Tue, May 10, 2011 - Page 9 News List

Killing evildoers doesn’t make us the same evil folk

There are times when killing is justified in the name of revenge. The killing of Osama bin Laden, who boasted of incinerating Americans, might have been one of those moments, argues columnist Maureen Dowd

By Maureen Dowd  /  NY Times News Service, WASHINGTON

The really insane assumption behind some of the second-guessing is that killing bin Laden somehow makes us like bin Laden, as if all killing is the same.

Only fools or knaves would argue that we could fight al-Qaeda’s violence non-violently.

Obama was prepared to take a life not only to avenge US lives already taken, but to deter the same killer from taking any more. Aside from bin Laden’s plotting, his survival and his legend were inspirations for more murder.

If stealth bombers had dropped dozens of bombs and wiped out everyone, no one would have been debating whether bin Laden was armed. The president chose the riskiest option presented to him, but one that spared nearly all the women and children at the compound, and anyone in the vicinity.

Unlike bin Laden, the Navy SEALs took great care not to harm civilians — they shot bin Laden’s youngest wife in the leg and carried two young girls out of harm’s way before killing bin Laden.

Morally and operationally, this was counterterrorism at its finest.

We have nothing to apologize for.

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