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13 May 2011



OBL is dead. Bottom line: A very good thing. Discuss away.





Forgot: Nothing Obama would have done after the death of OBL would have pleased ODS. He gives no credit to Obama much the same as DFL'er give no credit to Bush for setting up some of the grunt work necessary to taking OBL out. That's just the way our political system works. Sad.


Mr. Thein,

I was responding to your quest to make the OBL's death into a semantics battle. Don't care. His death is a good thing for the United States and the rest of the world. Just another "mine's bigger than your" vendetta IMO.

As far as ODS's letter goes: It is off the grid from a person who I consider a very bitter man with a narrow frame of reference who trolls for "discussions" and is very successful in stirring up "stuff" much the same as you did when the PB decided to change its comments section.

- RDH.


Once again, RDH didn't understand the topic......


OBL is dead. A righteous act by our military personnel. This semantic "argument" is ridiculous. He deserved killing. If Obama had not gone to Ground Zero, ODS would have zipped out a letter decrying that move. That's what he does.

Bruce Kaskubar

I'm with Thein on this one. I read Othelmo's LTE the evening of its appearance, in the newspaper. Just now, I saw this blog post and comments. As I read Jay's opening comments, I did not even believe the LTE mentioned the things Jay talked about. I had to re-read the LTE to make sense -- any sense -- of Jay's comments. About two-thirds of the letter was about Obama's victory lap. Jay worked hard -- subconsciously or not -- to see a concentration on assassination and lack of value in "subduing" OBL. And Jay, Google has 1.7 million hits for "OBL assassination"


Jay - reread your comment and have a few questions:

1. You wrote: "The word "assassination" is not a neutral word for "killing." It clearly has a negative and political connotation"

* What is the "positive" word for killing? It seems to me that "killing", "murdering", "executing" and "assassinating" are all short on "positive" definitions.

* How could one NOT find a "political" connotation out of one country (the USA) searching out an enemy leader and killing/murdering/executing/assassinating him inside a foreign country?

2. You wrote: "Bin Laden wasn't assassinated. He was killed in a raid by U.S. military -- men whose names will remain unknown but who are now among America's most legendary military heroes, in my book -- as part of our nearly 10-year-old war with al-Qaida and other terror organizations. It was a military action, not an assassination."

* Although we've already had the politically liberal (but able to separate political leanings from an argument based on word meanings and comprehension) Rochester Public Library representative find no basis for your argument, we can take it even further - Wikipedia states "Assassinations may be prompted by religious, ideological, political, or military motives" (notice "political" and "military" there?). It also goes on to state: "Assassination for military purposes has long been espoused – Sun Tzu, writing around 500 BC, argued in favor of using assassination in his book The Art of War. Nearly 2000 years later Machiavelli also argued assassination could be useful in his book The Prince. In medieval times, an army and even a nation might be based upon and around a particularly strong, canny, or charismatic leader, whose loss could paralyze the ability of both to make war"

* Although this was a valiant attempt to wrap your argument in an American Flag ("Talk to veterans, their families, 9/11 families") most will agree that there is no "positive" connotation with "murder", "kill", etc. - it's all the same deed. "Assassinate" just is the most perfect form of the action in this case - you don't assassinate people by shooting at a group randomly and knocking down as many as you can. You don't assassinate your spouses' "lover" in a fit of rage. You assassinate an enemy military leader in a planned attack. Period.

I'm all for the assassination of Osama bin Laden, proud of our military - especially the special forces - for pulling it off and glad President Obama ordered it. (although I do have BIG troubles with the lies afterward - from the "million dollar mansion", the "gunfight", the "hiding behind a wife" and the 55-45% bullcrap on the odds he was there - all of which are immaterial to your or Othelmo's argument)

Back to the crux of this argument - for the umpteenth time - because of your obvious (and publicly stated) dislike for the messenger, you attempted to put him up for ridicule by putting words into his mouth and putting an undue negative emphasis on a word. This discussion has never been about the merits of what Othelmo wrote - whether President Obama's trip to NYC was indeed vulgar or OBL was merely an old figurehead are both certainly debatable issues. You allowed your prejudice against the man to cloud your judgment of the message and the silence of your supporters is deafening. We should expect more from an editor.

Frank Hawthorne

In my mind, this is much ado about semantic (And some antic) nothing.

Call it what you will--and "assassination" did cross my liberal mind, even as I rejoiced in it--Ding/Dong; the wicked al-Queda bitch is dead.


You're kind of backtracking.........

Jay Furst

Da Silva wrote a letter to the editor that was about two issues -- whether the raid and killing of bin Laden was worthwhile and whether Obama took a "vulgar" victory lap.

Both positions are well outside the mainstream of how most Americans view the killing of bin Laden. Read the polls. Talk to your neighbors. Talk to veterans, their families, 9/11 families, Americans generally. But it's his opinion, and we published the letter.

Da Silva wrote that bin Laden's "assassination" would have had "greater impact" if it would have occurred earlier, that bin Laden was "inactive as a terrorist mastermind" and he questioned "why have so many of our men and women in uniform died to fight 'leaders' and 'terrorist masterminds' whom (sic) we eventually find hiding in spider holes and, sometimes in plain sight?"

In other words, he questioned the value of going after bin Laden -- right, Mark?

Regarding his word choice: Mark's own citation from Webster's explains it. The word "assassination" is not a neutral word for "killing." It clearly has a negative and political connotation, which judging by the rest of da Silva's letter is exactly why he chose it.

Bin Laden wasn't assassinated. He was killed in a raid by U.S. military -- men whose names will remain unknown but who are now among America's most legendary military heroes, in my book -- as part of our nearly 10-year-old war with al-Qaida and other terror organizations. It was a military action, not an assassination.

To imply otherwise, to question the value of killing bin Laden and to call the president "vulgar" for visiting ground zero is, at minimum, interesting. Which is why I called more attention to it.


Here's my summary of this discussion:

Othelmo wrote a Letter to the Editor that disparaged President Obama for taking a "victory lap" at Ground Zero (his first trip there as President). Othelmo also stated: "Osama bin Laden's assassination would have had a greater impact on The War on Terror had it taken place closer to the 9/11 attacks."

Jay Furst has obvious disdain for Othelmo da Silva and purposely misrepresented - via Twitter and Facebook - that what Othelmo wrote meant that he was "against going after bin Laden" (despite the fact that the LTE never said such a thing) and then took umbrage with the use of the word "assassination" (instead of "killing", "murder" or "execution"). Of all the censor-approved comments on the LTE, I believe only Jack_Pappass didn't approve of the word "assassination" and I do not believe that ANYBODY else thought that Othelmo's message was that we shouldn't have gone after bin Laden. Jay then allowed a crony to call Othelmo a "tool" and a "troll" (one of Jay's favorite terms).

For the record -

Webster defines "assassination" as - "to murder (a usually prominent person) by sudden or secret attack often for political reasons" and the "legal" definition of the word is: "Assassination is a killing of a prominent person for political or ideological reasons."

STILL waiting to hear why that is the wrong word for what we did (and, keep in mind, I have NO problem with what we did to bin Laden)............

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