What would have been gained by capturing Osama bin Laden alive?

Can’t help wondering why two UN Human Rights watchdogs and the Archbishop of Canterbury seem to believe the world would have been a better place if “Geronimo” had been captured alive?

Osama bin Laden, raid, trial, international, terrorism, Al Queda, United States, Abbottabad, Pakistan, Navy Seals
Would it have been possible to treat Osama bin Laden the same way as any other human being and consider him innocent until proven guilty?

Would it? In theory, yes. We all agree that all human beings deserve a fair trial and should be presumed innocent until proven guilty. If it had been a minor Al Queda leader most likely he would have been captured alive. But there’s an exception to every rule, and to this one Osama bin Laden probably is.

Are you presumed innocent after repeatedly pleading guilty?

He has voluntarily declared himself guilty numerous times, not only to 9/11 but several other terrorist attacks around the world. Can he then be presumed innocent? He was even proud of what he had done and boasted about it. In fact, even encouraged his followers to kill innocent people to further his own interest.

Would he have allowed the Americans to capture him alive?

Bin Laden was an intelligent man. So clever he was able to be in hiding for at least five years in a house 500 meters from Pakistan’s military academy. Have actually been to Abbottabad and it seems to me the place was chosen since it’s next to Kashmir and India, which could have come in handy for him.

Seriously doubt a man as proud and vain as he was would have allowed himself to be captured and become a trophy for the hated Americans. He carefully created his image and I seriously doubt that’s the way he intended to end his life. In the presumable absence of a cyanide capsule, he knew that just one threatening gesture would have made the Navy Seals kill him.

Where would the trial have taken place?

Where could Osama bin Laden have been held awaiting trial? A whole army of suicide bombers would have volunteered to take revenge and thousands and thousands of innocent people would have died as a result.

Am sure the Americans decided against having the trial in the US for security reasons and he could not have been tried in the International Criminal Court in the Hague since its jurisdiction only runs from 2002. And trying him before a military commission in Guantanamo would render the validity dubious.

So where could the trial have taken place in order to please both Western civilians and adherents of Sharia law?

Who would have been prepared to work on his trial?

The prosecutor, judge and jury’s days would be numbered. They and their families would never be safe again and need to be provided with fake identities. So it would have had to be people willing to risk their lives, or die, in order to convict “Geronimo”.

And they would all have had to be men since religious fanatics like Osama bin Laden refuse to be anywhere near women who are not family. The joke in Saudi Arabia was that it was a good idea to marry such a man since he wouldn’t even look at another woman.

Why would Osama have spilled his guts?

It would definitely have been interesting if “Geronimo” had been put on trial and told the truth under oath.

But would he have done that? Definitely not. He would not have given away any information worth having. Probably instead gone on a hunger strike and done everything in his power to convey a picture of him as a martyr and further his cause as much as possible. The information gathered during the raid is probably of more interest than what he would have revealed in a trial.

Would a civilian US court have found him guilty?

If he had been found guilty he would have faced the death penalty. If so he would instead of being shot have been given a lethal injection.

But would he have been found guilty? It would have been difficult for a civilian court to reach a verdict that he was guilty beyond reasonable doubt. The fact that he, and his followers know he is and that he has actually pleaded guilty may not have been enough to reach such a verdict. A clever lawyer would probably have been able to work wonders for him.

Putting him on trial would have given Al Queda the enormous boost it needs. After all its followers are supporters of Osama bin Laden’s and not the network as such. And what would the world have gained from strengthening Al Queda?

Am against the death penalty, but when I lived in Riyadh I understood that the ways the Saudis deal with terrorist is the only way to handle such fanatics. They will never walk the streets again unless they are reformed. And they know that if they are up to no good again they will follow convicted terrorists to chop-chop square. It’s interesting to note that the Saudis are actually successful in making followers of Osama bin Laden’s see their errors and change for good.

We don’t need a revived Al Queda

Putting him on trial would have made him even more of a martyr than he already is to his followers. And Al Queda would have been strengthened. It’s bad enough that they have stated they will avenge his death. But the carnage would have been much greater if he had become a cult figure awaiting trial. Thousands and thousands of innocent people would have died as a result of giving him a fair Western trial.

Am against targeted killings. But was there really much of a choice in the case of Osama bin Laden? What do you think? Would bin Laden have allowed the Americans to capture him alive? Where could his trial have taken place? Is it likely that he would have told the truth under oath? Would he have been found guilty in a civilian US court? How many innocent people would have died as a result of trying him? Would Al Queda have been given a huge boost by a bin Laden trial? Or should he simply have been left in peace in Abbottabad planning further terrorist attacks? Would anything positive really have come out of capturing him alive? And would it have made the world a better place place for all, not just for Al Queda?

(photo: Flickr – Adam Jones, Ph.D.)

78 thoughts on “What would have been gained by capturing Osama bin Laden alive?

  1. I agree, Catarina – capturing him and putting him on trial would have been far more dangerous for all concerned, and provided a far great and long-lasting propaganda tool for the extremists than this. His death was the best option.

    1. Glad you agree with me Guy.

      For once, the Americans pulled off a raid worthy of James Bond and then not only the usual suspects, but even people who knew this was the best option for the world, complain.

  2. Catarina, you offered all the right answers, justice has been served. Now we can turn the page, but it is far from over, yet.

    1. Glad we are of the same opinion Rose.

      It's not over yet, but Al Queda would have been a far worse threat if bin Laden had been captured alive and been held somewhere awaiting trial.

  3. America didnt kill Osama. Osama dies long back and Bhutto spilled the beans as well in the past. That was the reason for her assassination. A lot of Al-Qaeda videos with some bearded terrorists spreading terror messages were also fake (there was an article in the telegraph which busted an Ex-CIA agent admitting to it).

    Remember the last time Osama's death was announced, it was the time Bush got the second term. Now its Obama to get this second term with this stunt.

    Also, an FBI document states there is no evidence of Osama being a part of the 9/11 attacks, FYI.

    If that were to be true and lets say he is a part of the whole 9/11 disaster kidding thousands, why didnt America show him to the world and buried him underwater???? Doesnt anyone wanna see the guy who killed thousands. Just hearing it from Obama is enough is it!!!

    Think about it before celebrating…

    1. Some people never get tired of imaginative conspiracy theories…..9/11 was organised by jews, Mumbai attacked organized by Indians, Osama's death all fake….

      Interestingly, these guys seem to be convinced that they have all the better resources than the media of the entire world and several governments.

      If Obama was looking for Osama killing for his re-election, he could have planned it much closer to his election time…. (But I guess, people who believe in conspiracy theories do not let facts interfere with their smoky ideas…..)

  4. Excellent article Catarina. There is no doubt in my mind that justice was served when Osama bin Laden was executed. No good could possibly have come from trying to capture him alive. As you say, so many more lives would have been put in danger.
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  5. Wow – what a powerful and brave post. I will relate my response to a conversation I had with a family friend Neuropsychologist about psychopaths, whether or not they can be "cured" and how they should be punished. Both he and I agree that the brain functions (or malfunctions in this case) of a psychopath are whacked and they cannot be rehabilitated. So what do you do? Kill them? Well you can't, at least legally – unless you spend a ton of taxpayer money on a trial, and they are found guilty, and the death penalty is legal where they live. But who wants to waste the time and money? Letting them roam around free is certainly not a good option either. So we both – literally said at the same time – throw them in a room with all the other psychopaths and throw away the key! Sometimes death is not painful enough!

    1. Thank you Julie. Interesting points about pshychpaths. Seems you agree with me that the Saudi way of dealing with fundamentalists unfortunately is the only way.

  6. I do agree with you Catarina and I don't think there was ever an option that they would take him alive if they could. It reminds me of the guy and i can't think of his name who was or is claimed to be responsible for the bali bombings. They brought him to trial once and it was a farce.

    By the way you mentioned on my blog post that commentluv wasn't working and you added this post. I will add a link to it.
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    1. Glad we agree Susan. Imagine if he had been somewhere awating trial. It would, like for the Bali bomber have been a farce. Not least since high price US lawyers would have competed to defend him. Getting him off the hook would have been their claim to fame – and fortune.

  7. I would agree with you, but with additional reasons. The cost of keeping him alive would have been too great. He knew quite a bit about everything, it would seem. If he was put on trial, inevitably, some of these sensitive information would be publicised which I am sure would not be preferred by many parties.
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  8. Glad your kids are relieved. They should be since the fact that he wasn't captured alive will work against Al Queda. Hopefully, they will now slowly but surely cease to exist.

  9. Should have put him on trial just the same way it has been done most recently to the conspirators of Serbrenica massacre. After all he is not alleged to have been responsible for killing more than Karadžić or Mladić!

    It would have been the only way for the public to see the truth for themselves when presented with hard facts and proofs instead of media rallies against someone who's supposedly captured/killed years ago.

  10. Honestly, I don’t really think his capture would have made a difference. Of course there would be a lot of raucous going on about his upcoming trial but I believe justice would still be served. Secondly, who are we supposed to be, vigilantes? If some one commits a crime then they should be held accountable for those actions in a court of law. And to touch on your point about Osama admitting guilt, that alone doesn’t make him guilty. Secondly, there are a lot of people for reasons beyond me that confess to crimes they didn’t commit. This “shoot em up, bang-bang, cowboy justice” bravado that a lot of Americans adhere to will only lead us to trouble. I’m not remotely angry that Osama got killed. However, I believe this bravado is rooted in a sense of superiority or let me used a euphemism. “American exceptionalism.” Don’t view the world through the lense of black and white. The reasons wars between cultures exist because no culture likes to examine the grievances of another. They attacks us for no reason, correct? We bomb the hell out of Iraq and kill thousands of civilians yet when one of them gets mad and bombs Americans it is terrorism and uncalled for correct?

    1. As you know, you are preaching to the converted.

      However unless you have lived in the Middle East I don't believe you will be able to understand how it works with the jihadis. Believe me Osama bin Laden is an exception to the right to be presumed innocent.

        1. No Patrick I haven't but I have been in Jerusalem and have plenty of Palestinian friends.

          The reason it makes a difference to have lived in Saudi is because you learn to understand how people shaped by the Wahhabi interpretation of Islam thinks. As you know OBL:s ideology is a perverted and severely violent form of Wahhabism. Wish to point out here that the vast majority of Saudi Arabians don't subscribe to OBL:s ideology.

  11. A fanatical figure like him would have never been taken alive. He knew if he ever faced the end he would go down as a martyr. It strengthens his cause and the people who follow him. A western trial was never a feasible outcome. There was no other way this was going to end and I am glad that justice was served, not in a bloodthirsty way but in a way that simply wants a terrible person to answer for the atrocities he had committed. Al Queda is far from done and we will see their head rise again, but in the meantime it's good for the world to know that this bastard is gone for good.

    1. Glad you agree with me Dennis.

      However, I believe the head has been cut off the snake Al Queda. What will they be without their figure head OBL? The tsunami revolutions in the Middle East hasn't asked for what their ideaology has to offer. On the contrary.

  12. I think there are very few of us that know enough about the "hidden back story" to speak intelligently on the subject.

    There are those that believe Osama’s been dead for 10 years and that this operation was just a “false flag” operation. Some say it was a “kill operation" and they didn’t want to capture him because he was a CIA funded operative who’d “spill his guts” if caught.

    The list goes on, and on, and on…

    In addition, there are those that are highly offended by the moniker (“Geronimo”) to identify Osama; I’d have to agree with them being partly “Native American.”

    As far as the “head of the snake being cut off" and making Al-Qaeda irrelevant; I don't think that's the case.

    Even though Al-Qaeda has been seriously hampered, I believe the organization is still a force to be reckoned with. Why do you think intelligence organizations and armed forces groups are purportedly constantly after them?

    But of course, I don’t know enough of the “(true) back story” to speak intelligently on the matter.

  13. Due respect for the living. Although those who lost their lives deserve the upmost respect.

  14. I think justice was done. It's shocking that his sons are now claiming the U.S. unfairly killed their father when he was responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent people.

    1. Yes Jeannette, the best option was definitely that he wasn't keep alive awaiting trial somewhere. Strange that even some New Yorkers argue that he should have been put on trial in NYC, isn't i?

  15. Hi Catarina,

    you are raising interesting questions that touch the borders of humanity. The question whether tyrannicide is allowed or not is as old as humanity, is it not ?

    First of all I don't believe anything what the media and especially American propaganda tells us or rather tries to sell us. There's as little evidence that he really got killed recently by the Americans as it would be difficult to prove is guilt and direct involvement in 9/11 in a juridical sense. Isn't it like mafia ? The men behind the scenes don't get dirty hands, do they ?

    Isn't it also a typical pattern of American politics that they try to distract their own people from the massive inner problems they have by spectacular actions abroad ?

    The whole thing reminds of the execution of Nicolae Ceaușescu and his wife at Christmas 1989. OK, they were killed by people from the Romanian army, then they abolished capital punishment.

    But isn't it interesting that Ceaușescu was a former "friend" of the United States, just like Osama bin Laden ? And isn't it also interesting that the US won't abolish capital punishment in their own country after this holy execution, like the Romanians did ?

    Thanks again for sharing your insights.

    Take care

    Oliver
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  16. Osama's execution didn't deal him the justice he deserved.

    Agreed it may have been hard to take him alive since he probably expected the day of his capture to come sooner or later.

    Time for the world to move on this this one character who no longer bears any relevance to the ongoing issues of global security in the world today…

  17. This is a question I've been tossing over in my head for the past week. I am not sad he's dead. I do worry about those that will try to get revenge for his death and what that will mean for those who are captured by the Taliban. The conclusion that I've come to is that had he been captured alive it would have only led to prolonging his death and giving Bin Laden and the Taliban more coverage and opportunities for retaliation.

  18. If there is anything I have learned from live is that whatever has happened is now in the past so second guessing and pointing fingers does no one any good at all. Life goes on.

    Thank for sharing your views though, I know a lot of people have very strong opinions about this particular topic.

    Adrienne

  19. Dear Catarina, I'm having to disagree with you on this one. Alot could have been gained by capturing Bin Laden alive. First off all, it would have shown to the whole world that the US was not out spending I don't know how many billions just to get some cheap short-lived form of revenge. It would have proved that the US has faith in its own judicial system and in international law and that it is indeed a civilised country, where even a mass murderer can count on getting at least a fair trial. Let's be clear about this: the world is not safer just because Bin Laden is dead. The resentiment against the US is unfortunately alive and well in the world, and killing Al-Qaeda's nr. 1 doesn't change that. In fact, Al-Qaeda might even become strong again one day, in some country that nobody cares about, like Yemen. In killing Bin Laden and waging a "war on terror", the US is trying to kill the shadow they created by supporting the wrong people in another wrong war (the Afghan war against the Soviets) for the wrong reasons. Trying to kill your shadow won't work. A child knows this.

    1. Agree with you in theory Patick.

      Truly wish it was as simple as that. When I lived in the Middle East I learnt how fanatics like that think and what motivates them. If it hadn't been for that understanding I would, like you, have thought that they were more like us. OBL is hence, unforunately ,the exception to the rule and can't be compared with mass murderers and dictators. Putting them on trial doesn't lead to thousands and thousands of innocent people dying.

      By the way, OBL was created by the US and Saudi Arabia.

      Agree with you completely about the resentment towards the US and it will not be diminished because of killing Geronimo. What happens with Al Queda we will find out. But at least the head has been cut off the snake and they didn't get the massive boost they need by putting OBL on trial.

      1. Europe has known its fanatics. Are you saying OBL was worse than Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Mao? So if I understand you correctly, you're saying that if OBL had been put on trial it would have led to the death of even more innocent people? All the reports I'm getting from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen are saying that Al-Qaeda and Taliban violence is on the rise since the death of OBL. They were just respecting 40 days of mourning, but I'm not convinced we've made the world a better place by killing Geronimo. I hope you're right though!

        1. Patrick, in my opinion there is a difference between a dictator and Osama bin Laden. Please name one dictator that was put on trial that resulted of an army of suicide bombers carrying out attacks world-wide?

          1. Dear Catarina, I think we're getting confused here and I'm not sure I'm understanding your argument anymore. You say that the motivation for your argument comes from knowing how these fanatics think and what motivates them. So how do they think? And what motivates them? And what makes their motivations different from other terrorists or terrorist organisations that the world has known, such as the OAS, Rote Armee Fraktion, ETA, IRA, or even state terrorism, such as Nicaragua in the '80s?

          2. Brain washed religous fanatics are different in the sense that they believe that what they stand for is the will of God. No matter how I explain, it's impossible to understand unless you experience it during a long time. I wouldn't have believed it unless I had lived with it for a long time and gradually learnt to understand that's how it works, even if I can't comprehend how they can believe what they believe.

            Will not be able to make you understand, so let's just agree to disagree.

          3. Catarina, don't give up on me! ;-)) I do understand what you are saying. It must be a bit like living in the 11th century and talking to the christian crusaders I guess. But if this is really true, then killing OBL or not doesn't really matter, because these fanatics will do whatever it is they are going to do, regardless. It takes total commitment to hijack a plane and fly it into a skyskraper, or to strap yourself with explosives and blow yourself up in a marketsquare. The point I was trying to make is that for people who are not yet totally committed to such a cause, it is in my opinion more likely that killing OBL has given them a pretext to totally commit themselves. They have a martyr now and an example: someone who has died for the higher cause. It would have been different if the "West" had treated OBL like a regular prisoner of war, according to international law, because it would show that the West too believes in a higher cause. But as you say, we can agree to disagree if you like.

          4. Patrick, please you need to live with it for a long time to understand it.

            It truly is impossible for me to explain it to you since you will not believe me.

            The only way to believe how it works is to live with it.

            If I hadn't I would also have prefered OBL to have been considered innocent until proven guilty. If you had experienced it we wouldn't have had this discussion. So please let's just disagree to disagree. No matter how I explain you will not believe me because you think like I would if I hadn't had the experience.

  20. amazing article and i do agree with you to certain extent. BUT, what does this make us??? if we can't put someone on trial even-though hthey admitted what he did and we believe that the system won't work, does it mean we kill them?? we can't put OBL on trial so, we kill him. we can't put Bush on trial for what he did in Iraq, so does it mean that we should kill him???
    it also takes us to another question, who gives any country the right to invade another country?? because of 9/11, the US invaded Afghanistan to eliminate AL Qaeda!! and for killing OBL, they violated all the international laws by doing this in Pakistan without the Pakistani government knowing. I am sorry, i am off topic, but i believe it's all sort of connected!!
    In one of your comments, i believe in LinkedIN, you said dealing with a dictator is different than dealing with a terrorist when it came to saddam hussien and is trial! ( i believe the US killed more Iraqis than saddam hussien did), should we put the kill the US government??
    but in Libya, NATO is trying to kill Qaddafi! he is legal target for them!
    what i am trying to say, who gives anyone the right to kill someone else without a fair trial even if we are 100% sure that they are guilty! if we just killed them (revenge), it just makes us as guilty as they are, and it shows that civilized world doesn't really exist!

    1. Yasser I'm afraid you are making a lot of incorrect assumptions. Am not American and was against the invasion of Iraq. Also, maybe wrongly, don't believe the West should have got involved in Libya.

      Once again, I'm against targeted killings but believe Osama bin Laden was an exception to the rule since putting him on trial would have given Al Queda the huge boost it desparately needs. May even have facilitated for them to get funding. And what dictator have stood trial resulting in thousands of thousands of innocent people around the world being killed? For instance blown up.

      1. Catarina
        I have posted something but just in reply to your comment: You cant have exceptions to justice, liberty and equality cause then you making a mockery of democracy. Who decides what the exception is? By which moral system? If you have democracy and a just legal system then that needs to be followed. Unless you saying your system is flawed then change the system? You are making that exception on an emotional opinion and that becomes dangerous.

          1. Catarina
            Living in the Middle east does not have anything to do with it. This was US navy seal that went into a foreign country under direct orders from their President. The West has a certain view of the Middle East but by operating like this you are sending a clear message that its fine to operate with complete disregard for any international law. Please produce any international law that provides for the action that was followed in this case. Again I say the US has put democracy and international human rights in jeopardy through this unilateral action.

          2. With respect if you haven't lived in Saudi Arabia you don't understand what these fanatics are like. I wouldn't have either if I hadn't lived there and worked with intetnational relatsions. But I would have thought I understood.

            As a comparison, it doesn't matter that I have worked with South Africa, know Thabo Mbeki, Ramaphosa, the Reverend Chikane and other South African people. You understand South Africa better than I do.

          1. Catarina, you keep bringing up just one final "argument": have you lived in the Middle East or not? We all know you've lived in Saudi-Arabia, but the Middle East is a very diverse place. Maybe if you had lived in Gaza or the East Bank or East Jerusalem your view would be different. And keep in mind that these fanatics were once allies of the US. They were trained by US special forces.

          2. It was a joint operation between the US and Saudi Arabia that sent OBL and others to Afghanistan that eventually resulted in Al Queda.

            Patrick, honestly I feel very strongly about what's happening in Palestine and no doubt would have felt even worse about it if I had lived there. Can you blame someone from there who decide to become a suicide bomber?

  21. Catarina, I read this post a couple of days ago and had full intentions to come back regardless. I have to agree with everything you said… and your justifications. I really have to think that the way his death was handled was the only way.

    I am curious however, what the next step with be… sure a heck there will be someone … or many people stepping up to try to fill his shoes in his 'honor'… I really don't feel Al-Aaeda is going to think "oh well… our leaders gone… I guess we're done" and leave it at that. That is the part that we all need to be giving some thought to.
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  22. Catarina
    Thanks for starting the post but have to disagree with you on this one. This action speaks to the heart of America. It speaks to the liberties and morals that your country is built on. I am a South African who lived through apartheid and lived through our transformation to a democratic society. We set up a Truth and reconciliation Commission that dealt with the crimes committed on both sides. No one was allowed to implement justice and revenge based on their view. Justice is equal to all and thats what true democracy is about.
    You need to take the emotion out of it. Attached please find a statement from the MJC in SA which summarises my view on this matter:

    The United States has once again destroyed and violated all standards of judicial internationally prescribed laws designed to govern, protect and resolve global disputes and conflicts. Since their “War on Terror” mission coined by George Bush, the reputation of the US has been reduced to nothing more than a violator of the human rights that they claim to uphold.

    The recent lawless cowboy action of the Navy Seals under the command of President Obama has been hailed by the US as justice despite the fact that it has done nothing to advance global peace. If anything, it has advanced violence and terrorism as a means to achieve aims. It cannot therefore be seen as a means to foster good relations or understanding as the world has been plunged into a state of unrest.

    These actions serve to parade the United States as a country unable to maintain human rights and thus cannot claim to be any better than those that they accuse of terrorism. It is therefore rather hypocritical and meaningless to say that the rule of law will bring about peace and then violate the international standards.

    The Muslim Judicial Council condemns the failure of the United States to arrest Osama Bin Laden in order to maintain international global standards of law by affording him the opportunity to present his case through humane and legal avenues. The order to kill is fundamentally not supported by any legal standards and contradicts the standards that American claims to want to maintain and uphold through the war on terror.

    We further condemn the manner in which the body of Osama Bin Laden was disposed of as this is not in accordance with Islamic laws even though the claim has been made that Muslim traditions were followed at sea. It is foreign to Muslims that a person is killed on land and buried at sea. We advise the US that their actions further entrenches views that they do not respect the rights of other nations’ cultures, religions nor traditions. The body should have been handed over to the family and people of Osama Bin Laden for a proper Islamic burial.

    We thus deduce that the US is not equipped with the ability or intention to build global peace as true justice can never be claimed without dignity, integrity, respect and empathy for others.

    1. I completely agree with you Jamie. All the reports I'm getting from our embassies in Kabul, Islamabad and Sana'a are saying the same thing: Al-Qaeda and Taliban violence is on the rise after the death of OBL. They were just respecting 40 days of mourning.

  23. Stacy
    That doesnt even begin to make sense. An unarmed man with a gun to his head cannot refuse to be captured when he is surrounded by navy seals. You want to believe that because it makes you sleep better because you dont have to face the reality of what went down. Deep down it does not agree with your morality and any international morality that this is the way that would be criminals/terrorists are dealt with. You know it and I know it. Read my posting. cheers

      1. Catarina
        As I said in my posting it goes to the core of US society. All is equal before the law, justice is blind etc Either everyone is equal or they are not. Who decides when a trial is necessary? SA pre 1994 was on the brink of civil war. When democracy came people did'nt go out there and take revenge killings on known assassins of the apartheid government. There was a legal process that was put in place. We didnt use the argument that innocent people were going to die because someone is going on trial? Right now you have a situation where the general public is giving their opinion on if it was right to put someone on trial or execute him. Very dangerous for democracy I think But then what do we know we are in deep dark Africa. Maybe the US can take a lesson from SA?

        1. Am not American Jamie.

          Once again, I believe there was one exception to the rule called Osama bin Laden.

          This issue has nothing to do with South Africa and apartheid. There is no comparison.The trial of a dictator like Milosevic, Taylor and so forth doesn't result in an army of suicide bombers blowing people up all over the world. If Mugabe is put on trial terrorism will not happen world wide either.

          However, if bin Laden had been put on trial that would have happened. And not only that. Al Queda would have been given a huge boost and probably started getting more funding again. The world doesn't need a revived Al Queda.

  24. Catarina, aloha. Kudos to you on your thought provoking post and the ensuing discussion.

    Personally, I doubt that he would have allowed himself to be taken alive.

    However, now that it is done, I neither like to think about what could have happened nor do I like to think about the famifications of those actions.

    Again, Catarina, congratulations on this excellent post. Aloha. Janet

  25. Hi Catarina,

    This is an interesting take on Bin Laden, but working in NY City and having lost some friends in the Sept 11 attack, I find it hard to be logical in this instance.

    Your points are sound, your assumptions reasonable, but at the end of the day, for anyone with close enough ties to the attack in either NYC, the Pentagon or Shanksville, PA… I say good riddance… let the bastard rot.

  26. Wow! This is such a thought-provoking post, Catarina! I felt like I was taken through an entire Hollywood movie imagining the what-ifs! I have to admit that I don't have the knowledge or experience to make comments on this topic, but based on your logic, I'd be in complete agreement with you. I hadn't even considered the potential for further chaos if he had been caught alive.

    Thanks for bringing up this excellent discussion, Catarina!

  27. Hi Catrina,

    Interesting post. I'm proud of the seals who executed their plan and met their goal, and beyond that, I've not analyzed the topic. I agree with the points you made and I personally feel glad that it's over.

    Heather

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