Saturday, March 17, 2012

Goodbye, Osama bin Laden

Originally posted 05/02/2011 on lubbockonline.com

Osama bin Laden has been killed after almost a decade in hiding. What does that mean? In the end, not much. It is an intelligence coup, one that, in terms of the difficulty of finding Mr. bin Laden is almost the counter-balance to the blunders that allowed 9/11 to happen. In terms of national security we will have higher risks when travelling to the Middle East for a while, our embassies and companies in the Middle East will be at greater risk of attack, and there will likely be more attempts to get a successful suicide bomber on a plane.

Bill Brenner on the CSO blog believes that bin Laden's death won't change much, and that's actually a good thing. Bill recently made a trip to Ground Zero in New York and was offended that people seemed to have forgotten what happened there. But it didn't take him long to realize that they hadn't forgotten, they had paid their greatest tribute to the victims of Osama bin Laden that could be paid (my words). They had refused to let Osama succeed in his primary goal. As much as our government has been affected by fear of terrorists, the people of New York City had moved past the attack and gone on with their lives. As has the rest of the country. We have not allowed terrorist to terrorize us. So in that sense, Osama bin Laden was a failure. Despite his greatest success and the attempts of many to use it to take away the personal liberties U.S. citizens have always enjoyed, we are still a nation of free men, not a police state. As long as we are Americans, that will not change.

I am not saying that President Obama, the intelligence community and our military don't deserve thanks and praise for killing Osama bin Laden. They do. He needed to be taken out. The fact that another will take his place doesn't change that. The fact that 9/11 was as much our ineptitude as it was his planning doesn't change that. Osama bin Laden attacked our country, and we didn't rest until he paid for that. Though administrations changed, though guiding political philosophy changed, we did not forget what Osama bin Laden had done and we did not rest until he paid. That also will not change.

That is a good thing.