Killing of Osama bin Laden


Madam, – Neither your Editorial nor Lara Marlowe’s analysis piece (Opinion, May 3rd) mentions the minor detail that the killing of Osama bin Laden and several other people by US forces constituted an extra-judicial assassination and a violation of Pakistani sovereignty – hence, it was a twofold violation of international law. In reality, this killing was an act of revenge for a crime – 9/11 – that was itself an act of revenge for US crimes against the supposedly subordinate peoples of the non-Western world. It will merely prolong the cycle of revenge and hatred characteristic of the self-perpetuating “clash of civilisations”, and reinforce the contempt for international law that has turned the world into a slaughterhouse. – Yours, etc,


Lower Baggot Street,

Dublin 2.

A chara, – “Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love.” So said Dr Martin Luther King in a speech in 1958. We think the message conveyed in these words is worth remembering in relation to the jubilation shown on Sunday after the killing of Osama bin Laden. – Is muidne,


Kirwan’s Lane, Galway.

Madam, – Having greeted the news of Osama bin Laden’s despatch with unfettered joy and a glass of bubbly, I now sit back and await the Irish liberal left’s interpretation, in which the US becomes an evil monster and bin Laden a wronged charismatic visionary. And we still wonder why Ireland is a political, social and moral mess. – Yours, etc,


Lough Atalia Grove,

Renmore, Galway.

Madam, – It is a horrific day for humanity when the president of the “free world” , along with his trusted advisers, is happy to be filmed watching a real time snuff movie. – Yours, etc,


Bangor Erris,

Ballina, Co Mayo.

Madam, – Judging by the outpouring of mealy-mouthed equivocation and what-aboutery on your Letters page (May 3rd) following the killing of Osama bin Laden, it is clear the terrorist mastermind made a crucial error in choosing Pakistan as his lair. He should have sought refuge instead in Ireland, where he obviously enjoys much more sympathy, if not outright support.

Maybe his lieutenants could have organised the surreptitious purchase of a detached villa somewhere in the south Dublin region, a tribal hinterland well known for its fierce antipathy towards America. Here bin Laden could have whiled away the rest of his days safe in the knowledge that the locals would never betray him – indeed, with a beard trim and a new anorak, he could even have relaunched himself as a candidate for one of the hard-left political groups thriving in that area.

I wonder how exactly would those who now complain of rough justice in the way that the American armed forces eliminated this mass-murderer have dealt with bin Laden themselves? Sent him a solicitor’s letter, perhaps? There has been a lot of pious waffle about human rights and due process. The thousands of men, women and children massacred by bin Laden’s fanatical soldiers in New York, Nairobi, Buenos Aires, Istanbul, Jerusalem, London, Bali, Bombay, Baghdad and Kabul had no recourse to due process and had their human rights trampled underfoot by an evil despotism. Al-Qaeda declared war on the West on September 11th, 2001; nearly 10 years later this is one inevitable outcome of that declaration.

No doubt bin Laden would have used the prospect of an interminable trial in front of an international tribunal as a means of grisly self-aggrandisement, like another Slobodan Milosevic or Hermann Goering, angrily denouncing Yankee imperialism to loud applause from the gallery.

The US deserves our gratitude for leading this war from the front, for shouldering the burden of defending a free, democratic, secular world from a small but deadly band of nihilist killers whose stated aim is the imposition of a global, medievalist theocracy.

Before he visits Ireland, President Obama may wish to reflect on who America’s real friends are. No doubt he will have been briefed beforehand about some Irish history. One episode springs to mind, that of Éamon de Valera’s condolences to Nazi Germany on the death of Adolf Hitler in 1945. As recent events have shown, it is difficult to dismiss this as some of kind of anomaly.

The Irish should do some reflecting themselves, not least on the reality that Ireland has had no greater friend in the past than the United States. In our current situation, can we really afford to test American patience with windy moralising about the unlamented passing of its greatest enemy? – Yours, etc,


Oatfield Park,

Clane,Co Kildare

Madam, – Are we to assume that should the US find some terrorist suspect hiding in this country that it will feel able to invade the country to kill him like bin Laden? – Yours, etc,


Sutton Park, Dublin 13.

Madam, – The burial at sea of Osama bin Laden will no doubt fuel some conspiracy theories about his death (perhaps by the same people who question President Obama’s citizenship), but at least it shows the United States respected bin Laden’s religion far more than he ever did anyone else’s. – Yours, etc,


Wellington Street,


Ontario, Canada.