Monday, May 02, 2011

Time To Turn The Page?

I went to bed early last night, so you can imagine my surprise this morning in finding that every newspaper and wire service I scan in the morning filled with the news of the death of Osama bin Laden. After nearly ten years and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, the man President George W. Bush said was wanted "Dead or Alive" was now dead.

President Barack Obama's announcement was restrained. He was smart enough to realize that gloating would have been both unseemly and imprudent. Former President George W. Bush's response (found at the same link) was brief and for him almost quiet. The rest of the coverage was not so refined and delicate.

Although I haven't even begun to really process the information, one bit of the news struck a rather deep chord for me. Rather than turning the remains over to his family, Osama's body was buried at sea.

Finding a country willing to accept the remains of the world's most wanted terrorist would have been difficult, the official said. So the U.S. decided to bury him at sea.

In other words, the US wanted to short circuit any dramatic and perhaps excessive mourning by those who sympathized with Osama's cause. I guess that was a prudent move.

It's hard for me to feel any relief at the announcement. I do know that one of things I've learned over my nearly 65 years is that revenge is rarely sweet, especially in the long run. And I certainly don't feel any safer now that Osama has left the earthly plane. I'm sure there will be a violent response to his death, if not here in this country, then in another. And we still haven't adequately addressed just why Al Qaeda chose to embark on its jihad against the West, particularly the US.

All we have done over the past ten years is erode 200 years of civil liberties in the name of security, and I don't think those liberties will be returned to us even now that the bogeyman has been dispatched.



Post a Comment

<< Home