Wednesday, May 04, 2011

On The Death of Osama Bin Laden

On May 1, 2011, President Obama announced that Osama bin Laden was killed in an American military raid in Pakistan. Here is Obama's announcement. Below are my initial thoughts. I'll avoid the political speculation for another day. It is too premature for talk like that because that is inherently divisive. For Americans not old enough to remember V-E day on May 7, 1945 and V-J day on September 2, 1945, this is the closest they have had to celebrating an actual military victory. Conflicts in Korea and Vietnam ended with quite unsatisfactory thuds. America and her allies were resoundingly victorious in the first Persian Gulf War, but we were merely freeing Kuwait; Americans did not feel the violent brunt of an attack in 1990/91.
This is different. It is rather eerie to celebrate the death of anyone, but exceptions must be made and this definitely calls for an exception. Bin Laden was a horrible ogre whose death signals justice to the friends, family and countrymen of his thousands of innocent victims.
My hope is that Americans remain dignified in this moment of joy.
Terrorism against America and her allies will not end tonight. The way of life that we love - and that others hate - will not change. Enmity toward America remains. May this moment serve as reflection for the thousands of American and allied service members and the untold number of civilians killed and wounded that their sacrifice was not in vain.
Just as importantly, let this night serve as a powerful signal to those that oppose America and her friends that we are at our best not starting wars, but finishing them.

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