Another day, and another press cutting of Labour leadership frontrunner Jeremy Corbyn emerges that Fleet Street can twist to make him seem like an extremist.
The subject this time? Osama bin Laden, the architect of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York in September 11th, 2001. After the terrorist was killed in Pakistan in 2011, this is how Corbyn reacted on Press TV, an Iranian broadcaster (skip to 3:10):
“On this there was no attempt whatsoever that I can see to arrest him [bin Laden], to put him on trial, to go through that process. This was an assassination attempt and is yet another tragedy upon a tragedy, upon a tragedy. The World Trade Center attack was a tragedy, the war in Afghanistan was a tragedy, the war in Iraq was a tragedy. Tens of thousands of people have died, torture has come back onto the world stage, been canonised virtually into law by Guantanamo and Bagram. Can’t we learn some lessons from this?”
Far from being an attempt to suggest bin Laden was a swell guy who was misunderstood by the authorities, Corbyn’s comments are a defence of an ancient conservative principle: the rule of law.
Indeed he went on to say that killing the terrorist would make the world “more dangerous”, leading to the obvious implication that it was the escalation of violence that he found tragic, rather than the demise of the scumbag bin Laden in itself.
He even suggested that an assassination attempt would be made on the Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, who was in fact killed later that year by a militia group after Nato intervention in the country, which remains unstable to this day.
“The solution has got to be law, not war,” Corbyn finished. Even if you disagree with his views on Western militarism in the Middle East, it is hardly a “gaffe” for him to make that argument.
Perhaps stranger is Corbyn’s suggestion that there was something “fishy” about the way the Americans refused to show pictures of bin Laden after his death, though the North Islington MP concedes that it may be because the pictures were too gory.
Image Credit – World Trade Center crash, September 2001 by Kevinalbania