The capture and assassination of Osama bin Laden was made possible by a great multi-year counter-terrorist operation. The various intelligence agencies and special forces involved deserve a great deal of credit for finding the man most responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. President Barack Obama should be complimented for having the courage to approve this very dangerous, and thankfully, successful mission. But, should Americans be celebrating the death of bin Laden? I think not. Americans historically have celebrated the end of wars, but the war on terror is far from concluded.
When I heard of Bin Laden’s demise, I was relieved that a dangerous person would no longer threaten our nation, our allies, and his fellow Arabs. Yet, we should not fail to remember that the man is directly responsible for killing over 3,000 of our fellow Americans on Sept. 11. Over 4,000 U.S. soldiers have died (and over 32,000 wounded) in wars that would not have taken place if the 9/11 attacks never happened. And trillions of dollars have been spent on conflicts and security in the past ten years that could have been used for social programs and badly needed infrastructure projects at home.
Every time I go to an airport I think of the man responsible for turning the global aviation industry upside down. The inconvenience, the long lines and the fear that overwhelms all travelers are unthinkable. Bin Laden certainly will go down in history as one of the most despicable people to ever have lived.
The countless deaths and staggering treasure frittered away saddens me, and is not offset by the elimination of just one man. When I think of the horrible day in New York when planes were used as weapons to bring down skyscrapers and kill fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and friends, I want to weep, not dance in the streets.
More so, the most evil jihadists are probably not giving up and only trying to devise new plans to kill Americans, or any “non-believers" for that matter. Their hatred of our people and our way of life will only intensify from the bin Laden incident. I hope the elimination of this iconic personality will cause the evildoers to think twice about creating more chaos, but I am not optimistic.
The death of bin Laden is a melancholy moment for many of us in New York City. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those who lost loved ones. Hopefully, someday, we can really celebrate when all the terrorists are killed or captured and the war on terror is finally over.
Photo Credit: Dan Nguyen