Posted by: Calmseas (Mike) | May 25, 2011

Sweet Justice

It has been said that “justice delayed is justice denied.”  This legal precept is the basis for our constitutional right to a speedy trial.  In the case of Osama bin Laden, justice—it seemed—had been denied to 3000 victims of his 9/11 butchery, as well as hundreds of others who have died at his hands over the last couple of decades.  Then there are the family members of these innocents who would know no closure and would themselves be victims of injustice for all of these many years.

But justice was finally done a few weeks back when bin Laden was ushered into the supreme court of his creator, courtesy of a team of US Navy SEALs.  The circumstances of Bin Laden’s demise are in a certain sense poetic.  Had he been turned over by the Taliban in 2001, as demanded by President Bush, he would have stood trial, been convicted, and likely been executed in the space of a few months.  He would have died a martyr to those who adhere to his twisted view of the world and religion.  But it all would have transpired quickly; he would have been remembered as an ordinary terrorist, a criminal mass-murderer: caught, convicted, and disposed of in short order.  He would likely be already receding from our memory.

The poetry, however, is in the long wait for justice to be served.  For nearly 10 years, Bin Laden was built up as a sort of super-hero or super-nemesis, depending upon the audience.  He was larger than life, bigger than the devil, and more powerful than the collective forces of the US military.  He was beyond reach; or so the growing aggregate of lore would have us believe.  After nearly a decade, bin Laden had become legend, for better or worse.  And then came the deflation.  The final chapter of his life showed him to be an ordinary man, albeit a depraved madman who was hunted, found, and eliminated.  Because of the persistence of his sworn enemy, the United States, he became a martyr to his cause.  But in the process, Bin Laden was shown to be vulnerable, not extraordinary in any way, and certainly not beyond the reach of a patient and persistent nation.  In the end, bin Laden’s demise is offered up by a freedom-loving and justice-seeking nation as a warning to others that if they should choose to follow in his footsteps, this would also be their future.

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