Leithart on the death of bin Laden…

I am glad Osama bin Laden is dead.  He was an evil man.

And I think the surgical method used to kill him is commendable.  The Bible, especially Judges, endorses assassinations: Kill the head, and the body becomes powerless .  Wars slaughter thousands, or hundreds of thousands of relatively innocent young men, always on both sides.  War is costly, especially in human terms.  Better to destroy war-mongers who start wars.

That said, my enthusiasm for this operation is tempered by the recollection that the US made Osama bin Laden.  Michael Moore is right on this point, if nowhere else: We supported bin Laden in his battle against the Soviets, as we also supported Saddam Hussein so long as he was fighting Iran.  We had a hand (how direct is a matter of dispute) in creating bin Laden, creating the Taliban, creating al-Qaeda.

Americans have a right to breathe a sigh of relief.  Yet the lesson is not, as President Obama, Charles Krauthammer, and others have suggested, that “we do big.”  The lesson is that we’re pretty good at creating messes, and that we’re occasionally good at the mopping-up process.  When the euphoria is over, will we take the opportunity to reflect seriously on our record of cultivating the serpents we later kill?

About Uri Brito

I am the Pastor of Providence Church (CREC) in Pensacola, Fl.
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