“If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?” ~ William Shakespeare
I confess, I’m happy that the face associated with wars on two fronts is dead. Relieved that the world’s most wanted terrorist has met his end. An angst is sated, now that the mastermind of the September 11 attacks is no longer breathing. He went down in a blaze of glory—and will now be a martyr to those who follow his extremism.
I worry about that.
I was relieved when I read that the Navy Seals first asked for his surrender. I would have liked to seen him stand trial. De-mythologized. Publicly demonized for the monster he was. A man in shackles, defeated, someone who would lose his standing in the community. The veneration would cease, or at least diminish.
But he refused. Damn the torpedoes, fire away.
The residents of the house in Abbottabad, thirty-one miles north of Islamabad, opened fire first. Apparently, the intended target fired the first shot at American servicemen. Several people died—no American troops. Which, in and of itself, is kind of odd, at least to me. (house attacked, those inside, from a fortified/protected position die without killing any of the invaders). It has a Hollywood-bumbling-bad-guys feel to it. Almost makes me wonder how, as an organization, they induced so much suffering.
I’m grateful that the families of the 9/11 victims can feel some small measure of closure. I’m grateful that our troops have this victory from which they can to draw strength. I’m grateful that as a nation we were successful in, finally, tracking down a murderer. It’s good for self-esteem and morale.
I think the Pakistani government and military leaders have some questions to answer. Abbottabad is a military stronghold. Five years ago, a mansion with 12-ft tall walls was built, obviously a stronghold, obviously to hide someone; and no one takes note? These are our allies?
I hope the revelers stop to take stock of their actions. The man is dead. But his followers are watching; an organization of millions, world-wide. The idea, their ideal, lives on. The war continues. This has been a momentous moment—morale for our troops has been bolstered, and that’s a good thing. But, please, try to remember, that actions at home may keep them in harm’s way for a long time to come. Our soldiers are not coming home today—and this one death may put them in more danger. Do the right thing, moderate your reactions. The world is watching.
A high-alert has been issued to all American citizens abroad.
Whilst we have placed a face on terror—its menace has no name. We cannot, with two helicopters in a Pakistan neighborhood, eradicate the hate, the brutality, the intolerance, the danger. Justice has been served; at what price remains to be seen.
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