President Obama confirmed last night that a special operation carried out by American forces inside Pakistan resulted in the killing of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and that his body is in the possession of the United States.
While it is important to remain somewhat detached and never give way to feelings of bloodlust, it is impossible not to feel satisfaction and pleasure at the news of the death of this monster. Bin Laden had been the world's most wanted man ever since September 11, 2001, when the terrorist attacks he masterminded on New York and Washington D.C. killed thousands of innocent people. The world is a safer and better place now that this brute of a man has been sent to meet his maker. President Obama and his national security team, not to mention the men and women of America's military and intelligence services, are to be congratulated on a job well done.
On the one hand, Osama bin Laden had long since lost effective communication with and control over the Al Qaeda organization, which has become much more decentralized in recent years. The organization itself will continue to remain a threat to America and other nations for some time to come. On the other hand, the public image of Bin Laden was responsible for much of Al Qaeda's mystique and propaganda, and his death has obviously been a shattering blow to the terrorist network.
Many questions are raised by the news that has been coming in. Could the Pakistani government honestly have been unaware of Bin Laden's presence near their capital city for so long? How will his death affect the revolutionary movements which have sprung up across the Arab world in recent months? How will this affect the campaign against the Taliban in Afghanistan? Inevitably, people will begin wondering how this news will affect the political balance within the United States.
But those questions are for another day. Right now, let's follow the President's advice and remember the unity the nation felt in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. At long last, we have taken out the mass murderer who was responsible for so many deaths, and that is a fact worth celebrating.