Head of Anglican Church criticizes Osama killing - Macleans.ca

Head of Anglican Church criticizes Osama killing

‘The killing of an unarmed man is always going to leave a very uncomfortable feeling’


Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the head of the Anglican Church, told the media on Thursday he felt “very uncomfortable” over the killing of Osama bin Laden. “I think the killing of an unarmed man is always going to leave a very uncomfortable feeling because it doesn’t look as if justice is seen to be done,” Williams said at a press briefing commenting on the U.S. raid that lead to bin Laden’s death. Williams also took aim at the contradictory accounts the Obama administration has been giving of the way in which the al-Qaeda leader’s died in Abbottabad, Pakistan. “In those circumstances,” he added, “I think it’s also true that the different versions of events that have emerged in recent days have not done a great deal to help.”


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Head of Anglican Church criticizes Osama killing

  1. Step aside boy, there is a war going on.

    • Umm… your namesake would probably disagree with you. He believed in justice, not vengeance. Oh, and despite what Hollywood has told you, he only ever sentenced two men to hang, and one escaped.

    • Rule of law is all we have separating us from arbitrary government. As the previous poster mentioned, you should know that from your namesake.

      What good are we if an arbitrary execution is deemed acceptable because it is a popular with the majority?

  2. I feel pretty comfortable with the situation. The RAID was legal. The FINAL DECISION to kill was done by a soldier on the ground.

    Is there a video of that moment? Unless bin Laden was surrounded, waving a white flag, naked, and begging for his life, he does not deserve much benefit of the doubt about his intentions because:

    he is a determined mass-murderer;

    he has continually expressed his intent to destroy me, my fellow soldiers, my countrymen and any unlucky bystanders;

    he is a master of duplicity and deception;

    he promotes suicide attacks; and

    if I take him captive, I will make the mission more risky by consuming additional time and resources.

    The question to ask is: "Did the President or anyone in the chain of command give an order to kill and not to capture?" If so, then the action would be illegal.

    Otherwise, ARMCHAIR QUARTERBACK discussions should be saved for the Superbowl, not this highly necessary, legal, military operation.

    • Apparently he was naked with his wife when they discovered him in the bedroom.

      Too bad they didn't have the time to literally un-arm him before they blew his brains against the wall.

    • When Israeli agents captured the Nazi Adolf Eichmann in Argentina in 1960 and put him on trial in Israel in 1961 for carrying out the murder of MILLIONS of innocent victims during the Holocaust, they could have just as easily shot him on the spot. They chose to arrest him, put him on trial, convict him, hang him, and scatter his cremated remains on the ocean.
      Would President Obama have been wiser and morally preferable to treat Osama Bin Laden in a similar manner? Or was putting a bullet in his head immediately on finding him the preferred course of action?
      This is a question that will be debated for years and years.

  3. this olde religious phiarrtt should think…ghhawwd what a stupid unwarranted comment i have made….yeah right! what were ya gonna do, save him? go back to your sand pile and keep your head in it….sik

  4. No way the Americans were going to let Osama come out of that compound alive. That would have resulted in court battles and increased world tension for the next decade.

    Better to face the recriminations of an extrajudicial killing than face the alternative consequences.

    In the end…the US will say "yeah…we bumped off Osama…so what?" A bunch of people will squawk about it…but a lot more will applaud it.

  5. I find it interesting that we face a moral dilemma in shooting an unarmed man. But we have no problem killing people with missiles, bombs, and drones that often take innocents with them.

  6. He should have gone to trial.

    • A trial would have been just a media circus, not that he deserved one anyway.

  7. It is amazing that when they kill us, they can be proud about it and proclaim it to the world. But when we finally get some of them out of the way, we have to tread softly and take all loads of criticism about it. So he was unarmed. What about all the people his followers have killed? I suppose they were all armed to the teeth and knew there was a bomb-strapped $@#$ walking amongst them, right!?

    You might say we must act civilized and all sanctimonious and take the high moral ground BS, but when someone threatens our way of life are we supposed to let them get away with it!?

    Call it an execution, revenge killing or whatever else you want. It had to be done. It is done. Now we have to prepare for the follow-up. They like killing; they don't like being killed.

    Are we ready for them?

  8. So what adherent of the C of E pays the slightest bit of attention to anything the Archbishop of Canterbury says about anything?
    The adherents are leaving for churches like the RC and certain evangelicals where there is some semblance of a doctrine.

  9. Actually that is the fundamental difference between a mullah and a Christian. The Christian will consider forgiveness even for a known mass-murderer. The mullah will condemn the mass murderer for not killing more people. I am not saying there are no Christian nuts too, but there is only one group of nuts that go psycho every time someone sneezes wrong (according to them).

  10. Perspective is an interesting phenomenon.

  11. Huh, I think this is the first time the Archbishop of Canterbury and I have every agreed on something.

    • Really? He seems like a squishy lefty.

  12. I think the Church of England was against the Iraq war as well.

    The Roman Catholic Church was against both the War in Iraq and the War in Afghanistan.

  13. “I think the killing of an unarmed man is always going to leave a very uncomfortable feeling"

    What about the 3,000 or so unarmed people that were killed by this clown and his buddies?

    A bullet in the head is about the nicest way he could have been killed.

  14. "Uncomfortable." With all due respect to the good Archbishop, your comfort was of secondary concern.

    • He must be shocked- shocked!- that he wasn't consulted. I don't think the last 14 adherents to the C of E were shocked, though. He's even out of touch with them.

  15. I'm saddened that the CPC may have just lost a great future fundraiser

    • Weren't you at the pro-Hamas march in Toronto? Or baricading the roads with the Tamils in Toronto?

  16. The British tried to fight a conventional war against geurillas during the American revolution. It didn't work there either. While everyone wants a Pollyanna war, it simply isn't possible. The SEALS claim this guy resisted. Sitting right beside Pakistans 'westpoint' they didn't have a whole lot of time to appease your sensibilities. Look at the residents of the areas reponses. They are angry at their military for not shooting down the American helicopters. To criticize from an armchair is simply not realistic. Oh yea, ol' Bean did rule from common sense as he saw it. That is why he didn't sentence many to death.

  17. I have to believe the American mission regarding Osama was intentioned as a capture and bring to trial campagne. Believing otherwise makes me feel uncomfortable as well. Unfortunately because of circumstances out of their control the Americans were not able to accomplish this. I am not going to judge them or debate why Osama wasn't captured alive or shot unarmed. Americans and Canadians enjoy an unparallelled freedom because of the split second judgements soldiers have to make under such circumstances.

  18. Extra judicial killings lowers us to their level. Two wrongs do not make a right . Due process and the rule of law distinguished us from those we fight .

    • So, the Twin Towers were "extra judicial killings"? There weren't two wrongs committed, there was one wrong and a corrective action.

  19. They could have captured him, but that would lead to the hassle of putting him on trial. Besides, what if he revealed his long connection with the CIA and US officials? Can't have that. So the kill order was given, along with a quick disposal of the body, mafia-style (as in “sleeping with the fishes)."

  20. He was a war criminal and should have been put on trial. People are dying in that part of the world to establish the rule of law and human rights. Going in and shooting him undermines the whole of that purpose. A lot of people are using 'justice' as a euphemism for 'revenge'. It's absolutely wrong.

    • It's not a euphemism when they conveniently coincide.

  21. It seems to me the Anglican church should be more concerned about putting its own house in order before commenting on any actions taken by the United States government on behalf of its citizens.

    • Have you SEEN Williams? He can't even get his facial hair in order.

  22. Innocent people get killed in wars? And this is news to you? Here's a tip for "asymetrical war" apologists- convince your compatriots to stop hiding in schools and residentiasl areas, get a uniform, and a command structure. Then the rules of war will apply, and less civilians will get killed. Wait, what?! You want civilians killed to promote your cause? Sorry, my bad.

  23. they should arrest Laden but not to shot him