Douglas Murray, the first self-proclaimed British neoconservative, appeared on Question Time last night and argued that it is "reasonable" to execute Osama bin Laden, because the man was a monster who killed thousands all over the world and would have killed even more had he been left alive. After wrangling with Paddy Ashdown and others Murray found support from a survivor of 7/7, who claimed that only Douglas Murray represents the victims of 9/11 and 7/7. It ought to be noted that the reason al-Qaeda committed the attacks on 9/11 was to lure the US into an over-reaction, which could then be construed as a war with Islam and be used to unite the Jihadist movement and the Muslim masses against the West. The neoconservatives jumped to invade Afghanistan and Iraq, in doing so they succeeded in uniting a divided Jihadist movement against America. These wars in the Middle East were exactly what Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri wanted the West to do.
It is sad that the neoconservatives, who have acted in just the way al-Qaeda wanted, can still be held up as the defenders of the victim. People like Douglas Murray are willing to destroy the Free World out of hatred for the Muslim Other, whilst al-Qaeda want to destroy the world out of love for another world - a Caliphate. The consistent message of the neocons is that we must infringe upon our values to defend them. To save lives we must kill. In the violent defence of freedom and democracy we are at risk of losing those very things, this is the major lesson of the "War on Terror". The threat of terrorism increased as a result of the wars supported by neocons like Murray. Without Iraq and Afghanistan there wouldn't have been a 7/7. The neoconservatives are the defenders of attempts by the state to increase it's own power in order to be able to easily crush mass-movements whenever the effect of economic policies is social collapse and disorder.
The fact that the man was a preacher of hate and mass-murder is supposed to mean that the rights and freedoms of liberal society can be suspended in that case. Of course, we soon find ourselves in a state of exception in which the rights and freedoms of anyone can be stalled over a perceived threat. The point made by Paddy Ashdown is that the rights and freedoms of citizens as a whole will be undermined. If it were not for the USA Patriot act there would not be a NSA national database being constructed in Utah. The base will be bigger than Washington DC and will cost tax-payers $2 billion. The database will store information derived from "signals intelligence" - credit card details, emails, phone calls, internet searches and text messages - from which the NSA will decide who is and who is not a "terrorist". Apparently the world will be a better place if the NSA knows what you've been Googling and it's all justified by the death of a wanted terrorist in Pakistan.
In Ancient Rome if you were convicted of a certain crime all of your rights were revoked, as you become homo sacer, so anyone can legitimately kill you and take your property. The life of a homo sacer can be taken by anyone, but not sacrificed in ritual, as the person has been banned as an 'outlaw' and such a person is expunged from society where all civil rights and civil religious functions are in suspension. The homo sacer is both excluded from law and included at the same time. The mirror image is the sovereign, who is included in that he can be impeached and face trial (in theory) but excluded in that his privilege and power allows him to the rig the chances of him ever coming to trial. Osama bin Laden can be killed with the sanction of a state, George Bush can sit at home and praise the decision without fear that he might face trial for Iraq. This week it was Osama bin Laden, but assassination is not an aberration as we know just by looking at Fred Hampton who was murdered by the state and this is the reason that we should oppose assassination as defended by neocons.