Questions Ahead 721.5

It’s not surprising that news of Osama bin Laden’s death would branch into scores of storylines that will fragment our attention and give plenty of opportunity for criticism.

The current target is the President’s decision to not release photos of bin Laden’s body, which some claim are needed to prove he’s really dead. It’s déjà vu all over again, a reprise of the insatiable demands of those who refuse to believe the President is an American. I don’t know who the doubters are, but I feel certain they won’t abandon their doubts even if they’re shown pictures.*

This counterfeit controversy is a distraction from much more serious and complicated issues:

  • How will Congress determine whether the government of Pakistan was protecting bin Laden, and what are we going to do it?
  • Does the finding of bin Laden support or undermine the claim that enhanced interrogation is both necessary and justifiable?
  • When can we bring our soldiers home from Afghanistan?
  • And, perhaps the trickiest question: how are we going to handle a fact it seems we are pretending not to know – the unarmed bin Ladin was assassinated in the same way he would have been if we’d dropped a drone missile on his compound?

If we are honest and fair-minded enough to objectively sort through masses of real and fake facts and wildly diverging opinions, we can eventually emerge from all this bin Laden- wrought havoc stronger, wiser, and more committed to our democratic and humanitarian principles. I think it’s going to be a real test of character.

This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.

* It’s hard to imagine how there can be serious doubters. Irrespective of the other forms of government evidence, including DNA and facial recognition, there is ample independent proof, including statements of bin Laden’s daughter. And if we didn’t kill bin Laden, why isn’t he telling the world how foolish we are?

Comments 6

  1. Doubt has two aspects. In my head I know bin Laden is dead. It’s my heart that needs to see the pictures, perhaps to counterbalance the pictures of the Twin Towers I still see over and over in my mind.
    Mr Josephson, I really appreciate your honesty about your reactions to this news. We are all struggling with how we feel versus how we “should” feel. Right now, my own take is similar to the saying that you don’t have to like someone in order to love them. I am happy that justice has caught up to bin Laden, but I think our country did the right thing to give him a proper Muslim burial. We can’t control our feelings, but it’s our actions that count. The best I can do right now is to offer up a prayer on bin Laden’s behalf that he will repent before God on His throne. I hope God will forgive me this shortcoming.

  2. Unarmend and assassinated? We all need to realize this was a combat situation in the dark of night on foreign soil. The SEAL team was probably under orders to capture Bin Laden if at all possible. Would you rather they wait until he picked up an AK47 and started shooting before he was killed? Maybe they should have waited until he killed a SEAL first?

  3. I couldn’t have said it better. You read my mind, from the beginning of the doubters, to the assination of an unharmed man. How does a Christian reconcile his beliefs in this world? I wish over and over how I could get the President a message: Please do not release the photos. Operate on a need to know basis. My children and his children do not need to “know/see” these pictures on the TV screen, at home, or applebees, or at Target when we go shopping. I deny video games for graphic content, what is the difference?

  4. Michael … know that your Character Counts commentaries are greatly appreciated. Re the death of Osama bin Laden … I’m not sure how one should feel, but I certainly feel relieved that he has been removed from his axis of evil. I just wish that the West would have taken Hitler out when it was discovered exactly what he was doing with his extermination camps and killing untold numbers of Jews.

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