A Righteous Kill

In May, President Barack Obama delivered a statement in the East Room of the White House on the mission against Osama bin Laden. Last week, Obama remarked on the death of another al-Qaida leader, Anwar al-Awlaki.

If you’re trying to figure out why President Barack Obama has lately appeared to be over-inflating that birdcage he calls a chest, U.S. aerial drones executed wanted terrorist and expatriate American Anwar al-Awlaki, along with his similarly American-by-birth sidekick, Samir Khan, last week. Therefore, Obama gets to walk around in his John Wayne shoes for a bit.

Let me be clear: I oppose virtually everything Obama planned to do, has done and/or will do during his four years in the White House. But the executions of al-Awlaki and Khan are not on the list. I know my kill-’em-where-you-find-’em attitude gets me sideways with some folks, including Bob Livingston and Congressman Ron Paul.

We shouldn’t be in the business of whacking people like we were in Tony Soprano’s gang and our victims were wearing wires in the back room at Satriale’s. But occasionally, the role America should play and the role America must play are not the same role.

Sure, it would be easier to simply let these animals continue spouting off about jihad in Jihadi-stan (Yemen, in this case). Consider it: Jihadi-stan sucks. It’s dirty, the food is terrible and the women are all dressed like beekeepers. You can’t tell if that’s hot Fatima or that hook-nosed Ayesha walking down the (dirt) street; and even if you could, walking around dressed like beekeepers in 110 degree heat all day makes them both smell like hamsters.

The problem is that al-Awlaki was not play-acting at terrorism. Al-Awlaki exhorted his followers to kill what he calls “infidels” and you call “the Nelsons from two houses down.” And punching his ticket hardly lowers the intellectual temperature in the human room. It’s not as if, given enough time, he was going to abandon his holy war against the infidel crusaders and concentrate on that cure for cancer he dreamed about as a junior jihadist.

For those of you who object to Obama trying on his big-boy shoes after al-Awlaki’s execution, that’s an unfortunate door-prize you keep when you win a Presidential election. The military scores the touchdown, and the President gets to spike the ball. George W. Bush did it, George H.W. Bush did it, Ronald Reagan did it and even Bill Clinton did it — although Monica Lewinsky helped. Jimmy Carter never did it; but, as we found out later, he was rooting for the other team.

I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with sticking Islamofascists to a bulletin board like human thumbtacks — no matter which country they call home. Does it violate Yemeni sovereignty? Possibly, but ours is more important. I will concede that that sounds jingoistic; but from time to time, it’s perfectly reasonable to remember that the United States is better. They want to kill us because we live by ideals which are anathematic to them: free elections (unless ACORN is involved), cold beer and letting women drive (hey, maybe… nope — my mom will probably read this). And they have proven that — given time and some luck — they can do it. We, in turn, kill them because they’re planning to kill us.

However, what Obama failed to learn and his supporters will never acknowledge: If you want to dine on the spoils of war, you must use the utensils of death. Suddenly, the same people who spent the eight years of the Bush Administration decrying the idea of American troops even mildly inconveniencing Islamofascists have become the most hawkish people since Gen. Douglas MacArthur asked for permission to nuke China. The same doves who wanted a public trial for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed are now channeling their inner Rambo over the executions of al-Awlaki and Khan. Barack Obama the candidate deplored secretive actions against Islamofascists. Barack Obama the President demands credit and respect for ordering them. Even some of their fellow travelers are compelled to recognize such blatant hypocrisy. On Sunday’s broadcast of the no-longer-compelling Meet the Press, Democratic Party sock puppet E.J. Dionne Jr. wandered off-script: “You’ve got to be honest and say what would liberals say if George Bush had done this?”

I do believe we already know the answer to that one.

–Ben Crystal

Personal Liberty

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.

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