The Global Forum of Japan Commentary of October 1, 2011, Vol. 4, No. 5 presents views of members and friends of GFJ on the relations of Japan with the rest of the world and other related international affairs. The commentary "The Death of Osama bin-Laden" is written by Prof. Bruce Mazlish (MIT).
The Death of Osama bin-Laden, by Bruce Mazlish
The death and disposal in the sea of Osama bin Laden on 5/1/11 seems a fitting book end to the events of 9/11. It cannot be lamented; but it does raise a set of questions. The Letter of Mr. ITO Masanori entitled "Is Osama Bin Laden a Criminal or a Hero?" and carried by "GFJ -Commentary" is very interesting because it tries to answer such questions. Agreeing with him that the international legal system would have benefited from his trial (and he could have been captured,) I would like to respond to some of the questions raised by him.
Something like 3,000 victims were claimed at the World Towers and the other 9/11 sites. Al Qaeda, led by bin Laden, has been responsible for many more. Horrible as they are, their number has been fairly limited. In comparison with the Nazi Holocaust and the killing of an additional 6 million or more Poles, Russians and others, the Al Qaeda attack is dwarfted into insignificance. Its major significance lay in the shattering of the belief in American domestic invulnerability. The fear that was created by the small number dead -compare the 60,000 plus deaths each year on American highways- resulted in a major victory for the terrorists.