Justice or revenge?

President Obama said that with Bin Laden's death, justice has been accomplished. But justice has not been accomplished; vengeance has.

Justice would have been done if we had captured Bin Laden and brought him before the International Criminal Court for the world to see his crimes, as we did at Nuremburg with the Nazi war criminals.

Justice is blindfolded so as to make her impartial, not so that she cannot see the truth.


• • •

Bin Laden has been killed, and there is cheering in the streets.

Do you recall the cheering in some parts of the world at the success of the 9/11 attacks? Do you recall your feelings about the people who celebrated those attacks?

Celebration may feel good for a short time, but it will harm us more than it will help us. I am sickened by the gleeful reaction of so many of my fellow Americans to this man's killing.

Violence has not solved their problems, and it will not solve ours. If we are to successfully share this planet, we will need to learn to become sensitive to the needs of others.

We need to start seeing other people.


• • •

Osama bin Laden is dead, and I am particularly grateful today for all the men and women who keep us safe -- soldiers, law enforcement officers and firefighters.

Their bravery reminds me of Winston Churchill's quotation: "Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities, because it is the quality which guarantees all others."


• • •

We cannot bring back those who died on and after 9/11, but we can honor them by remaining vigilant. Minnesota and all of America can be proud that justice was served and that the last thing OBL saw was the face of the U.S. military handing out that justice.


• • •

President Obama has finally done something to help the country by approving the raid on the Bin Laden compound. Thank God the Navy SEALs weren't ordered to take him alive.


• • •

Ever since Obama took office, his detractors have been quick to accuse him of being weak.

In fact, Mr. Obama is as tough as steel while avoiding unnecessary bravado. Compare Paul Bremer's "we got him" statement referring to Saddam Hussein in Iraq with the poised announcement by the president on Bin Laden's death.

This president speaks softly and carries a big stick. Truly brave.


• • •

We got him, now get out!


• • •

While Obama was engaged in a mission to eradicate the elusive leader of Al-Qaida, Donald Trump was worried about our president's validity to hold his office.

While Obama was looking into a CIA operation, Trump was looking at Obama's college transcripts. I hope he is perpetually hanging his head in shame.


• • •

The news of Bin Laden's death provides a small sense of closure to the 9/11 attacks, with many people believing he received his just reward for conceiving of such a horrible act.

On the same day, Pope John Paul II was beatified, a tribute to the life of a man who provided so many acts of peace and forgiveness -- the first pope to visit a mosque and a temple, a person who forgave the man who attempted to kill him.

And, notably, it was Pope John Paul II who begged President George W. Bush not to invade Iraq, an invasion that eventually caused the deaths of more than 5,000 Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, and that cost trillions of dollars.

Had Mr. Bush listened, perhaps Bin Laden would have been killed many years sooner.

And on the same day, militants launched a spring offensive in Afghanistan. A 12-year-old suicide bomber killed four people in one attack; a bicycle bomber killed two more in another.

There is little doubt that Bin Laden's execution was long overdue. Let us all hope for a time when we celebrate peace ... when the Bin Ladens of the world become more like Pope Paul II and turn their hatred to love, their creative thoughts to helping all humanity.

Yes, quite a day of contrasts.



Elsewhere in words and deeds ...

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann said recently at a candidates forum in New Hampshire that the Holocaust and the current economic circumstance are "a similar death and a similar taking away."

Well, Michele, what shocking, offensive, ignorant statement will you come up with next?


• • •

I don't know anyone who doesn't have stress in their jobs. The maturation process teaches how to react to stress. While sitting in a restaurant watching Twins pitcher Carl Pavano's dugout meltdown on TV, I happened to look over at a father with his son of about 4 years old.

The son watched with his mouth open as Pavano let loose with his many swings of the bat on Kansas City Royals property. I wonder what was going through that kid's mind as he watched a Twins "hero" go ballistic. Great role model, Carl!


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Most would hesitate before taking a life

The current self-defense law requires that a person make attempts to avoid conflict, but a proposal would eliminate any "duty to retreat" ("Deadly force bill advances in the House," April 29).

Initially, it seemed like gun owners just want another excuse to pull the trigger, but after reading the article, my view changed.

People opposed to the bill call it the "shoot first" doctrine, and many are worried that it could lead to unnecessary deaths and injuries. In my opinion, opponents have good intentions, but I don't think they're giving citizens enough credit.

Most people are appalled by the thought of taking a human life, whether they admit it or not, and I think that most homeowners would hesitate to use deadly force on another person.

A gun is certainly a powerful intimidation tool, and many intruders would probably wither just at the sight of one. I also believe the hesitation would provide a gun owner enough time to recognize and not fire at a uniformed law officer.

People do have the right to defend their homes and property, but I doubt that the average person will jump at the chance to take a life.