militants will undoubtedly be both as the two concepts are not mutually exclusive). Similarly some of Bin Laden’s complaints are valid, some are not.

    But SB subscribes to the Narnian brand of global conflict where there are clear good guys and clear baddies – there is no room for nuance. In SB’s world our enemy are not pursuing any legitimate goals or righting any legitimate grievances; they are simply pursuing ‘evil’.

    It may be a childish and obviously insipid worldview but it’s common enough to be a formidable ideology. Nation states throughout history have used similar manichean simplicity to propagandize their populations, just as the US successfully does today.

    Don’t be angry at SB, he is merely dancing to the piper’s tune (which these days is a very simple ditty that goes “USA, USA, USA”).

  64. SB:

    “On the other hand if the point of disagreement is your justification of murderous terrorists as “resistance fighters” then all of the above apply, and more.”

    The concept that America doesn’t deploy terrorism in its wars is that of a deluded fool.

  65. “Declaring a religious war is insane and unreasonable..” – SB

    Not forgetting that Bush et al’s first attempt at naming their act of vengence “Operation Infinite Justice” which was to be a “crusade against terrorism”.

    Yes, it was insane and outrageous, though conservative blinkers prevent this logical conclusion from being reached.

  66. Splatterbottom

    Lynot: “To state that atheists killed more people than Christian religious wackos is patently absurd.”

    A hundred million dead may not seem many to you, but that leftist killing spree far exceeded anything that had gone before.

    And communism isn’t dead. It has just changed colour from red to green.

    Mondo: “Al Qaeda contains both resistance fighters and terrorists”

    Apart from sounding more like a platitudinous assumption rather than a statement of fact, this is irrelevant in the context of a discussion of Gordican’s characterisation of Bin Laden as a resistance fighter. Sadly this is typical of your rhetorical style – misleading platitudes that don’t address the real issue. Why not directly address the issue and tell us whether you think Bin Laden should be characterised as a “resistance fighter”.

    “Similarly some of Bin Laden’s complaints are valid, some are not.”

    Why on earth do you mouth this cringeworthy cant. The point is that his terrorist attacks are “not valid”.

    “But SB subscribes to the Narnian brand of global conflict where there are clear good guys and clear baddies – there is no room for nuance. In SB’s world our enemy are not pursuing any legitimate goals or righting any legitimate grievances; they are simply pursuing ‘evil’.

    It may be a childish and obviously insipid worldview but it’s common enough to be a formidable ideology. Nation states throughout history have used similar manichean simplicity to propagandize their populations, just as the US successfully does today.”

    If the left can’t even get on board with the struggle against al Qaeda then there is no hope for us at all. I admit that in this dispute I want the survival of Western civilisation and the obliteration of the jihadists together with their stinking religious ideology. This is as close to black and white as it gets. It is a shame the left is too busy nuancing itself to death to work out which side it is on.

  67. Splatterbottom

    Gordicans: “The concept that America doesn’t deploy terrorism in its wars is that of a deluded fool.”

    That statement has absolutely nothing to do with your characterisation of Bin Laden as a resistance fighter. It is just a gutless ruse to avoid discussion of your hideous assertion.

  68. Mine is the only sane view of history. All others are insane and unreasonable, solely by reason of the fact that they are different to mine. This is what we’re being asked to accept. It’s arrogance and ego know no bounds.

  69. “That statement has absolutely nothing to do with your characterisation of Bin Laden as a resistance fighter. It is just a gutless ruse to avoid discussion of your hideous assertion.”

    He was. Remember he was fighting the Soviets (evil, atheist commies).. He was a terrorist too! I guess that’s too complex for you to get your primitive, racist brain around though? You live in a black and white world SB, where there’s left/right, good/evil.. No grey areas in your world, your right wing brain can’t handle them.

    USA USA USA

  70. SB you know perfectly well that one man’s resistance fighter is another man’s terrorist. Your arguments are comic book and infantile.

  71. Splatterbottom

    The usual reaction of the left to terrorist atrocities is to blame the Americans for forcing the terrorists to perpetrate their vile deeds.

    The next tactic is to refer to the terrorists as “resistance fighters” which is a not-so-subtle way of legitimating terrorist actions. Calling terrorists “resistance fighters” is a form of dishonest dissembling which is particularly useful for leftists who do not wish to denigrate their fellow America-haters

    Having made those points a particularly wet leftist might then concede that a specific act of murder is wrong in order to preserve some fig-leaf of decency. In fact such people have not a skerrick of decency about them.

  72. Once again, you’re confusing your paranoid anti-left fantasies with reality. Perhaps you should seek help for your delusions. Or at the very least stop making shit up.

  73. In fact such people have not a skerrick of decency about them.

    Begs the question what you are doing here, if not trolling. Sounds like we’d all be better off if you just fucked off.

  74. mondo rock

    The next tactic is to refer to the terrorists as “resistance fighters” which is a not-so-subtle way of legitimating terrorist actions.

    There is an obvious difference between explaining and legitimating SB. The problem with fundamentalists like you is that you pretend not to see that difference in order to better sustain your righteous erection.

    Ironically it is the terrorists you so despise that most closely share your mindset.

  75. SB you are like monty pythons black knight.

    You couch your argument in morals, as though there is some sort of moralism in the way that America conducts its foreign policy. There is no moralism in the execution of America’s foreign policy and this should come as no surprise. I’m not putting a value judgement on this or saying it is good or bad, it is simply fact. America executes its imperialism in the same way the mafia does business; ruthlessly. The American military is a bloody meat grinder that will do anything at all to execute US foreign policy.

    You are fixated on the term terrorism, but it is merely a subjective term most commonly used as a perjorative label against America’s enemies. As I said previously, one person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter. The term means nothing as you apply it.

  76. narcoticmusing

    It appears ppl here are applying the old ‘he who has not sinned cast the first stone’ adage; but I don’t think it really applies.

    The US can be both guilty and without clean hands, while OBL is also a terrorist. These things can co-exist. One does not justify the other. I don’t give a shit what the US govt did, it didn’t justify murdering thousands of civilians in 2001. Perhaps if people here considered that for a moment they might understand why people celebrated on the streets. Is it all just perspective? Maybe. No, I didn’t celebrate, but I didn’t go through Sept 11.

    And Buns, on a side note, I get you probably didn’t mean your last comment but – our country and this thread is a better place because of differing views. SB cops a lot of shit for being bold enough to disagree with the flow of this particular crowd. It is not trolling to provoke debate – isn’t that the point of this place? I wish more people did. Whether or not I agree with him on any one topic is irrelevant. Probably 40-50% of my posts are nothing more than attempting to learn more. I post to hear what others have to say, not just hear myself speak.

  77. “I don’t give a shit what the US govt did, it didn’t justify murdering thousands of civilians in 2001.”. Narco, what is your response when americans are responsible for killing thousands of civilians?

  78. Not that I need to explain myself to you or anyone else, but I think you’ll find that it is SB who can’t tolerate others’ opinions, at least in this thread. Just look at the abuse in this thread alone – dickheads, idiots, insanity, etc. People who dare not to share his narrow world view are insane idiots and dickheads. Some of them even have “not a skerric of decency”, apparently.

    What kind of person, other than a troll, returns to a forum to abuse people he has obviously has no respect for? Try going to a conservative forum and abusing people for daring to hold conservative points of view, and see how long it takes for you to get (well-deservedly) banned. My guess would be about 24 hours, if you behave as jerkishly as SB does here.

  79. The US can be both guilty and without clean hands, while OBL is also a terrorist. These things can co-exist. One does not justify the other. I don’t give a shit what the US govt did, it didn’t justify murdering thousands of civilians in 2001.

    Two other things that can co-exist are opposition to September 11 and all other terrorist attacks, and not feeling any need whatsoever to rejoice in bin Laden’s death.

    This is the strawman that has copped a huge beating in this thread – that if we’re not all chanting “USA! USA!” over bin Laden’s death, it’s because we are part of the Leftist-Islamofascist alliance, we hate America and we love it when terrorists kill civilians. There’s no possible other explanation as to why we wouldn’t revel in bin Laden’s death.

  80. @buns3000

    Hear, hear! As a ‘lefty’ I am as disturbed by the recent reaction of Americans to the death of Bin Laden (parties in the streets) as I was by the reactions of certain Muslim countries to the events of September 11 (parties in the streets). I thought we (the West) were supposed to be holding the moral high ground in this conflict – that we believed in things such as due process and fair trials.

    As a ‘lefty’ I also understand that real-politik would result in that the filing an extradition claim to Pakistan for Bin Laden would probably result in him moving to a new hiding place.

    Personally – I’m not overly concerned about his death, it worries me that how it was accomplished is setting a precedent for future actions and I am deeply disturbed by the response to it (particularly in America).

    I have seen the response compared to that of VE-Day or V-Day – it’s really not similar at all. Both those events were celebrations of the end of major parts of a global conflict – troops would come home, certain threats had been completely neutralised – the death of OBL will make little to no difference in the ongoing wars or to the troops on the ground.

    As for some previous posts that seem to indicate that the Geneva conventions (or even what we call basic human dignity) can be ignored because our opposition don’t abide by them – isn’t that the point we are fighting for? SB seems to argue that we have the better society and are more socially advanced – this is part of this advancement. If we fail to live up to the ideals we promote then are we showing we really believe in them?

    From what I have read on various blogs I thought the whole concept of ‘moral equivalence’ was considered a fault of the ‘left’ – yet many arguments from the ‘right’ seem to use it to justify actions that we would rightly be horrified by if they were performed against us rather than by us. The same people who argue this seem to also argue that we have higher morals than our foes.

    A final note regarding terminology – the terms ‘left’, ‘right’, ‘socialist’ and ‘facist’ (including compound terms like ‘islamofascist’) need to be dropped from all political debate. The meanings of these words vary dramatically from author to author to the extent that they no longer have a globally understood definition and are effectively white noise in any discussion. My understanding of these terms seems to differ widely from SB’s for example – I consider myself a ‘leftist’ but disagree with many of the beliefs he ascribes to that group, some beliefs he has expounded I would consider ‘fascist’ in nature and not at all compatible with ‘right’ (or ‘conservative’) beliefs.

    @Jeremy – perhaps an article on the definition of political terms would be interesting. It may generate even more comments than this one has.

  81. “. It is not trolling to provoke debate”

    Indeed it isn’t but making inflammatory remarks to get a response is trolling therefore SB is a troll.

  82. narcoticmusing, you should tread SB’s post at 4 May, 5:51 pm. The entire post is trollish, authored by a troll.

  83. narcoticmusing

    Narco, what is your response when americans are responsible for killing thousands of civilians?

    Thank you Gordican for demonstrating missing the entire point of my post. One person’s wrong doesn’t make anothers ok. And that doesn’t continue to justify each subsequant wrong.

    So America doing wrong = wrong. OBL doing wrong = wrong. Contrary to popular belief, even the pure philosophical approach, mathematics, says two negatives make just more negative (ie negative plus negative = negative). To get a positive, you have to subtract negative, which means remove your negative response; not simply add in more negatives. Ironically, this same philosophical stance also explains my defence of SB.

    Buns – SB will testify that I have also called him out on his abusive remarks. You miss the point. (insert negative plus negative explanation above).

    RobJ – talking about a view on leftist views… is that trolling now? So because this is a left wing forum, do we now ban anyone that disagrees with the left in case they offend us? Call it trolling if you will. Yes, SBs remarks are often offensive and provocative, but I’d still rather hear it and be outraged and respond, than not. I often disagree with the left and the right and the centrist.

  84. mondo rock

    I don’t give a shit what the US govt did, it didn’t justify murdering thousands of civilians in 2001.

    Of course it didn’t – but it did explain it. The attacks didn’t happen in a vacuum and it is critical to understand that Al Qaeda is not some Dr Evil type organisation that is mindlessly subservient to the cause of Satan.

    They’re not Belgians for Christ’s sake.

    The danger of extremists like SB (and the US war-machine that he and his fellow ideologues enable through both direct support and hysterical abuse of dissenters) is that global conflict is perceived as a cartoon. We become the good guys and they become the evil-doing bad guys, and there is consequently little public pressure to examine the grievances of our enemies, or even our own conduct in the conflict.

    To protect this simplistic construct (and the warm glow of righteousness it produces for those who accept it) members attempt to suppress anyone calling for moderation or analysis by labelling them “traitors” that are somehow allied with the enemy (or “anti-semites” in the context of a different issue). It’s mindless, counterproductive McCarthyism – mob mentality mixed with blind patriotism, righteous idiocy and authoritarian intolerance.

    And most importantly it is a recipe for endless and escalating war.

    The principle goal of SB and his ilk is not the resolution of global conflict, or an end to the human suffering that goes with it, but to bask in the satisfying glow of their superior morality and patriotism. Ditto those cheering in the streets over Osama’s murder.

  85. “RobJ – talking about a view on leftist views… is that trolling now?”

    Yep – look at the language used then look up the definition.

    “do we now ban anyone that disagrees with the left in case they offend us? ”

    No. Having said that I would only ban the worst of the trolls who never contribute to the debate. SB isn’t the worst and he does contribute (and he’s got a good sense of humor, and he doesn’t wimp out or take offence). Hell, no doubt some think I’m a troll, I don’t want to be banned.

  86. narcoticmusing

    Mondo I agree with most of what you said. Of course things can be explained but it doesn’t excuse or justify it. I fully comprehend that and the distinction.

    However, the people celebrating in the street were not basking in some moral superiority glow – it is that same feeling of relief, often expressed as joy, anyone has when a crime is committed and the perpetrator is captured and/or punished. It is about closure. That beign said I wouldn’t be surprised if the inital crowd, who were there so soon after the annoucement were just a rent-a-cheer-squad anyway… like many an astro-turf group we see on the news (vis-a-vis grass roots).

    I had family/friends who died in the twin towers that day. They had families. They voted against then government. They were blameless. They were murdered. Nevertheless, I for one disagreed with the subsequant wars (with a range of caveats I won’t go into now), but Sept 11 certainly explained them. Didn’t make either of them (Sept 11 or the wars) ok.

  87. Splatterbottom

    Mondo: “There is an obvious difference between explaining and legitimating SB.

    I don’t get this, Mondo. Are you saying that the use of the term “resistance fighter” in reference to Bin Laden is explaining something rather than legitimating it? What then? My view is that a person who murders thousands of civilians to make a political or religious point is a terrorist. Describing him as a “resistance fighter” obfuscates he nature of his deeds rather than explains it.

    The problem with fundamentalists like you is that you pretend not to see that difference in order to better sustain your righteous erection.

    Labelling me “fundamentalist” may suit your rhetorical purposes to stop me making a distinction between right and wrong, however it doesn’t advance the debate. Gordicans at least states the issue clearly:

    You are fixated on the term terrorism, but it is merely a subjective term most commonly used as a perjorative label against America’s enemies. As I said previously, one person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter. The term means nothing as you apply it.

    In fact the term does mean something as I apply it, as I stated in an earlier comment on this thread. This is that terrorism is the use of violence against civilians to further religious (and I should add political) goals. The use of the term “resistance fighter” by the left to describe terrorists who are fighting a common enemy like the US is clearly an attempt to legitimise terrorists. It is also utterly contemptible.

    Buns: “ What kind of person, other than a troll, returns to a forum to abuse people he has obviously has no respect for? Try going to a conservative forum and abusing people for daring to hold conservative points of view, and see how long it takes for you to get (well-deservedly) banned. My guess would be about 24 hours, if you behave as jerkishly as SB does here.

    Firstly, I have great respect for the people who comment in this forum. I wouldn’t bother commenting if I didn’t. No doubt I sometimes couch my points in tart language. This is to put the issues into sharp relief and provoke discussion. The fact that I am allowed to make my points forcefully is a great feature of this blog. Others do censor dissenting voices. I am grateful that Jeremy prefers to have a blog that promotes lively discussion rather than one that serves as an echo-chamber for a congregation of like-minded votaries.

    In this case there is a very serious issue under discussion – whether or not and in what circumstances people who target and murder civilians to further their goals can escape censure or even be supported.

    RobJ seems to think that my post at 4 May, 5:51 pm is evidence of trolling. In fact I was describing behaviour that I have seen many times, including on this thread, and objecting to it.

    Ghostg suggested “terms like ‘left’, ‘right’, ‘socialist’ and ‘facist’ (including compound terms like ‘islamofascist’) need to be dropped from all political debate. There is some merit in this. The difficulty is that in short-form discussions that take place in the comments sections of blogs there is a need for shorthand labels to describe common attributes of factions or groups. Imperfect as such labels are they serve some purpose even if they sometimes lead to unfair stereotyping.

    For example, this blog uses the term “lefty” in its title and the proprietor once, when he was anonymous, went by that handle. I do not see a lot of harm in these labels so long as the imprecision is acknowledged. If you take a label like “lefty” which some people are keen to adopt, it is interesting to consider what it is that distinguishes leftists from normal folk. To have that discussion such labels are necessary. Rather than drop the use of labels it is preferable to use them, but also to acknowledge their limitations.

  88. “However, the people celebrating in the street were not basking in some moral superiority glow”

    USA USA USA

    Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight… Geez half of them would have been less than ten years old. They resembled a sports crowd, reveling in triumphalism to me. Maybe you saw different footage.

    “were just a rent-a-cheer-squad “

    I’d be surprised, got any evidence that they were a ‘rent-a-cheer-squad’?

    RobJ seems to think that my post at 4 May, 5:51 pm is evidence of trolling

    It’s OK SB, I’ve acknowledged your sense of humour, there’s nothing for you to prove. 😉

    “distinguishes leftists from normal folk. “

    Erm, leftists are normal folk as are ‘rightists’ and even ‘centrists’, there’s nothing abnormal about the variety of political leanings within humanity.

  89. This is that terrorism is the use of violence against civilians to further religious (and I should add political) goals. This is that terrorism is the use of violence against civilians to further religious (and I should add political) goals.

    I agree, thing is that makes the so-called ‘coalition of the willing’ a terrorist organisation. Can you say Fallujah? Can you say Abu Grahib? (covered up)

    And the US a terrorist nation (Vietnam)

  90. mondo rock

    However, the people celebrating in the street were not basking in some moral superiority glow – it is that same feeling of relief, often expressed as joy, anyone has when a crime is committed and the perpetrator is captured and/or punished.

    Perhaps you’re right Narc, perhaps those celebrating all perceive themselves as victims of 9/11, and the celebrations relate to justice being done in their name.

    I don’t get this, Mondo. Are you saying that the use of the term “resistance fighter” in reference to Bin Laden is explaining something rather than legitimating it?

    Of course it is. It is explaining that Bin Laden is a resistance fighter – which he clearly is (as well as being several other things). He’s not engaging in terrorism simply because he is a servant of evil, he is doing so in order to achieve a specific strategic aim (i.e. resisting US influence and occupation of Muslim countries).

    Explaining this does not legitimate his terrorist actions, it merely provides background to why he has elected to pursue them. Unless one seeks to maintain a fanatical mindset (like you appear intent on doing) it is quite obviously possible to explain someone’s motivations without endorsing their actions.

    My view is that a person who murders thousands of civilians to make a political or religious point is a terrorist.

    Mine too SB – it’s pretty much the dictionary definition. But, of course, nobody here has denied that Bin Laden was a terrorist. Not even one person.

    Your fanaticism is exposed by your insisting that “terrorist” is the only acceptable descriptor of OBL. You want a cartoon bad guy, as though reality doesn’t give you enough moral purchase to despise Osama, and so you react with enormous hostility towards anyone seeking to deviate from your simplistic narrative.

    That’s what makes you a fundamentalist SB. You appear to genuinely believe that anyone who fails to enthusiastically support your childish good guy/bad guy schtick must be morally compromised and incapable of identifying right from wrong.

    It’s an idiotic position to take.

  91. narcoticmusing

    I’d be surprised, got any evidence that they were a ‘rent-a-cheer-squad’?

    Got any evidence it wasn’t? 🙂 RobJ, I am surprised you’d so happily accept such an obvious piece of media set up politics. How’d the cameras know to be there? On every station? I’m a bit more cynical than that. In any event, it doesn’t matter. They either celebrated or the government wanted people to celebrate or be seen to be celebrating and thus in the end the impact is the same.

    I comprehend the jubilation despite not personally agreeing with it nor celebrating myself. The outrage many have expreseed reminds me of the sort of people who say they can’t possibly understand how the German solidiers killed the Jews in WWII.

  92. “Got any evidence it wasn’t?”

    No, but I’m not the one making the claim, the onus is on you 😉

    “I am surprised you’d so happily accept such an obvious piece of media set up politics.”

    What?

    “How’d the cameras know to be there?”

    Errrr because one site was Ground Zero in New York, a massive, famous city and the other was the White House. I’d imagine there’s always cameras there (from most networks).

  93. “I comprehend the jubilation despite not personally agreeing with it nor celebrating myself.”

    Same here, it’s jingoism..

    USA USA USA

  94. narcoticmusing

    Actually RobJ, I didn’t claim it was a rent a crowd. I said I wouldn’t be suprised if it was. And I wouldn’t. Nor should you. It was you that claimed it wasn’t. So, by your logic, onus is on you 😉

    Really, it matters not. Regardless there was likely celebrations at this news, whether or not we cynically believe in that footage or not. I’m not sure you comprehend the relief someone who has been a victim of crime, say by having a loved one murdered or their city terrorised, feels when the perpetrator faces justice – or at the very least, it is over. People laugh, cry, shout and cheer in court rooms all the time when a verdict is given.

  95. “It was you that claimed it wasn’t. S”

    Read VERY CAREFULLY what I wrote:

    “I’d be surprised, got any evidence that they were a ‘rent-a-cheer-squad’?”

    Then:

    So, by your logic, onus is on you”

    Hmmmmmm. I don’t think I’ll bother reading the rest of your post.

  96. Splatterbottom

    Mondo: “Your fanaticism is exposed by your insisting that “terrorist” is the only acceptable descriptor of OBL.

    You are trolling here because you know that that statement is not true. In fact on this thread I had already noted Bin Laden’s worthwhile role in driving the Russians out of Afghanistan.

    My complaint was that the use of the descriptor “resistance fighter” in the context of Bin Laden’s actions against the US, which have been almost exclusively terrorist in nature, fails to explain the terrorist nature of his actions and is merely an attempt to legitimise him. This is point was emphasised when Bin Laden’s nonsense was quoted here with approval as being sane and reasonable.

    To now argue that the term “resistance fighter” explains something when that something is wholly irrelevant to the conversation is disingenuous. He might as well be referred to as a philanthropist. That would be a correct statement but would explain nothing of relevance to a discussion about the satisfaction Americans took in his demise.

  97. narcoticmusing

    Forgive me, RobJ, for trying to use humour because the point was really not that important. I attempted to use an emoticon to demonstrate I wasn’t being serious but it obviously missed its mark.

  98. mondo rock

    When the Columbine High School killers are discussed should they be referred to as mass murderers or as victims of bullying? Should a discussion of that apalling event canvas the role that freely available automatic weapons played in facilitating the massacre, or should it focus on the twisted mindset of the murderers?

    The answer, of course, is all of the above. The killers were victims of bullying and mass murderers. The availability of automatic weapons played a part in the tragedy as did the twisted mindset of the murderers. To discuss one aspect of the killings is not to diminish the others: it is to paint a full picture and ensure the greatest chance of understanding the event (and thus preventing future recurrences).

    OBL was a resistance fighter, whether you like it or not SB, and that aspect of his character was absolutely integral to understanding his attacks against the US. Some of his grievances were entirely legitimate, just as many were not, and that too is a critical point to understand – even if his actions were utterly deplorable.

    I’m heartily sick of people like you trying to stifle useful debate by declaring anyone who is not sufficiently hysterical in their condemnation of OBL to be his ally and/or some kind of morally deficient monster. You may be desperate to reduce this issue to a manichean fairy tale but most here like to think a bit more broadly than that.

  99. narcoticmusing

    Well said Mondo – you are my hero today 🙂

  100. Splatterbottom

    Mondo: “OBL was a resistance fighter, whether you like it or not SB”

    Can’t you read? I have already acknowledged that Bin Laden did something worthwhile. That fact is irrelevant. The nature of his grievances against the US is irrelevant. It is relevant that he was a terrorist. That is why he was killed, and that is why Americans where happy about it. His actions against the US were terrorist in nature.

    His description here as a “resistance fighter” was not in the context of “not only was he a was a terrorist but earlier on he had been a freedom fighter” or “in addition to being a terrorist he was also a father, philanthropist and resistance fighter”.

    The exact context of the use of the term in this case was:

    as Bin Laden describes, he was fighting a war of occupation and plundering of resources in his lands. Pure and simple. No different to any other resistance fighters throughout history. The only difference is that we happen to be on the side he is fighting against, so subject to the constant propoganda that you for example sprout without examination.

    In this context the usage is very clear. Bin Laden is quoted and approved and he is stated to be “No different to any other resistance fighters throughout history”. The fact is that Bin Laden is different to other resistance fighters in that he is an egregious terrorist.

    It is abundantly clear that the use of the term “resistance fighter” in this case was designed to legitimate Bin Laden. It obfuscated more than it explained and was in fact flat out wrong. I had good reason to challenge this use of “resistance fighter”. You would have been better off challenging that than attacking me like a duplicitous troll.

  101. mondo rock

    I can read SB – in particular I was capable of comprehending these statements of yours above:

    The next tactic is to refer to the terrorists as “resistance fighters” which is a not-so-subtle way of legitimating terrorist actions. Calling terrorists “resistance fighters” is a form of dishonest dissembling which is particularly useful for leftists who do not wish to denigrate their fellow America-haters.

    and

    Describing terrorists as “resistance fighters” is the standard terminolgy leftists use to support terrorism.

    These comments are not specific to OBL, nor even to gordican’s posts above. They are sweeping and generalised attacks on “leftists” and accusations that anyone recognising that terrorists are generally also resistance fighters (as, indeed, OBL was) are “legitimating terrorist actions” and/or “supporting terrorism”.

    Both comments are deeply stupid, and deeply offensive to intelligent people for the reasons I have already noted above. Nobody here is “running interference” for and/or supporting terrorism and it’s disgraceful that you level such vile accusations so recklessly.

    So instead of insisting that I apply some sort of fictional context to your offensive diatribes perhaps next time you should choose your words more carefully.

    (Narc – I can’t take credit. Usually SB bowls much harder balls than this but today he’s throwing up gimme’s.)

  102. Splatterbottom

    Mondo: “I can read SB – in particular I was capable of comprehending these statements of yours above”

    Apparently not.

    “These comments are not specific to OBL, nor even to gordican’s posts above. They are sweeping and generalised attacks on “leftists” and accusations that anyone recognising that terrorists are generally also resistance fighters”

    My comments are not targeted at “anyone recognising that terrorists are generally also resistance fighters”. I have not seen the term “resistance fighters” used in the way you suggest i.e. “these terrorists are also resistance fighters”. My comments aren’t directed at that usage. If you could in fact read you would know this.

    My complaint is about the common usage of the term as a euphemism for “terrorist”. Do you support that usage? It is very common among supporters of Hamas.

    “Nobody here is “running interference” for and/or supporting terrorism”

    That is exactly what gordicans did. He said that Bin Laden was “No different to any other resistance fighters throughout history”. Still can’t read can you?

  103. “Forgive me”

    Anytime..

    “the point was really not that important. “

    True, sorry for being an arse (more so than usual 😉 )

  104. SB I don’t understand why you are so fixated on the term terrorist. If one defines terrorism as the tactic of targeting and killing civilians to achieve military and/or political objectives, then the Americans and their proxies are just as guilty of terrorism as Bin Laden. But you appear not to use it in that sense, but rather use it to define America’s enemies.

  105. narcoticmusing

    Aww RobJ – today you are my hero for making me smile 🙂

  106. Splatterbottom

    Gordicans: ” I don’t understand why you are so fixated on the term terrorist.”

    The term is important because it enables a a particularly vile set of behaviours to be identified and proscribed. I detest the use of euphemisms which detract from the perfidy of the terrorists. The left is very big on this. For example Che Guevara is a hero to many and the subject of many hagiographies despite his cold-blooded murder of 10,000 civilians.

    Sick moral equivalence arguments legitimate mass murder and make it more likely to occur. People who advance those arguments are despicable.

  107. jordanrastrick

    I think everyone’s favourite Mad Conservative London Mayor has put everyone else’s pontification on this issue to shame:

    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/osama-forgetaboutit–tony-soprano-would-be-proud-of-this-hit-20110509-1efp2.html

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