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Friday, September 30, 2011

Anwar al-Awlaki's Death

The news of Anwar al-Awlaki's death from an American drone strike provokes a storm of soul-searching over whether the president can order this kind of "assassination" (in ROn Paul's words) of a US citizen. While Uncle Cephas has never been a fan of Barack Obama, and probably won't vote for him in 2012, Uncle Cephas still believes that the president deserves the benefit of the doubt on this one.

What's wrong with you, American liberals? The head of the ACLU, Dean of Yale Law School, and all others uncomfortable about this action are cordially invited to go to the deserts of Yemen or mountains of Waziristan to serve the appropriate summons the next time an American-born terrorist plots an ongoing set of terrorist actions against American civilian targets--or, military ones, for that matter.

We are still in the midst of Mr. Bush's war, begun after consultations with Congress in the aftermath of 9/11/01, and it is now Mr. Obama's war. While Anwar al-Awlaki was born in the USA, and hence legally a US citizen, his actions, blogs, and statements leave the impression that he did not wish to be considered an American. Indeed, his influence on people like Nidal Hassan and other Islamic terrorists in the USA leave no doubt that he wished to inflict serious, act-of-war harm on the country where he was born.

Granted, this does not negate his legal citizenship. But there are a number of circumstances that are parallel to the Obama administration's actions. Given that immigrants to and emigrants from the USA take residence in other countries--including, as in the Awlaki case, return to countries of origin--there are doubtlessly enemy casualties from World War II, especially German and Italian, who were technically US citizens. If an American-born criminal were to enter an American school anywhere inside the territory of the USA and start shooting people, and, if an armed policeman happened to find himself in a position to gun down the shooter, would anyone condemn the officer of the law? The state exists to discourage and punish evil behavior. The declaration of Jihad by some Muslims against all Americans is a behavior against which any American administration would be required to protect the citizenry. In taking out Anwar al-Awlaki, the Obama administration simply did its duty.

Frankly, if it had been possible to serve an arrest warrant and read Miranda rights to the likes of Usama Bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki before leading them off in handcuffs, that would have been much better. But, once again, all the agonized consciences out there are cordially invited, the next-time an American-born terrorist joins a war against his country from a haven outside the USA (especially a failed state on the order of Yemen), to hop on a plane with the appropriate legal paperwork, carry out the arrest, carry out the extraction, and deliver the culprit to the appropriate American jurisdiction.

And you've heard it from someone who still says, "No 'Bama '012!"

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