Anyway, my clarification is with regards to the death penalty. I didn't mean that bin Laden died via the death penalty and that it was wrong. I am aware of the concept of rules of engagement and I actually agree with them ideologically. I have a hard time with war in general, and this war specifically, but I am not anti military nor 100% pacifist and I think that rules of engagement make ethical and logical sense, particularly in the face of violent imperialism, genocide, or defense of one's home country. [I do not consider war in Afghanistan defense of one's home country.]
What I meant, rather, was twofold. First, I meant that the rejoicing over bin Ladin's death is similar in spirit to endorsing the death penalty, because in both cases there is a belief that some sort of justice is served by a death. Second, that ultimate justice is not attainable in this life, by human beings. bin Laden killed so many people that his one death cannot atone for them. He cannot die thousands of times.
I hope this clarifies my mental leap from the death of bin Ladin to the death penalty, since I do not consider what happened to be anything more than what it was reported to be: an attempt to apprehend met with resistance, resulting in death. In no way is this equal to the death penalty.
Any death is unfortunate, a loss, and an example of the broken state of the world. It makes me sad. But it does make me furious that international relations with the middle east are so complex, yet misrepresented as straightforward and traceable to one man. And I never bought the story that we were sold that bin Ladin is unjustifiably angry at the West and at anything which symbolizes Christianity or a non Islamic state; I never bought the story that violence began with bin Ladin~if you don't agree with my version of events (funny how quickly you dismiss it as 'leftist' and quote evidence thereof), you have at least to acknowledge that Western efforts to combat communism were undergone in the middle east, and that there has been a history of unspeakable violence back and forth long before bin Ladin, which begat bin Laden and others like him. Violence begets violence begets violence, and ideology to perpetuate it. Celebrating at the death of a charismatic fundamentalist Islamic leader is naive, insulting, and ideologically violent in a way I consider ethically wrong. That was the point of my post, which kind of got muddled by my inadequately articulated mental leap regarding the death penalty!