There’s no audio, so you can’t hear him singing along to “Sugar Magnolia” and barking at his wives for more potato chips:
At the risk of starting a global conspiracy theory here and now, this video looks like it could have been made at a homeless shelter in Oakland. OK, maybe none of the neighbors really did know they were living next to the world’s most wanted mass murderer, but anyone who got a look at this dude ought to have rushed back home to check his local online sex offender registry.
It’s difficult to understand how anyone not educated in a Pakistani madrassah can remain dour and joyless on hearing that someone so unreservedly evil has become shark excrement, but leave it to Europe’s usual suspects to find a reason. Some are saying that President Obama may have “lost his luster” for unilaterally (gasp!) killing a man who murdered 3,000 American civilians, nearly all of them on American soil, without even asking the permission of the government that was willfully harboring him. One columnist at the Guardian even looked down his nose at the “spontaneous outpourings of raucous jubilation” in America. C’mon, guys, this is supposed to be a happy occasion! Turn those frowns upside down!
See? I told you that Europe would learn to hate us all over again!
It’s difficult to accept these arguments as motivated exclusively by an objective pursuit of the law’s pristine meaning, and the more closely you review the actual legal authorities, the more baseless the arguments start to sound. Leave aside if you will (even if I would not) the absolute justice of dealing death to a fugitive mass murderer. Shortly after the September 11 attacks, the U.N. Security Council — yes, I know — specifically invoked Chapter VII and reaffirmed America’s “inherent right of individual or collective self-defence as recognized by the Charter of the United Nations,” and its “need to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.” As U.N. resolutions go, that’s about as much clarity as you can expect. International customary law and the majority of scholars have long interpreted the right of self-defense, as articulated in Article 51 of the U.N. Charter, as authorizing force by a state against those planning armed attacks against that state, and especially against its civilian population.
Someone should also call the attention of Obama’s critics — and the Pakistani government — to the parts of this resolution that required states to “[d]eny safe haven to those who finance, plan, support, or commit terrorist acts,” “[p]revent those who finance, plan, facilitate or commit terrorist acts from using their respective territories for those purposes,” and “[e]nsure that any person who participates in the financing, planning, preparation or perpetration of terrorist acts or in supporting terrorist acts is brought to justice.” So much for multilateralism. I would be tempting to hail the Pakistanis before the U.N. Security Council, except that (a) it’s the U.N. Security Council, after all, and (b) we need the use of the port in Karachi and the road to Qandahar more that we need the smug self-satisfaction that substitutes for sound statecraft in the Soft Reich. (That’s also why calls to cut off all aid to Pakistan will probably go nowhere, at least until the Iranian government is finally overthrown.)
Maybe now more Europeans might agree with me that awarding President Obama that Nobel Peace Prize was premature after all. My take is that our young President might just have earned it, even if by doing so he also forfeited most of those all-important electoral votes in the Netherlands. But least they’ll still have Jimmy Carter for a few more months.