Megan McArdle finds useful thoughts from C.S. Lewis, George Orwell, and an anonymous poet writing from inside Ravensbruck.
One point that sometimes gets lost in the purely moral discussion. Rejoicing at bin Laden’s death is, in part, an “attaboy” to the SEALs and others who risked their lives to make this happen. If we want people to keep risking their lives to make such things happen, a good purpose is served by having them know that their work is valued. The alleged conservatives whose hatred of the Barack
Osama Obama leads them to put out a bunch of loose talk about “extra-judicial killing” (which is an open euphemism for murder; the linked piece actually calls it a “hit job,” as if the SEALs were no better than Mafia gunmen) are acting about as unpatriotically as it’s possible to act. [UPDATE: To clarify a misunderstanding that came up in comments, I’m referring here to Powerline and IowaHawk here, not to Megan; her post seemed to me entirely admirable, and my intention was to extend the conversation, not to disagree with what she said.]
Now, if you think that killing bin Laden was wrong, and are sorry it happened, and want to ensure that similar killings don’t happen in the future, by all means you should say so. Support for “the troops” doesn’t mean approving of war crimes, and if you think this was a war crime it’s not at all unpatriotic for you to speak out: indeed, you have a duty to do so. That was, and is, my stance on torture.
But to criticize just because you want to take the shine off a major accomplishment by a President you hate is pretty low-down.