This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

← Death of a Madman

Death of a Madman - Comments

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 1 by Stafford Gordon

The distinct ring of truth. What it is to possess knowledge of history.

Tue, 03 May 2011 09:02:46 UTC | #622383

Cook@Tahiti's Avatar Comment 2 by Cook@Tahiti

Well, he and his fellow psychopaths did succeed in killing thousands in North America and Western Europe

And it cost the west thousands more western lives to find him and 'bring him to justice'

Tue, 03 May 2011 09:11:02 UTC | #622384

Teknical's Avatar Comment 3 by Teknical

I think the 'thousands more' is; speculate to accumulate. The often long forgotten and mutated reasons for conflict are never required when someone else tells you to do it. This applies to all sides.

Tue, 03 May 2011 09:25:28 UTC | #622393

Austin K's Avatar Comment 4 by Austin K

From Baghdad to Bali, it has been conclusively demonstrated that Bin-Ladenism is the cause of poverty, misery, and unemployment and not—as some know-nothings used to claim—a response to it.

Well said as always, Hitch!

Tue, 03 May 2011 09:31:57 UTC | #622401

scotsman2010's Avatar Comment 5 by scotsman2010

Well said Hitch.

And maybe a pertinent question for people here ... did it take religion to create such a contemptible figure as Bin Laden?

Tue, 03 May 2011 09:45:43 UTC | #622408

Ivan The Not So Bad's Avatar Comment 6 by Ivan The Not So Bad

The US military mission that cornered and killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan was nothing short of a miracle, according to Peru's President Alan Garcia, who attributed the divine intervention to newly beatified pontiff John Paul II.

Tue, 03 May 2011 10:09:28 UTC | #622414

Vaal's Avatar Comment 7 by Vaal

Comment 6 by Ivan The Not So Bad The US military mission that cornered and killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan was nothing short of a miracle, according to Peru's President Alan Garcia, who attributed the divine intervention to newly beatified pontiff John Paul II.

You are joking? Is this satire? If not, the sanity of our world leaders needs to be addressed. This fool should be ridiculed as the oaf he is. Perhaps the US military saw the compound on a piece of toast? Strange it took the miracle 20 years to find him. Maybe the toaster wasn’t working.

I am beginning to think that politicians should have to take mental assessments before they are allowed to pursue a career in public service. Any half-wit can become a politician, without any qualifications; take the Creationist cretin in N.Ireland who became the science minister.

Not to mention Sarah Palin who resides in planet la-la land. A self-confessed rapture nut, who shockingly may one day have access to Nuclear weapons. Extremely worrying!!

Tue, 03 May 2011 10:30:51 UTC | #622421

Hellboy2's Avatar Comment 8 by Hellboy2

Nice article, as always, Mr Hitchens.

But, oh dear, the conspiracy nuts are already out in force : just look at this on You Tube under - Ex-ISI Chief Hamid Gul: CIA 'Choreographing' Osama Assassination Hoax - the host of this 'programme' sounds like J.Jonah Jameson throwing a hissy fit at Peter Parker! Bless 'em.......

Tue, 03 May 2011 10:32:54 UTC | #622422

Ivan The Not So Bad's Avatar Comment 9 by Ivan The Not So Bad

Comment 7 by Vaal

Lol. I feel your pain, matey.

Tue, 03 May 2011 10:34:24 UTC | #622424

Dirty Kuffar's Avatar Comment 10 by Dirty Kuffar

Well said again Mr Hitchins ! a refreshing read and a change from some of the drivel I've heard coming out of the liberal "intelligencia" that we should stop celebrating the death of this islamo-nazi for fear of "causing offence" and that we have no right to strike at their safe havens.

Tue, 03 May 2011 10:35:00 UTC | #622425

Anvil's Avatar Comment 11 by Anvil

I can't help a wry smile at the death of this madman, or indeed the sheer balls of the Yanks and their ability to carry out such an operation, but let's be clear here - as this is a site with a lean toward reason - this is not justice as was stated by Obama in his powerful and moving speech.

An incredible piece of symbolism, maybe. Justice in the biblical sense, certainly, but far from due process.

Still, I can understand the celebratory mood of many, especially the relatives of the victims of 9/11 who were rapidly interviewed by the worlds press. I felt somewhat similar emotions myself following Obama's announcement - in spite of his appeals to God with which he ended his speech - but I was brought rapidly down to earth by one interviewee who stated (I paraphrase here) that she was 'saddened that this episode had caused yet another death'.

At that moment I felt slightly ashamed of my glee.

On reflection I feel an opportunity lost for due process by the death of this murderous individual, regardless of the difficulties that would have followed.

Perhaps now more than ever we need to be careful in our choice of words.

In the justice and morality of of the Bible we all end up blind.

Sorry, didn't mean to dampen the sense of occasion.

Anvil.

Tue, 03 May 2011 10:37:26 UTC | #622428

markfox's Avatar Comment 12 by markfox

Comment 5 by sc2010 :

Well said Hitch. And maybe a pertinent question for people here ... did it take religion to create such a contemptible figure as Bin Laden?

His capacity to advocate and to commit murder would arguably have been present without religion. He certainly spouted a lot of ridiculous religious nonsense. His own religiosity is, however, less important than his knowledge of how use the faith of others to convince them to die for his cause. Without religion he would just have been a madman with no influence.

Tue, 03 May 2011 10:50:00 UTC | #622431

Dhamma's Avatar Comment 13 by Dhamma

Well, he and his fellow psychopaths did succeed in killing thousands in North America and Western EuropeNorth America and Western Europe

Has bin Laden, with crew, been examined by a psychologist, or how did Hitchens conclude they are/were psychopaths?

Tue, 03 May 2011 10:59:13 UTC | #622433

I Worship Irony's Avatar Comment 14 by I Worship Irony

It will be interesting to see how this plays out . US troops operate deep inside Pakistan .Violating Pakistan's sovereignty ( The Bush Doctrine ,, Just in case Sarah Palin's reading) On the other side there's Bil Laden hiding under the noses of the Pakistani "intelligence" .Either way it look bad for the Pakistani government .An already corrupt and divided government but nevertheless relatively secular for that part of the world .And then there's the population .As we know an religious society to the extreme.A huge population with a median age of 21, a cause of both hope and concern.Within the next few years many of those will be entering the age of rioters or protesters .What will they want ? .What will they get ?

Tue, 03 May 2011 11:00:26 UTC | #622435

Valis's Avatar Comment 15 by Valis

Has there ever been a more contemptible leader from behind, or a commander who authorized more blanket death sentences on bystanders?

Well, yes. Bush, Blair, Cheney, Obama...OBL killed thousands, they killed millions, and still counting.

Tue, 03 May 2011 11:08:17 UTC | #622439

areeves's Avatar Comment 16 by areeves

Comment 12 by markfp :

Comment 5 by sc2010 :

He certainly spouted a lot of ridiculous religious nonsense. His own religiosity is, however, less important than his knowledge of how use the faith of others to convince them to die for his cause.

And, if reports are true, how cowardly to use his wife as a human shield. He obviously didn't believe in his cause enough to die like a man.

Tue, 03 May 2011 11:23:41 UTC | #622444

Harps's Avatar Comment 17 by Harps

Was waiting for this Hitch! I'm glad you got to see his demise and indeed write about it, may you witness many more, especially Kissinger's!.......... and I hope Clinton's too!

Tue, 03 May 2011 11:25:57 UTC | #622445

Stublore's Avatar Comment 18 by Stublore

Comment 11 by Anvil :

I can't help a wry smile at the death of this madman, or indeed the sheer balls of the Yanks and their ability to carry out such an operation, but let's be clear here - as this is a site with a lean toward reason - this is not justice as was stated by Obama in his powerful and moving speech.

An incredible piece of symbolism, maybe. Justice in the biblical sense, certainly, but far from due process.

Anvil.

In what sense was it not justice? He was allegedly given the option to surrender, but instead chose to keep shooting. As a result he was killed, how is this not justice?

Tue, 03 May 2011 11:32:24 UTC | #622448

Tryphon Tournesol's Avatar Comment 19 by Tryphon Tournesol

Comment 15 by Valis :

Has there ever been a more contemptible leader from behind, or a commander who authorized more blanket death sentences on bystanders? Well, yes. Bush, Blair, Cheney, Obama...OBL killed thousands, they killed millions, and still counting.

There might indeed be symbolism in justice.

Kill a whale and Greenpeace will be all over you, kill a school of sardines and 'they' will help you to put them in a tin.

Still glad he got caught (although he was beyond being punishable as per an eye for an eye). Let's hope we've not traded him for an even more evolved successor...it's literally an arms race.

peace.

Tue, 03 May 2011 11:41:08 UTC | #622451

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 20 by Peter Grant

Yeah, I'm also glad they finally got the fucker.

Tue, 03 May 2011 11:48:04 UTC | #622453

Vogon42's Avatar Comment 21 by Vogon42

I do think it is silly to wheel out the "he's a coward because he ran away instead of standing there while we blasted him to bits like a real man would" line of argument. It's like accusing the West of cowardice because it has airport security instead of just taking the bombs on the chin.

Apart from that, some good points.

Tue, 03 May 2011 11:53:14 UTC | #622455

TV200's Avatar Comment 22 by TV200

Comment 11 by Anvil :

I can't help a wry smile at the death of this madman, or indeed the sheer balls of the Yanks and their ability to carry out such an operation, but let's be clear here - as this is a site with a lean toward reason - this is not justice as was stated by Obama in his powerful and moving speech.

An incredible piece of symbolism, maybe. Justice in the biblical sense, certainly, but far from due process.

Anvil.

True, it would have been nice to see due process carried out here. But, it's probably better to have ended this way. It probably saved more lives than if he were captured alive, I could see his followers taking any hostage they could to try to secure his release.

Tue, 03 May 2011 12:03:14 UTC | #622457

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 23 by Stevehill

He won't be missed, but I said elsewhere today that even had it been possible to capture him, it would almost certainly then have been impossible to try him given the somewhat legally tainted chain of events that got him to a courtroom (reliance on information probably obtained by torture; kidnapping someone on foreign soil; hell they probably wouldn't even have read him his rights and allowed a phone call).

Apropos of nothing, there's quite an interesting piece in the Guardian today suggesting that jihadists act out of altruism, or at least believe that they do.

Tue, 03 May 2011 12:05:36 UTC | #622458

debaser71's Avatar Comment 24 by debaser71

Well this New Yorker who lost friends on 9/11 doesn't feel like celebrating. OBL is dead. whoop-dee-fucking-doo.

Those who think this is time for celebration are fucking idiots. My friends are still dead. There's a giant fucking hole in my city. OBL legacy is still strong...his death means little.

Tue, 03 May 2011 12:15:17 UTC | #622459

debaser71's Avatar Comment 25 by debaser71

"victory" "justice" ... hollow

how low we set our standards

Tue, 03 May 2011 12:19:37 UTC | #622461

PERSON's Avatar Comment 26 by PERSON

Comment 4 by Austin K

He's right, but misses part of the picture. Bin Ladenism (which is derived from Qutbism) is not a response to poverty (though the latter was a reaction to oppression, specifically torture by the Egyptian government). And indeed it is a cause of both. However, as with the tea-baggers, it's exactly those two things which make people desperate enough to join a radical movement, even when it works against their interests.

Comment 18 by Stublore

In what sense was it not justice? He was allegedly given the option to surrender, but instead chose to keep shooting. As a result he was killed, how is this not justice?

You answered your own question.

Tue, 03 May 2011 12:20:24 UTC | #622462

Functional Atheist's Avatar Comment 27 by Functional Atheist

Bin Laden's death is easily the best news of the year so far. That it was by gunfire delivered by Americans is entirely appropriate, much preferable to either natural causes or 2000 pound bombs. Kudos to President Obama and the Seals involved in the raid (I hope the shooters get to divvy up a piece of the reward). The smartest part of the whole operation was keeping the Pakistanis completely out of the loop.

Tue, 03 May 2011 12:23:04 UTC | #622463

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 28 by Peter Grant

Comment 23 by Stevehill

Apropos of nothing, there's quite an interesting piece in the Guardian today suggesting that jihadists act out of altruism, or at least believe that they do.

Makes sense, selfish people don't generally blow themselves up

Tue, 03 May 2011 12:31:55 UTC | #622465

Dark Matter's Avatar Comment 29 by Dark Matter

A truly fantastic article that so eloqunetly expresses exactly how I feel about this news.

Absolutely spot on and devastating analysis by Christopher - I'm going to forward it to everyone I know.

Tue, 03 May 2011 12:32:37 UTC | #622466

Vogon42's Avatar Comment 30 by Vogon42

Comment Removed by Author

Tue, 03 May 2011 12:33:34 UTC | #622467