Late last night US President Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden, a man wanted for the horrible, horrible crime of killing thousands in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. We all know this.
President Obama said:
So Americans understand the costs of war. Yet as a country, we will never tolerate our security being threatened, nor stand idly by when our people have been killed. We will be relentless in defence of our citizens and our friends and allies. We will be true to the values that make us who we are. And on nights like this one, we can say to those families who have lost loved ones to Al-Qaeda’s terror: Justice has been done.
I think Mr. Obama is wrong in his speak, as it seems he is using “justice” as a synonym for “revenge.”
The dictionary built into my computer says this about justice:
1 just behavior or treatment : a concern for justice, peace, and genuine respect for people.• the quality of being fair and reasonable : the justice of his case.• the administration of the law or authority in maintaining this : a tragic miscarriage of justice.• ( Justice) the personification of justice, usually a blindfolded woman holding scales and a sword.
2 a judge or magistrate, in particular a judge of the supreme court of a country or state.
That does not to me mean justice. Justice would be the capture, trial and conviction, and punishment under the law. Mr. Obama’s actions were revenge, plain and simple, and while I cannot fault the American people for celebrating this feat, I cannot call it justice.
I watched in horror as the western world changed for good on September 11, 2001. I watched, in shock, and sadness, as people jumped to their deaths from the World Trade towers. I watched the buildings collapse, I watched the news of the plane crash in Pennsylvania, and the crash into the Pentagon building. I, along with millions others, watched the transmission of the deaths of thousands.
I, however, cannot celebrate a man’s death.