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Okay, I lied.

Osama bin Laden.

And here are my questions, as they pertain to relief and the celebrations and rejoicing in NYC, DC, and all around the nation.

Has this brought us any closer to ending the "war" in Afghanistan? Have we really dealt al-Qaeda some sort of fatal blow? No, on both accounts. More innocent Afghani men, women, and children will die. More American and Non-American soldiers and non-combat personnel will die. We've given al-Qaeda a martyr, another rallying point, and, anyway, Ayman al-Zawahiri will fill the dead man's shoes.

Yes, bin Laden deserved to die. But I don't see the point in celebrating. Nothing's been won. It's no where near over. And, too, another question lingers: If bin Laden's death was so important, and is a benchmark in the "war on terrorism," was it really worth the price of all those lives?

Ask me to celebrate when the war ends.



May. 2nd, 2011 11:43 pm (UTC)
I know you really aren't asking for discussion, but I was literally about to post this on my own: I am vaguely nauseated by all of the rejoicing and flag waving. It feels morally obscene.
May. 3rd, 2011 12:12 am (UTC)
It may have brought us closer to ending the war in that we could turn a symbolic moment like this— and while it’s symbolic, not strategic, symbols matter in asymmetric warfare— into an opportunity to declare victory and go home. From what I hear, al-Zawahiri lacks bin Laden’s charisma, and will likely have a harder time recruiting. Fareed Zakaria thinks it’s the death blow to al-Qaeda after it was already crippled by the Arab Spring.

Was it worth the price? The “war on terrorism” is an immense boondoggle. Terrorists are caught through good police work and the occasional commando raid, not full-scale military invasions. After 9/11, there was a huge outpouring of sympathy around the globe; we could have used that to build long-term alliances that would have done the job at a much lower price in lives and money.