Third Party & Independents Archives

Is Killing a Terrorist Wrong?

Imagine if tomorrow Osama Bin Laden was killed by a targeted attacked in the hills of Afghanistan. Could you imagine that the following would be the world’s reaction:

What happened was more brutal than anyone can imagine and it doesn’t make sense. We condemn this aggression…” (Hosni Mubarak, Egyptian president)

I do condemn the targeted assassination… Such actions are not only contrary to international law, they do not do anything to help search for a peaceful solution. I appeal to all in the region to remain calm and avoid escalation in tensions.” (Kofi Annan, United Nations secretary general)

"The position of the European Union has been consistently a condemnation of ... killings. In this particular case, I think a condemnation ought to be stronger. These types of actions do not contribute at all to create the conditions of peace, the conditions of dialogue, which are necessary at this moment." (Javier Solana, EU foreign policy chief)

It's been the long-standing position of the British government that such targeted killings, assassinations, are out with international law."” (Jack Straw, British foreign secretary)

"This is not about fearing something. The situation is as such that all must be done to prevent a further escalation. All sides are called upon to do their part in this effort.” (Joschka Fischer, German foreign minister)

"At a time when it is important to mobilize for the relaunch of the peace process, such acts can only fuel the cycle of violence." (Dominique de Villepin, French foreign minister)

"We condemn this crime and we find a real obstacle against all political will and efforts to have a sustainable, comprehensive and just peace for all the people of the region." (Asma Khader, Jordanian government spokesman.)

Obviously this kind of reaction would be extremely inappropriate and I think almost every American (even real anti-bush types) would say that killing a man who planned a horrible attack on our nation and whose sworn goal to do it again is not out of line in any way. Yet this was exactly the world reaction to the assassination of Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. In case you were wondering, these are some of the highlights of Hamas’ reason for existence (source of Hamas goals):

1. 'Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will
obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.'
2. '[Peace] initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement... Those conferences are no more than a means to appoint the infidels as arbitrators in the lands of Islam... There is no solution for the Palestinian problem except by Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are but a waste of time, an exercise in futility.'
3. 'The Day of Judgment will not come about until Moslems fight Jews and kill them. Then, the Jews will hide behind rocks and trees, and the rocks and trees will cry out: 'O Moslem, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him.'

This man founded this organization, and I see absolutely no argument why Israel has less of a right to take out this man than we have to take out Osama or any nation has the right to take out a terrorist whose sworn goal is that nation’s destruction. Somehow I think the world reaction would be a bit different if Osama was similary killed.

Source for quotes: (see java link to “International reaction")

Posted by Misha Tseytlin at March 23, 2004 3:12 AM