That Nelson Mandela died at the age of 95 was no great tragedy, because he deserved the long life cosmic justice afforded him. Donald Rumsfeld died the other day at the age of 88. That was a tragedy, because he should have died 20 years earlier, and at that not by natural causes but as a consequence of being waterboarded, which he thought was a perfectly acceptable way to interrogate prisoners of war.
It is one of the great challenges to belief in God that people like MLK are cut down in their prime while moral monsters like Donald Rumsfeld live out their days in self-righteous content. As Shakespeare remarked, “The evil that men do live after them.” Rumsfeld put jus ad bellum and jus in bello back half a century. And the entire world is paying dearly for it.
The American people are currently rethinking who are their heroes and who their villains. Let’s hope – I’m holding my breath – that Fox News doesn’t decide to celebrate the life of this perversely rewarded war criminal.