The threat that Awlaki presented, and the response of the U.S. Government are not anything close to a threat to other American citizens, whether rapists or murderers. If, however, you want to be an American citizen, and then go abroad and be a ranking member of an armed group that has sworn to inflict mass casualties on American citizens - and carried it out multiple times - then, you are going to risk having yourself killed.
Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl
We know where Roman Polanski is and what he's charged with. He's not going to be taken out with a drone strike. Nor will all the Americans currently on death row have their appeals canceled out tomorrow and be subjected to summary executions.
Here is part of an article from Hussein Ibish, a Lebanese-born muslim-American scholar, on the death of Awlaki:
The bottom line is that Awlaki preached that all Americans, of whatever origin, were fair game and should be killed at every possible opportunity. That, of course, includes Arab- and Muslim-Americans. So Awlaki not only threatened the reputation of these communities, but also potentially their members as well. This man wanted us all dead, so eliminating him was, quintessentially, an act of self-defense.
There are real and important constitutional issues and due process concerns about this assassination, and they will have to be debated in the coming months. However, due process arguments need to take into consideration the practical implausibility of the capture and trial of these individuals, what such an effort would have entailed, and the real options the US government faced in dealing with them.
These concerns notwithstanding, Arab- and Muslim-Americans should welcome the elimination of a man who posed a real and serious threat to their standing and, indeed, their very lives.