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Protection Methodology in Civilized Society - And the Consequences of Not Honoring the Sanctity of LIfe

Reader comment on item: Thoughts on the Killing of Osama bin Laden
in response to reader comment: License to Kill

Submitted by M. Tovey (United States), Jun 15, 2011 at 16:27

This took some time to understand the tone of the observations expressed under the veiled (covert) threat of: 'Licensed to Kill,' as if the James Bond movie reference could be used here – tongue –in –cheek. While there may be some thinking that there is a government sponsored means to deal with a threat to the national security of any national sovereignty, of all the options to be considered as necessary, even of an evil necessity, it is appalling to think that a civil society must resort to such a method in order for there to be preservation of that which is held dear-protection of life. But while there is the distinction to be made from a governmental democracy acting in its vested responsibility versus others which are resorting to such means, the hazard is that there is little to make that somehow more appropriate than say, when a dictatorship or a terrorist organization resorts to the same. Thus there is the dilemma.

To cases, what Osama bin Laden achieved in targeting the World Trade Center the first time, and the second time along with the American Military Center at the Pentagon and other potential targets is tantamount to not merely declaring war, but effectively actuating it by indiscriminately killing civilians. The argument can be made that when the American military team breached the compound and effectuated what should have been the capture of the declared combatant leader, but in whose resistance to the attempt failed to defend himself, it was a military response. Only in the more liberal progressive mentality does a more litigative approach declare that the civil rights of the combatant leader were abrogated. Still, the question remains: was justice done?

In typical American legal jargon, it depends. To the victim's families of those lost in the September 11, 2001 attacks, have they found solace in that one of the chief perpetrators of the attacks is now accounted for; that in perception of his collusion and admitted participation in causing their deaths a penalty has been paid. In that there is a principle in American government by which the protection of the population is the government's principle responsibility, the penalty was exacted. But, was justice served? We'll never know, for the process was thwarted by the accused, by his fugitive status and final defiant refusal to be held accountable.

Now, in an attempt to be impartial, let us take the other perspective and present an opposing argument; that the supporters of the al-Qaeda ideology would say that Osama bin Laden was not guilty, though by any means other than a religious tenet, one wonders how that can be admitted when bin Laden admitted to the acts, even though by using a justification that is tantamount to the declaration of war against ideologies he opposed. From the al-Qaeda view, they see no justice, which is understandable, since justice requires observance of the rule of law, which they do not. In that frame of mind, one might just as easily categorize the demise of bin Laden as a casualty of the war he declared upon Western society so many years ago.
So, if not justice, what then can be the justification of dealing with individuals and likeminded groups who operate outside the rule of law? A consideration is that they have set their own standard of conduct, to be treated as how they have treated others. If they have killed with impunity and disregard the common standard of conduct in civil society, are they not in danger of being dealt with by their own sense (or lack thereof) of common decency? The evidence overwhelmingly brings about one certain conclusion; at some point in time, there will be a reckoning. Bin Laden managed to delay that for nearly ten years. Others have not been so successful.

Now returning to the earlier issue, is there a necessity for a 'license to kill;' and what of the necessity for the justification of such in civil society? Do the planned (as well as the supposed random) acts of violence necessitate an aggressive posturing of defense against the perpetrators of serial murdering; or does society find itself forced to abandon the rule of law in order to provide the security that the law-abiding sector of the population expects? In the events that surround the September 11, 2001 acts of terror and other such acts against civil society, it can be presumed that the rule of law will be imposed where it can; and the perpetrators are taking their own risk of a final penalty if they continue to defy the rule of law and are faced with the consequences of their actions in a method consistent with their own ways.

To the direct reference, Mugniyah and bin Laden did not have anything for defense except their hatred for opposing ideologies and expressed that hatred in causing the illegitimate deaths of so many for whom they had no sympathy. The actions of the governments in their responsibility to protect their citizens are in response to the failure of the perpetrators to respect the lives of those that died at their hands. In other words, no harm would have come to them had they respected the sanctity of life of their victims.

In the final analysis, saying that there is 'license to kill' goes against the refined sense of not taking a life, but in that there are those who ignore that sense of refinement, there should be no surprise that unless and until the hatred that perpetrates the ideology that killing is an appropriate means to achieve an end is ended, someone will always find a reason to legitimize and utilize the 'license to kill.' It is, after all, human nature in defiance of the true Almighty Eternal Sovereign, the LORD.


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Reader comments (90) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
Thoughts on Bin Laden killing [169 words]NKNov 8, 2013 15:10211302
Osama had many goals that are yet to be achieve? immigration [241 words]abdirisakJun 3, 2011 20:35185954
I'm hoping you are right, Mr. Pipes, but ... [91 words]kmanMay 11, 2011 14:31185111
1more fairytales from PressTV [85 words]romMay 10, 2011 10:40185076
when it comes to inventing stories, no one does better than Jihadis [126 words]Ravi Ranjan Singh Bharat PanthiMay 17, 2011 00:42185076
2More Islamist hypocrisy [190 words]PrashantMay 7, 2011 00:05184970
2Osama was a real hero [56 words]True BelieverMay 6, 2011 07:40184950
1Your Comment [7 words]Kepha HorMay 8, 2011 21:54184950
1For Some, Sure - But bin Laden Did Not Offer Freedom of Love - Where's the Hero Status in That? [295 words]M. ToveyMay 10, 2011 15:31184950
2"Front line" - ? What a joke ... [44 words]kmanMay 11, 2011 14:43184950
Muslims have no multi-personality disorders [275 words]Ravi Ranjan Singh Bharat PanthiMay 12, 2011 06:05184950
You blithely equate Christians and Muslims as equally guilty of killing - wrong. [196 words]kmanMay 15, 2011 18:30184950
simple learning and IQ of 5 year old child; that is what Jihadis need [160 words]Ravi Ranjan Singh Bharat PanthiMay 16, 2011 04:13184950
Muslims are Subject to All Natural Human Traits - All Imperfect - All Needing Salvation [1140 words]M. ToveyMay 16, 2011 13:56184950
I couldn't do any where near as well in your language, but ... [223 words]kmanMay 16, 2011 20:08184950
I put in simple grade 3 English [67 words]Ravi Ranjan Singh Bharat PanthiMay 18, 2011 01:38184950
No "hurt" taken, "Ravi" ... [27 words]kmanMay 18, 2011 18:07184950
Reactions Overseas [56 words]ConnieMay 5, 2011 17:22184925
2Killing of wild arabian dog [179 words]Muslimk***May 5, 2011 11:02184915
Don't you Insult Dog [7 words]Ravi Ranjan Singh Bharat PanthiMay 18, 2011 11:30184915
1I'm concerned about Pakistanis [190 words]There is NO Santa ClausMay 5, 2011 08:14184905
1Bin Laden posters in Bonn Germany [76 words]mythMay 5, 2011 06:17184902
you once thought OBL was more important! [128 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
M. PohlMay 5, 2011 01:12184895
3Pakistan the thriving centre of terror sources - Indians Feel vindicated [351 words]adam eveMay 4, 2011 19:32184873
Highlight [22 words]vijayMay 5, 2011 05:00184873
Now, wait a minute! [60 words]Kepha HorMay 8, 2011 21:51184873
Now, wait a minute! [42 words]Kepha HorMay 8, 2011 21:52184873
I agree with many of your comments, but ... [94 words]kmanMay 11, 2011 14:55184873
conclusion [24 words]John PhilipsMay 4, 2011 05:50184845
1Looks like my comment on this quote got cut off [82 words]John PhilipsMay 7, 2011 03:09184845
Lets Make A Couple of Things Clear [255 words]MikeMay 3, 2011 14:15184813
the legal perspective: the west vs the islamists [193 words]mythMay 4, 2011 06:27184813
1The Bush Doctrine Trumps President Ford [37 words]Virginia GentlemanMay 4, 2011 08:41184813
Your Argument Sounds Like An Obama Argument [68 words]MikeMay 5, 2011 09:07184813
Let's be legal all the time [76 words]Kepha HorMay 8, 2011 21:47184813
There is one important word here - "political" ... [170 words]kmanMay 11, 2011 15:14184813
I agree, "Kepha". [90 words]kmanMay 11, 2011 15:28184813
1Public killing was a mistake [144 words]Lars NielsenMay 3, 2011 08:32184795
Bin Laden Made the First Public Mistake - And the Second by NOT Giving Up [420 words]M. ToveyMay 3, 2011 18:26184795
Sorry Lars [52 words]DennisMay 4, 2011 07:35184795
1Though he was dead ... [76 words]Humanity not for MonstersMay 5, 2011 13:12184795
Good post, Mr. Tovey [94 words]Kepha HorMay 7, 2011 16:33184795
1US & Pak must be in cahoots to keep Osama in a secure hideout [301 words]Ghulam MuhammedMay 3, 2011 01:44184790
1Sorry, Ghulam, you're full of it. [135 words]Kepha HorMay 7, 2011 16:28184790
Every one who was bad was created by America. Yeah Right. [72 words]TejMay 8, 2011 02:39184790
RE: Osama [262 words]Ghulam MuhammedMay 8, 2011 03:47184790
So, Muslims are JOOOOOOZ too? [59 words]Kepha HorMay 8, 2011 21:41184790
"Collusion" -? Very limited ... [107 words]kmanMay 11, 2011 15:40184790
Take your own advice [109 words]Ghulam MuhammedMay 12, 2011 01:21184790
This might surprise you, but I agree ... [243 words]kmanMay 12, 2011 20:43184790
Very well said! [27 words]PrashantMay 14, 2011 01:30184790
2A note on the death of Bin laden [482 words]martinMay 3, 2011 01:18184788
2On to the next nut [21 words]Jay1May 2, 2011 23:09184779
Thoughts on the Death of Bin Laden [64 words]Dan RusenMay 2, 2011 22:21184777
1Islamic achievement impresses me. [76 words]MartinMay 4, 2011 02:41184777
Chicken coming home to roost [144 words]Amin RiazMay 2, 2011 22:05184772
Bin Laden was Indeed Foul - But America was NEVER His Home [360 words]M. ToveyMay 3, 2011 19:18184772
No more afraid. [149 words]batya daganMay 2, 2011 21:46184771
Osama was a hero [132 words]mikeMay 3, 2011 19:14184771
Hero to some , monster to others. [117 words]batya daganMay 3, 2011 20:30184771
A Certification of "Live Death" [63 words]alanMay 2, 2011 20:24184770
A trivial event in defense of America. [200 words]Ralph C. Whaley MDMay 2, 2011 20:00184769
The Road Ahead: We Must Not Waver [192 words]Frank LukeMay 2, 2011 18:06184767
6Osama and Obama politics [113 words]saraMay 2, 2011 17:14184762
2Dust Bin of History [118 words]Barry BlackMay 2, 2011 15:10184757
The sheik is death, long live the sheik! [325 words]SergioMay 2, 2011 15:07184756
Continue the fight against terrorism [53 words]k00litMay 2, 2011 14:17184755
RE: Osama killed [605 words]Ghulam MuhammedMay 2, 2011 12:21184752
19-11 Will Be Different This Year [769 words]M. ToveyMay 2, 2011 12:15184751
1favourable headlines [332 words]mythMay 2, 2011 09:10184748
10In memory of the victims of the 9/11 atrocity [102 words]dhimmi no moreMay 2, 2011 06:14184742
80% Rule [82 words]Barry BlackMay 4, 2011 10:48184742
Now recover damages from Pakistan [296 words]Ravi Ranjan Singh Bharat PanthiMay 4, 2011 13:17184742
Stupid ILies [262 words]Amin RiazMay 4, 2011 20:47184742
3What stupid lies? But Pakistan is a terrorist state [716 words]dhimmi no moreMay 6, 2011 13:11184742
2A bodyblow? [101 words]ZSIMay 2, 2011 02:46184737
2Islamist "monster-heads" [60 words]Mr. BlachMay 2, 2011 17:06184737
more than a figurehead [125 words]mythMay 3, 2011 09:37184737
1A Blow to FAKE anti-war activists [27 words]EdwardMay 2, 2011 01:52184736
1ladens last stand [34 words]dunceMay 2, 2011 01:48184735
Imad Mughniyah [14 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
AlexMay 2, 2011 01:32184734
License to Kill [51 words]Barry BlackMay 3, 2011 17:41184734
Pakistan has forced to be silent, while America obtained its license to kill [178 words]Ravi Ranjan Singh Bharat PanthiMay 21, 2011 02:00184734
Protection Methodology in Civilized Society - And the Consequences of Not Honoring the Sanctity of LIfe [966 words]M. ToveyJun 15, 2011 16:27184734
2About time! Congrats America! Cheers from Israel! [21 words]sagiMay 2, 2011 01:28184733
1a shoo in for Obama [35 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
CristinaMay 2, 2011 00:49184732
I apologize [83 words]WallyMay 2, 2011 17:50184732
Possibly but it comes too soon [39 words]Abu NudnikMay 3, 2011 01:06184732
It's Always the Economy [63 words]Barry BlackMay 3, 2011 17:25184732

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