Monday, January 09, 2006

Is Osama bin Laden dead?

Michael Ledeen (an often cited favorite of this blog) must have had nothing better to do this past weekend other than write because he's got two great new pieces out over at National Review.

The first is a copy of a letter from the family of Robert Dean Stethem to the President. You'll recall that Robert Stethem was the valiant Navy diver who was tortured and murdered by Muhammad Ali Hammadi who, in turn, was released a few weeks back by the German government, supposedly in exchange for a German hostage in Iraq who was released. Here's an excerpt from the letter:

You have rightly said, "Whether we bring our enemies to justice, or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done." You have truly said that "We are in a fight for our principles, and our first responsibility is to live by them." Robert lived by them. Robert also died by them. The motto of the USS SSTETHEM (DDG-63), named in Robert's honor, is "Steadfast and Courageous." I hope that his example, and the example of other heroes like him can inspire you to understand why allowing Germany to release Hammadi was a wrong. Justice was not done, Robert was not honored and Americans are not safer by allowing Hammadi to return to Lebanon and Hezbollah.

Read the whole article. The letter reminds us of the brutality and total lack of honor terrorists have. Appeasement will gain nothing from them.

The second starts with an old Chinese proverb, cites Iranian sources who believe Osama bin Laden to be dead, and labels this moment in history as a rare opportunity to effect democratic revolution in Middle East.

In short, both demography and geopolitics make this an age of revolution, as President Bush seems to have understood. Rarely have there been so many opportunities for the advance of freedom, and rarely have the hard facts of life and death been so favorable to the spread of democratic revolution.

And as always ends his essay, "Faster. Please?"