Who, normally, would applaud the taking of human life? I can say that under the vast majority of circumstances that I personally would not. However, there have been times in history when at the very least, it has been appropriate to do so. Hitler, for example, would have been one if he hadn’t taken care of killing himself. Certainly Stalin would have been another if things had worked out differently. Many would argue (and I would agree) that Tim McVeigh was another example.
By now, many of you know that Osama bin Laden is dead. Last night President Obama addressed the nation confirming that this is true. And, whether you agree or not, this changes things.
According to the reports I’ve been reading in the media, it was a Navy SEAL team under direct CIA control that went in and did the job. The operation was kept so close to the vest that the US didn’t inform anyone about it, not even our closest allies, until well after the job was done. My understanding is that even Pakistan – where bin Laden was found to be hiding – didn’t know it was coming until we had assets knocking on the door of the compound where he was living.
Other items reported were that one of his sons, two bodyguards, and a human shield were also taken out. And it was also reported that there was considerable resistance – I guess it was a substantial firefight that bin Laden himself is also reported to have taken part in.
As I was getting ready for bed last night and was about to turn the television off, I happened to go by CNN where they had the “Breaking News” banner up on the screen. I watched for a few minutes, getting hooked in and staying up until after the President was done with his address. And I was following Twitter, watching it just blow up and go crazy. I saw footage of people outside the North portico of the White House, cheering, waving American flags, and singing the National Anthem. And I thought about the potential for retaliation by al-Qaeda as well as the heightening of alert status of US forces and operations across the world to prepare for such an event.
As all of this is possible, I’m not sure it will happen. As I said, things have changed. I’m pretty sure the attention of al-Qaeda’s remaining leadership has been gotten, and they’ve likely been put on notice that they are next.
I could be wrong about that, but it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if this were indeed the case.
I had an interesting discussion with my daughter today about what happened. She and I have diverging opinions about the significance of his demise at the hands of US forces. She is concerned, as she put it, about the “shit from others who can do just as much damage that will probably happen now.” And while she has a point, I don’t think it’s as likely, although it is certainly possible. After all, the head has been removed from the snake. And without a head, the snake is nothing more than something that can be roasted on a camp fire and eaten as a means of survival. Believe it or not, it really does taste like chicken…
Going back to what I originally said, there have been few times in history where someone’s death was justified. I believe this was one of those times. Osama bin Laden got what he deserved. And the men who did the job proved, yet again, that they are among the best on the planet at what they do.
Well done, SEALs.