My first objection is that people already need little reason to think their violence is justified, and leaders have little trouble convincing their people that some enemy will do them harm if they get their chance. As we've seen recently, even people born in Buddhist society are ready to burn down another persons home and kill the inhabitants if they perceive them as threats to their identity, or believe some harm has been done by them. Do we need a highly visible monk making any statement at all which can be seized as excuse for more violence?
In the second world war, was the impulse to fight Hitler driven by a desire to protect from tyranny, or was it driven by the usual bullshit that makes one group of people desire their own identity and way of life over any other simply by virtue of those things being theirs? Did anyone really give a shit about what Hitler was doing at home to his people before he moved into Poland? Where was the compassion that led the Allies to invade Germany to emancipate it's people from that tyranny? Oh, right! There was appeasement, and the Allied people's hoped that it was enough to keep the Germans from expanding outside of their borders - little material action to help the abused in Germany was proffered, but plenty of concern with preserving their various forms of national autonomy and cultural identity was evident.
Looking back we see the Nazis as horrible, and their evil as self-evident, and we are sure it was right to jump into the fray, and God help us, what would have happened if we hadn't done so, and hadn't won. But was compassion in the hearts of those men and women that went forward to fight and kill, or was it love for their nation and identity instead? As it was, 75 million people died horrible, millions of them killed by Allied (and morally commendable) persons fighting tyranny!
We look back at the bits of B. Bodhi's essay and see the reference to empathetic identification with others as the foundation of good morals, of the precepts. But then that article forgets that madmen don't want to suffer, and those employed it their machinations don't want to suffer, and we don't want to suffer, yet then say that to inflict suffering and death on them is 'morally commendable', although we must admit that those engaged in this 'morally commendable' act of war are forming the will to kill hundreds of times, and acting on them.
Now, what's my point. I'm rambling.
My point is that Buddhist shouldn't call violence 'morally commendable', esp. robed ones with the ear of millions of lay persons. In Buddhist terms, it is not morally commendable to kill a person, however nuts he or she may be - it is socially acceptable, and ethically sound. But to give it the label of 'moral' from a Buddhist perspective is to ignore the fact that crazy, violent people don't want to suffer any more than the rest of us: they're simply less capable of happiness and peace. Killing them is not 'commendable', it is simply necessary, and should be treated as an unfortunate thing for everyone involved, especially the one who had to form the intent, act on it, and reap the psychological repercussions (and kammic ones too, in the next life).
To label this ugly business of violence as anything but ugly and horrible, let alone 'morally commendable', is gross, and I see it as gross.
Anyway, I'm sure I'll regret wading into this, but there you go.