Some thoughts about bin Laden

1. The world is a better place today than it was on the morning before U.S. special forces came knocking on Osama bin Laden’s front door.

2. Nevertheless, it feels wrong for a super power nation of over 300 million to celebrate the death of one man. Not because he didn’t deserve death. He did. But because he was just one man. And it took us 10 years to track him down and deliver justice. And because the organization he led is still functioning. And because the so-called effort to “get” bin Laden resulted in two never-ending wars that cost the lives of more Americans and far more civilians than were lost on 9/11. Should we really be celebrating?

3. But maybe bin Laden’s death at our hands is the catharsis we need. Which begs the question why did it take so long? Why wasn’t it our priority from 9/12 onward? Imagine if, instead of adventuring all over the Middle East and beyond, we had nailed that SOB a few months after 9/11. You might convince me that our efforts in Afghanistan were necessary in “getting” bin Laden, but invading Iraq was stupid and a waste of lives and treasure. Bin Laden may be dead, but we will be dealing with the aftershocks of George Bush’s reckless war-mongering for years, maybe even decades to come.

 

4. Compare and contrast the dignity with which President Obama delivered the news of bin Laden’s death to that of George Bush in his little airman’s costume on the deck of an aircraft carrier celebrating the “end” of the Iraq War.

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