Monday, May 2, 2011

Osama Bin Laden 1957-2011

Many of us woke up to the news that Osama Bin Laden had been located and killed by U.S. forces.   I, like many people around the world, had the immediate reaction, "oh thank god".

I want to give credit to President Obama for this event.  He has apparently put a lot of work and effort into the project and deserves credit for ordering the mission.  I also thought it was considerate of President Obama to personally call Former President Bush to give him the news.

Today, as I read the reports and the opinions flying about the internet, I feel a sense of relief that one more "bad guy" is gone but I do not feel any sense of rejoicing.  I am confident that had Osama been captured and/or killed 8 or 9 years ago I would have been ecstatic and may have wanted to “celebrate” his death but time changes things.

After years of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan and losing thousands of men and woman in this “War on Terror” I think we all are aware that the death of Bin Laden doesn't solve anything, it doesn't end anything..…except one man’s life.

The death of Bin Laden does not mean that the war on terror is over,
it does not mean that Americans will not continue to die in Iraq,
it does not mean that no more soldiers will die in Afghanistan,
it does not mean that no more Embassy's will be bombed,
it does not mean that we can carry liquids on the airplane or keep our shoes and belts on as we go through security,
it does not mean that we are any safer today than yesterday.

In fact, we are probably more at risk today because of the possible repercussions and uprisings that may follow the death of Bin Laden.

I have mixed emotions about seeing the celebration in the streets in New York City at Ground Zero and here in Washington D.C. I know it is not the same but it did bring back memories of the footage of other countries celebrating the deaths of Americans after the 9-11 attacks.

For those people that lost family in the September 11th attacks, I do not judge them nor do I begrudge them their celebration. I would imagine there is a measure of comfort and closure in seeing some justice for the death of their loved ones. However, I hope that we are not just mindlessly celebrating the death of the “enemy” by dancing and drinking in the streets.

Should we mourn his death?

No, I do not believe so, but I think it is unwise to feel as though we have “won” today.  Al-Qaeda is still all around us, all over the world, they still hate America and now they have even more reason to wish us harm and retaliate against us. That should be a sobering thought.

The Palestinian Authority spokesman Ghassan Khatib released a statement regarding the death of Bin Laden saying,
"Getting rid of bin Laden is good for the cause of peace worldwide but what counts is to overcome the discourse and the methods — the violent methods — that were created and encouraged by Bin Laden and others in the world,"

Am I relieved that Bin Laden is no longer alive to plot ways to kill innocent people??

Yes, of course I am relieved. Am I out celebrating….no.

As reminded by a friend’s Facebook post this morning…

“I've never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure” - Unknown

‘til next time…

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