Osama Bin Laden is dead and we are dancing in the streets. He was a vile man who took great pleasure in the destruction of the west and the killing of thousands. I do not shed any tears for him. There is something in the heart of men and women everywhere that longs for justice especially when it is so long delayed. This longing helps explain the spontaneous celebrations. I will not here judge those who have felt the need to blow off patriotic steam by waving flags, singing songs and chanting “USA, USA”. But when hundreds of thousands gathered in Times Square in 1945 and that happy sailor planted that famous kiss on that happy nurse, they were celebrating the end of something terrible. They were joyous because the long bloody mess was over. No one sang the Star-Spangled Banner when Adolph Hitler killed himself. The day after Bin Laden sleeps with the fishes, nothing is over.
But there are questions. Does anyone find it troubling that the man who master mined 9/11 spent the last six years living across the street from a police station in a country that has received over 5 billion dollars in aid from the American tax payer? This is just the latest in a long series of infuriating entanglements that we have gotten ourselves into these past 10 years. Our vaunted terrorism-fighting ally Pakistan has looked the other way for six years all the while cashing our checks. We expend blood and treasure trying to build schools and hospitals in Afghanistan and Iraq, trying to force-feed democracy to people who hate our guts, and then have to listen to a chorus of critics in Europe and the United Nations. Osama Bin Laden is dead. Good. Now, get us the hell out of there.
I cannot leave this topic without praising the skill and tactical brilliance demonstrated by the Special Forces who carried it out. We are lucky that something in this country is still the best in the world. We are fortunate that at least some branch of government is still all about excellence. President Obama also deserves praise for having the guts to take the risk that this operation carried. If it had blown up in his face like the Iranian hostage rescue did for Carter he would be getting ripped apart today since defeat is an orphan and victory has a thousand fathers. But I will save my patriotic exhibitions for the day when those brave men and women finally come home from the endless misadventures of the Middle East.