The villain of September 11, 2001 has gone to his reward—courtesy of the United States military, specifically US Navy SEALS—while he sat in a Pakistani mansion rather that in an Afghani cave. Of course, there are reports of it everywhere.
President Obama’s announcement regarding the demise of bin Laden had its usual allotment of first-person singular references, but, for a change, it struck the right tone. Former President Bush responded as well.
Early this morning, there was celebration outside of the White House gates, reminiscent of the celebration that occurred in the Palestinian Territories in response to 9/11. One of my Facebook friends compared the celebrations, noting that we two peoples are not that different after all. Well, he’s right. All people fall short of the glory of God.
But there is this: Osama bin Laden continuously attacked US entities outside of the physical country and twice inside of it. His most successful attacks, in terms of body count, were the synchronized attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the attack for which United Airlines Flight 93 was meant. He planned them and carried them out because of the god he believed in and served.
Our military had no such motive. All we wanted to do was to neutralize a threat to our country, personalized in the man who declared war on it in the 1990s in the name of Islam. And while I question the appropriateness (and the spontaneity) of the mass celebration of our sworn enemy’s demise, it cannot be said that Osama bin Laden was killed in the name of the God of Jews and Christians—not that this will matter to bin Laden’s like-minded co-religionists.
Speaking of them, one wonders how this victory—and it is a victory—will play out in the Muslim world.
Anyway, congratulations to Presidents Obama and Bush, and, most importantly, congratulations to the men of our United States Armed Forces.
UPDATE: This was inevitable.