Dienstag, Mai 03, 2011

The Terrorist Won

I just passed by a spot where a man was shot in the head and died on the scene about the same time Osama Bin Laden got killed. I probably past the line of fire and there was still blood on the street. A man died a few hundred metres from home - this is extremely disturbing.

This man had blood on his hand because he stabbed a woman earlier that night and he also tried to stab the police officer who finally shot him. It is a clear cut case but nobody cheers that this guy is dead. In fact everyone is quite contrite. This is not the way we deal with humans even if they are violent criminals or our worst enemies.

Some twothousand years ago somebody introduced the concept of grace of charity. I am not religious - not at all - but abandoning the eye for an eye concept is the very base of our culture and civilisation. That doesn't mean we can't defend ourselves, we only have to make sure that we follow the values of human dignity and rights we are defending.

Yesterday all of that went down the drain. Not in St. Kilda's Grey Street, not in Abbottabad in Pakistan and not in the Situation Room where a Commander in Chief gave an order. It happened right in front of the White House and on the Time Square where a crowd cheered over the death of a man. Like the man in St. Kilda Osama Bin Laden had blood on his hands and it is good none of them can harm anyone anymore but this is no reason to cheer and party. Are the pictures of the 31 March 2004 already forgotten where a mob killed four Americans and hang their charred corpses onto a bridge in Fallujah? And is the memory of American soldiers dragged through the streets by a crowd of local civilians after the Battle of Mogadishu on the morning of the 4th October 1993 also erased? These were outrageous pictures where we thought nobody in the western world is capable of. I thought we abandoned the dark ages with the end of World War II for good.We as a society learned from our past and from the errors and mistakes of our fathers and grand-fathers.
However I was wrong. Killing someone without a trial and feeling good about it? Doesn't that kick us off the moral high-ground we had over the terrorist? How is that any different from Mogadishu or Fallujah?

In was a good day for counter-terrorism. It might have been a great day for the USA but it was one of the worst day for the western civilisation.

We lost. They won.

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