Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Maureen Dowd on the Death of bin Laden

With all the whining about the death of bin Laden in various quarters, from complaints about celebrations to the usual blind, legalistic nonsense questioning the legality of the operation, Maureen Dowd's New York Times' column yesterday was a breath of fresh air. It starts with the outstanding title: "Killing Evil Doesn’t Make Us Evil." Although Dowd is a liberal partisan and can't resist some opening shots at the GOP and George Bush, she goes on to make excellent points.
In another inane debate last week, many voices suggested that decapitating the head of a deadly terrorist network was some sort of injustice. ... I leave it to subtler minds to parse the distinction between what is just and what is justified.
With regard to the illogical clowns who put forth the false analogy linking celebrations of 9/11 and celebrations of bin Laden's death, Dowd writes,
Those who celebrated on Sept. 11 were applauding the slaughter of American innocents. When college kids spontaneously streamed out Sunday night to the White House, ground zero and elsewhere, they were the opposite of bloodthirsty: they were happy that one of the most certifiably evil figures of our time was no more.
You might think this would be obvious. But unfortunately it must be pointed out. She goes on,
The really insane assumption behind some of the second-guessing is that killing Osama somehow makes us like Osama, as if all killing is the same.
Exactly. The person who is killed, the reasons why, and the circumstances all matter greatly. This is something I've pointed out numerous times with regard to torture. I wonder if Dowd would apply her same logic to the torture debate? But since I'm praising this particular column I won't go there any further. Dowd concludes,
Morally and operationally, this was counterterrorism at its finest. ... We have nothing to apologize for.
We had something to celebrate, and we did.


  1. Huh. I certainly wasn't expecting this from Dowd. Good on her for not falling into the Chomskyian trap.

  2. It was surprising, although there have been occasions in the past where I've seen her take an unexpected position.