As everyone in the world knows by now, Osama bin Laden, was killed in his hideout somewhere in Pakistan yesterday. The reaction from around the world has been varied, as you might suspect. Some people are practically dancing in the streets in celebration, while others are angry and pledging retribution and revenge. And others are feeling general satisfaction and vindication that the US has finally achieved its goal....the discovery and elimination of the man behind the 9/11 attack on American citizens on American soil. That attack resulted in the tragic deaths of hundreds and hundreds of civilian Americans (and others) who had no reason to expect the horror of that day. A horror we all felt as we watched the Towers come down.
The fact that it has been ten years that our government and military have been attempting to locate bin Laden to bring him to justice, was frustrating to everyone. Due to the nature of the terrorist mindset, secrecy, hiding and clandestine activity are part of their mode of operation and allowed the man to move around in secret, always being protected and defended by his cohorts and believers. Although ten years is a long time to live in hiding, as with any fanatic (of any cause), all that hiding and conspiratorial activity is worth it as a means to an end....their cause! Evidently no price is too high.
Thousands of Americans have paid that ultimate price as well, but most of them had no choice in the matter. Their lives were taken by an uncaring, hate-filled group whose professed goal was defeat of the American government and its people.
Many died in the Towers, others at the Pentagon, still others on a plane that crashed short of its intended target, due to the heroism and bravery of American citizens who did whatever necessary to thwart the attack plane heading for the White House. Then of course, there were the firefighters, and police and emergency workers, who gave their lives in the effort to rescue and save the original victims of the attack.
And of course, there are the thousands of American Army and Marines, and Navy, and Air Force (in whatever combination) and other soldiers from our allies around the world who have given their lives as part of our efforts to bring some sort of peace to the Mideast and to free the Iranian and Afghan citizens from the whims of terrorists. In addition, there have been enormous casualties suffered by the other side as well.
There are some who question whether bin Laden was, in fact, the man who was killed in Pakistan. Due to the action of the US military to bury the body at sea (within 24 hours of death in accordance with Islamic beliefs), there will never be a way to prove the claim. That will undoubtedly lead to more controversy and confusion that will never be sorted out to the satisfaction of everyone.
It is truly unfortunate, but I don't think that the death of this man is going to change much of anything. All of the death, loss, grief, and pain that has occurred over the last ten years will most likely continue even without the leadership of bin Laden, because despots always have other despots waiting and willing to take over and carry on.
Ten years of deaths and fighting hasn't been enough to find solutions to all of the issues. Will twenty years be enough? Fifty?? One-Hundred???? Or will this conflict go on and on for the rest of time? Maybe it will be a matter of "the last man standing wins".