Citizen Enemies

October 3, 2011

Those who protest the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki have to say what they would have done instead.
By Christopher Hitchens

Probably because it mainly provides the kind of short-term cinematic satisfaction that characterizes the Hellfire terminus, the flashy ending of al-Qaida’s main media star has only led to the reopening of some pressing questions about the nature of the jihadi menace.



me said...

it depends on the cirucmstances. i don't think there is one absolute solution for every situation. I don't understand exactly what this guy did. You didn't explain that enough. I guess I will have to read your son's book and get back to you.

Reading something before commenting on it is always a good idea. Especially when those comments are drenching with immature skepticism. Anwar al-Awlaki's track record speaks for itself. Why would you comment on it and yet be seemingly unaware of that? I don't think you really "explained" that enough. Why would you assume that hitchens should have to explain that to you? Do you want him to condescend to his audience? Get back to me on that.

living disanointed said...

why doesn't someone palatte a cartoon about uncle sam.

its all we need.

Civil Libertarian said...

oh, and yes, there are laws forbidding the Khomeinian crew from breaking into the studios of European artists and "liberating" their Work.

fake civil libertarian said:
"oh, and yes, there are laws forbidding the Khomenian crew from breaking into the studios of European artists and "liberating" their work."

golly gee Mr. Terry Eagleton, that sure is a great comparison. I mean if these European guys want to draw pictures then they should let Saddam draw whatever he wants too. Oh, wait...

@fake civil libertarian:
First of all, you're clearly a real class act. Isn't posing as someone else discussed on the first page of netiquette 101? Of course, that would require the ability to read wouldn't it? Hmmm...

Oh and by the way, if you're going to pose as somebody else, it's usually best to write the name as THAT person (aka me) would've written it, with the link that this aforementioned person (aka me again) would've attached to their name (just like I did! see?!?). Keep up the good work, Sherlock!

Now let's address your quote, which you made haphazardly posing as me. I guess beneath the fractured narrative you're trying to make some schizophrenic argument along the lines of "laws designed to protect unarmed civilians should be applied to murderous psychopaths". I suppose you give yourself extra brownie points for maintaining some ridiculous pretense of "blind justice". Me thinks that if it was some radical christian after abortion doctors (whom the khomeinian crew also despise), you might not be so inclined toward the academic slight of hand or the even more famous (and ever the more boring) "devil's advocate" routine. Just remember; Christian "Fascists"; Muslim "freedom fighters". You're doin' great kid.

"...And he thought himself quite wise with such a mind. Yet, with no heart, his soul shown no brighter than anyone's" Karl Daub

"Dry up Dursley, you great prune!" Hagrid

Anonymous said...

"Those who protest the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki have to say what they would have done instead."

Well that's pretty damned obvious. I would have at least tried to capture this lunatic and put him on trial. Not because I like the bastard but because it goes against lawlessness, injustice, and contempt for democratic values. This type of "justice" implies all US citizens are as vulnerable as global enemies. Also his murder and others put Americans and everyone at risk globally. It shows the world we are as stupid and fanatic as our enemies.

Anonymous said...

I find this article bizarre. The right to due process exists not as a gentle reminder for the state, to be discarded when inconvenient, but as an iron-clad guarantee that a citizen has some protection from his government. It is a means to equalise a little the massive imbalance of power between citizen and state, and it is therefore an especially important right.

If I am reading the law correctly, every citizen of the USA has the right to a fair trial, no matter how nasty and no matter how conveniently they appear in the cross-hairs. If this is true, it would make this execution illegal. The government claims that the execution was legal, but keeps the reasoning for this apparent contradiction secret. This is evidence that it doesn't believe its own claims.

If the government of the USA wants to execute one of its citizens without the benefits of due process (which is something that might well be desirable, as this case shows), then surely the right way would be to instigate a public debate and then have a law that states precisely under which circumstances citizens have forfeit that right. In other words, the right way would be to legalise such killings before doing it. We don't want our governments making a habit of violating laws, and that means that they must abide by the law, even if an action that violated it would be the morally right thing to do.

I'm amazed that Mr Hitchens, a man who I respect highly for being so outspoken about people's rights, needs to be reminded about this rather basic fact.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Anwar will soon be forgotten
except to his loved ones
his corpse already unrecognizable
wholly, to the sun with a spade


Christopher reads from Hitch-22: A Memoir