The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):


  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”


Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

The killing of Anwar al-Awlaki

President Obama has been criticized for ordering the killing of al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki. In my book, however, the President did right.

Awlaki was born in the U. S., and under the 14th Amendment is a citizen of the U. S. So in theory, this is the assassination of a U. S. citizen. But in fact, Awlaki, by his words and deeds, renounced his citizenship. In exactly the same way that my grandfather, when he became a citizen of the U. S., renounced his Russian citizenship. Unfortunately, the 14th Amendment does not address the issue of renunciation of citizenship, so it could be argued that "once a U. S. citizen, always a U. S. citizen," under the terms of that amendment. But in that case, if Awlaki was still a citizen, his actions constitute treason, a capital offense. And his killing is simply an act of punishment that fits the crime.

But then, some might argue that he deserved a fair trial. My response is, what is the purpose of a trial? It is to afford the prosecution a chance to prove its case. Is there any person who can deny that Awlaki's actions, if he was still a citizen, constituted treason, while if he was not, he was an enemy soldier and his killing was simply a normal act of war?

In either case, the killing of Awlaki was justified. This time, Obama did the right thing.

1 comment:

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