Conspiracy buffs won’t get a debate from me. If he’s still alive then he’ll no doubt release embarrassing audio and/or video clips clearly referencing current events that happened after May 1, 2011. If he is dead, his silence will not silence conspiracy theorists.
If he is dead, is that justice? Little doubt of that. Is it for the best? Perhaps. But I have to add a big +1 to those who choose to skip the celebrations.
The evening of May 1 presented me with a striking juxtaposition. Feeling board, I re-watched a film I view every several years. When finished, I switched from DVD mode to broadcast mode to find myself right in the middle of CBS’s coverage of the Bin Laden news.
The movie is “The Scarlet and the Black” a hollywood dramatization (no doubt embellished) of the very personal and life&death struggle between a Vatican priest named Hugh O'Flaherty and Herbert Kappler, the commander of the Gestapo in Rome from the death of Mussolini until the German evacuation of Rome. Embellished or not, the well documented real story is as amazing as the film version. O'Flaherty’s underground operation successfully hid several thousand Jewish Italians and escaped allied POWs.
Kappler was arrested when the allies took control of Rome and spent the rest of his life in prison. During that time he was visited more or less monthly by O'Flaherty, who eventually baptized him into the Catholic Church in 1959.
A similar, older story can be found in Lincoln’s plan for treatment of our southern citizens at the end of U.S. Civil War. When berated for his leniency he replied “Do we not destroy our enemies, madam, when we make them our friends?”
Of course, there were those who refused to become our friends after the Civil War and there are those that will refuse now. There was and still is little viable alternative to continued use of force in those situations. But to assume that all would refuse leaves us with a problem too large for force to solve, indeed it places us at risk of creating new enemies faster than we can kill them.
There I go, getting all preachy again ...