Evening clouds

Evening clouds
Sunshine and Clouds

Monday, 2 May 2011

Extraordinary times

We hear today of the death of one man at the hands of a nation state who wanted him dead. The news of Osama Bin Laden's death fills me with unease as do the accompanying pictures of celebrations outside the White House. Was this justice? It does not feel like that - yes his death is symbolic given the aftermath of the Sept 11th and July 7th bombings; I am not convinced it is that simple and in time we may come to rue his passing without a process of some kind having been held. I am not advocating judicially sanctioned death either - the USA is one place it can take place so we must be realistic about that as a possibility.
Perhaps having clear evidence was a problem for the USA? As Bin Laden claimed responsibility for terrorist deeds I assume there was no felt need for a judicial process.
I am not an American so may have a greater detachment from the emotions behind Sept 11th; July 7th was closer to home - and indeed friends nearby, though even then it had not filled me with a desire to see another person killed. It reminds me of the circle of violence often referred to in Northern Ireland that has for the majority now been broken, bringing an end to violent actions motivated by revenge. Many veteran soldiers of both World Wars have in my hearing adovcated not going to war as the best policy.
Humans do seem to have a capacity for retribution that gets in the way of thinking in the long term; surely finding other ways to address injustice and intolerance are vital. Answers are not easy to come by and cleverer people than I struggle to find these.
I cannot celebrate the news of this death - there will be many others who die today - without remark when other actions by nation sates might have prevented their deaths through action on poverty, ill health and education. I would prefer those actions as worth mentioning on the news and celebrating the lives saved, to what we have heard today.

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