In Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal, Andrew Roberts, who just finished analyzing the Royal Wedding for NBC, penned a piece titled “Britain Goes Wobbly on Terror.” In it, he lamented how much British TV pundits despised American cheering for Osama bin Laden’s death:
By total contrast, when Douglas Murray, the associate director of the Henry Jackson Society, told the BBC’s flagship program Question Time last Thursday that he felt “elated” at the news, he was booed, heckled, and almost shouted down.
Another panelist, the writer Yasmin Alibhai Brown, was applauded when she said she was “depressed” by the killing, as it “demeans a democracy and a president who has shown himself to be the Ugly American. He’s degraded American democracy, which had already degraded itself with torture and rendition.”
The former Liberal Party leader Paddy Ashdown was then cheered when he said: “I cannot rejoice on the killing of any man. I belong to a country that is founded on the principle of exercise of due process of law,” as though the United States was founded on some other idea.
The Biased BBC blog offered a similar analysis:
A remarkable example of BBC bias, or incompetence, call it what you like, came following Douglas's explanation that the West didn't need to "be seen" to use due process of law to deal with Osama Bin Laden in order to show that we are "better than them", because the West patently shows that this is the case the whole time. (Merely by being libertarian, democratic, and free as opposed to Islamic, oppressive and barbaric).
Paddy Ashdown, however, deliberately or through stupidity, totally misrepresented this by repeating indignantly, despite Douglas's protestations, that Douglas had merely said we don't have to show that we're better than Al Qaeda. (Cut to shot of Alibhai Brown's bizarre, exaggerated clapping.)
Meanwhile, [host] David Dimbleby who was filing his nails or tweeting, or not paying attention for reasons of his own, sat back and allowed this slanderous disingenuous drivel to continue unchallenged. (I'm fairly sure a shot of this was edited out of iPlayer.) But whether he couldn't see, or wouldn't see what what Paddy was getting away with, it was appalling chairpersonship.
Murray offered more details of British disdain for the Osama mission:
The Archbishop of Canterbury. Rowan Williams, told reporters: “I think the killing of an unarmed man is always going to leave a very uncomfortable feeling because it doesn’t look as if justice is seen to be done.” Writer Henry Porter whined about “vital moral issues” in The Guardian. Add to that lawyers Geoffrey Robertson in The Daily Beast and Michael Mansfield in The Guardian defending bin Laden’s human rights, and a commentator on the radio station LBC saying that no one should celebrate the death because “we live in a multicultural society,” and you can see how utterly degenerate modern Britain has become when it comes to prosecuting the war against terror.
Murray wasn’t so shocked to hear this from pundits, but also found “pusillanimity” among ordinary people:
There was the lady at a cocktail party who told me “It’s those gun-toting Yanks at it again.” There was my son’s classics teacher informing his young charges that he thought bin Laden deserved the “dignity” of a fair trial. And there was the letter about the U.S. celebrations to the conservative-leaning Daily Telegraph stating that terrorist cells “will be further fuelled by those inappropriate reactions by people who should have known better.” How? How, Ms. Tess Hyland of Bathurst, could al Qaeda possibly hate us more than they do already?
To the man who told me he didn’t believe bin Laden was buried at sea “according to Muslim rites,” I repeat that Mussolini was hung upside down on a meathook and then urinated upon. And as for those people who genuinely thought the United Nations and Pakistan should have been informed of the raid beforehand, Lord, give me strength!
Roberts concluded that all his pride over the Royal Wedding has faded: “Today all I feel is shame at my country’s pathetic reaction to your own great day of joy.”