Ding Dong, The Witch Is Dead
The news of the assassination of Osama Bin Laden was met with a mixture of relief and fear last night. Relief that the man deemed to be America's greatest adversary was finally gone, and fear of how the Taliban might react. It's worth remembering, however, that we've been here before.
In December 2003, Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was captured by US forces at a farmhouse in ad-Dawr near Tikrit and taken to the US base near Baghdad. He was held at a Baghdad detention facility during his trial. On June 30 2004. Hussein was handed over to the interim Iraqi government to stand trial for crimes against humanity, specifically the murder of 148 people, torture of women and children and the illegal arrest of 399 others. He was found guilty and sentenced to death, and he was hanged on December 30, 2006. Much like the death of Bin Laden, Hussein's execution was met with mixed reactions, but few people in the West were mourning.
The world watched while Liberia's brutal leader Samuel Doe was tortured by opponents in 1990, before being shot. Still, not even the sight of Doe pleading for his life while having his ear sliced off could generate sympathy for the man who had disemboweled previous President William R. Tolbert in his bed while he slept.
Ehsanullah Ehsan, a spokesman for Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, has already made noises swearing revenge against Pakistani rulers and the US, and there will almost certainly be a radical ready to take Bin Laden's seat. But there is no doubt that, as was the case with Hussein, Doe and others, Bin Laden had to go.
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