May 6, 2011

Bin Laden was executed, that much is obvious

The failure of self-belief in a Western project had spread throughout the West for several decades before 9/11 came along.

Guy Rundle — Correspondent-at-large

Guy Rundle


Late at night, on the outskirts of a big city, they slipped in and got him. It was illegal, a breach of sovereignty, and the host country would later scream blue murder. But it was so compromised by its associations that little attention was paid. When news of the raid got out, and the result was seen for what it was, any cavils about international law were put to one side as the world rejoiced.

The operation of which I speak is, of course, the kidnap of Adolf Eichmann from Argentina by an Israeli squad in 1961 — an event whose initial audacity was quickly consumed by an even more extraordinary act, that of putting Eichmann on trial in Israel, complete with a defence counsel, and a process that many criticised at the time as achingly slow, overly deferential to a man whose identity and guilt was unquestionable, and whose accordance of the notion of possible innocence was a traumatic affront to survivors.

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67 thoughts on “Bin Laden was executed, that much is obvious

  1. paddy

    A bloody good piece today Guy. Well worth the price of admission.

  2. MLF

    Rundle, without meaning to sound condescending, the first half of this is some beautiful work. If it is all you (the vision I mean rather than the words) you are on a truly higher plane at the moment. And this one: “It was a determination that the victor should not allow themselves to be defined by its relationship to the enemy in any way” is an absolute corker.

  3. Grover Jones

    A damn fine piece of writing, Guy. Thanks.

  4. Gederts Skerstens

    What a tangled spaghetti-bowl of causes, reasons, explanations, precedents, legalities and personal outrage.
    Okay, so Osama got killed. Sorry. It won’t happen again, Okay?
    His replacement gets to be killed now.
    The Caliphate Project has less chance of success than even The Workers Paradise Project did.
    At some point the Western Left’s support for assorted fantasies has to tip them from Idealists to Demented. Making a case for Osama’s right to continue as a visible front for mass-murder for any length of time should do it.

  5. Anthony Dale

    Surely a good piece, but it would have been much better if it were half as long.

    The conclusion I come to is that we should slacken –– most certainly not break –– our ties to USA. It is a very troubled country in its leadership and broke as well!

  6. ianjohnno1

    I see the USA as a society increasingly detached from reality. So many seem to see the world like a Dale Brown novel. Walter Mitty multiplied. Oz seems to be going the same way?

  7. ianjohnno1

    I should add that the bin Ladens death and its manner bothers me not one whit.

  8. mikeb

    Nice writing Guy but boy have you taken liberties with lines such as this – “The only alternative to victimhood, its mirror really, is a fantasy triumphalism”, and “There was insufficient resilience there to face one’s enemy, even on the news-stand.” I didn’t like the ridiculous U.S.A. type chanting etc and found it a bit distasteful – but then I’m not so close to what happened in 9/11 and afterwards. Who are we to judge their actions?
    I have no doubt that the raid objective was assasination but tend to think their is a simpler explanation of why he was wanted dead rather than alive. The last thing America wanted was a show trial that would last for years and act as a further rallying point for his followers. Was there any doubt as to guilt? I’d say no (he was a self-confessed killer after all). Those who say he has not been proven guilty in a court of law are correct – but living in fantasy land. That he ended up quietly slipping into the sea without a final resting place to lay a wreathe, or bomb, is a fitting end.

  9. MLF

    Ian, don’t want to get off Rundle’s topic but yeah, I sort of agree. The US is a weird place to be. Its not even about consumption and materialism, there a other countries far more materialistic, its about introversion, as Rundle says about a lack of conviction, and I think probably even a spiritual vacancy.

    They are so Constitutionally focused – everything follows the Constitution to the letter of the law – that there’s a ‘forest for the trees’ scenario where culturally (led politically) they seem to have forgotten what the Founding Fathers were actually harping on about and what good living is and can be. None of this is helped by a divisive media and a system of government that is often more about point scoring than achieving.

  10. Daniel

    “Was there any doubt as to guilt? I’d say no (he was a self-confessed killer after all).”

    Did you miss the comparison to the Eichmann trial?

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