There is a very interesting thought experiment, widely referred to as the "Trolley Problem," which poses the question of whether to save a group of five people by diverting a trolley away from them toward a man laying in a hammock who would be killed instead.
Perhaps the same dilemma is being raised by many American citizens as to whether the death of al-Awlaki was really called for.
I am a native from India who came to the U.S. seeking higher and better education, and I may not have a very strong hold on this country's emotions on terrorism or its war against terror.
But since we, as Indians, live a few blocks away from Afghanistan, I can share my ideas surrounding this issue, perhaps with a different perspective.
I am a strong supporter of the fact that terrorism has no religion and no nationality. Terrorists are living a fool's life, misguided in aim and devoid of humanity. Whenever a terrorist is killed, there is a chance that maybe we have saved a thousand lives somewhere else.
Every human being deserves to live, but what happens to those who have lost their touch with humanity? Here, the question is not about killing a person; here, the question is about the very idea that is driving some people to the path of destruction.
When Osama bin Laden was killed, no one talked about his nationality. The only concern was that justice should prevail. Can't we take the same stand in the case of every terrorist who has waged war against a nation, its people and the very basis on which the nation is founded?
We should take this in a broader sense instead of narrowing down the valor of American soldiers to just killing a person.
As a matter of fact, what America has done has just bolstered its image on the war against terror. Now the world knows that the U.S. is adamant on its stand of wiping out terrorism. You want to make Earth a better place for us and for future generations.
By killing a terrorist, America has sent a strong message that the U.S. and its people do not treat terrorists with any bias. Let them be a citizen of any nation; if they are involved in terrorizing innocent people, they have lost touch with humanity.
And in my view, we are a human first and a citizen of a nation second. America did a great and brave thing by killing a terrorist, supporting the notion that terrorists, in the end, do not belong to any country.
Rahul Bhandari is a first-year computer engineering graduate student at UF.