Bully for N.T.! Wright Responds to American Exceptionalism and the death of Osama Bin Laden

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Wright has in the past expressed various points of opposition to the Great American Myth. This is not difference. I wouldn’t call him Anti-American (and who cares if he is?) but he is pretty harsh on cowboy diplomacy:

Consider the following scenario. A group of IRA terrorists carry out a bombing raid in London. People are killed and wounded. The group escapes, first to Ireland, then to the United States, where they disappear into the sympathetic hinterland of a country where IRA leaders have in the past been welcomed at the White House. Britain cannot extradite them, because of the gross imbalance of the relevant treaty. So far, this is not far from the truth.

But now imagine that the British government, seeing the murderers escape justice, sends an aircraft carrier (always supposing we’ve still got any) to the Nova Scotia coast. From there, unannounced, two helicopters fly in under the radar to the Boston suburb where the terrorists are holed up. They carry out a daring raid, killing the (unarmed) leaders and making their escape. Westminster celebrates; Washington is furious.

What’s the difference between this and the recent events in Pakistan? Answer: American exceptionalism. America is allowed to do it, but the rest of us are not. By what right? Who says? (read the rest here)

Not saying I agree with him, but he has a viewpoint which may or may not need answering.

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2 Replies to “Bully for N.T.! Wright Responds to American Exceptionalism and the death of Osama Bin Laden”

  1. I so rarely have a problem with anything that NTW says/writes, but this opinion piece is problematic for me. Specifically, I don’t understand what he means by the phrase “proper justice”. It’s clear that he doesn’t think that the killing of OBL was the result of “proper justice”. Perhaps, but what would have been proper justice for OBL? Bearing in mind that OBL was a state-less individual who was wealthy enough to finance a war against a state, what institution is capable of delivering this “proper justice”?

    1. There is no proper justice for a man who has killed thousands. But surely, I would rather be judged for trying to achieve it more so than surrendering to revenge.

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