Monday, May 02, 2011

Another One Bites the Dust

Osama Bin Laden is dead - and many people across the world are celebrating, or at least glad that he is dead. I too am glad that this peddler of terrorism is no more, that this self-styled leader will send no more suicide bombers to kill innocent people, that people all over the world can feel just a little bit safer, that the hunt for this evil man is over.

The late Osama Bin Laden.
Photo from India Talkies.
Of course - not everyone is glad that he is dead. He had many followers who supported him and carried out his terrorist activities. In addition to the many who will celebrate his death, there will also be many who will be genuinely mourning today. Fearfully - there will be many who are already planning vengeance in his name.

Bin Laden lived by the sword and has now died by the sword. He fought the Russians in Afghanistan as what Robert Fisk called a "mountain warrior of mujahedin legend" (quoted from today's Irish Independent). No doubt he would have been considered a hero in the West for this. But his greatest challenge was to "to turn America into a shadow of itself" - something neither he nor anyone else will ever be able to do. Today's action by American Special Forces shows that the US's reach is long and dangerous - the message is simple: Don't Mess with America.

The surprise for me is that it has taken so long to track him down. The 10th anniversary of 9/11 is just a few months away - many who lost family and friends in these attacks have had to wait a long time for "closure". Also no doubt that President Obama's ratings will soar after this - he must have been tempted to wait a little longer until his re-election campaign gets going (or needed a ratings boost). Not for this President. This is a good day for Obama, and a very bad one for Bin Laden.

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