Monday, May 2, 2011

Obligatory "Osama Bin Laden Is Dead" Post

Presumably, most everyone in America has heard that last night the President announced that Osama Bin Laden is dead, and the military has ownership of the body.

This is the sort of news that requires comment; amazingly, though, I don't have much to add. A few strained points, though:

1) While this is a huge symbolic victory for America, sadly, I don't think it will make much difference in the long run. The extent that Bin Laden has been an effective leader for the past decade is unknown to us, but it's clear that whatever he hasn't been able to do others have been able to do in his place. So from a tactical standpoint, this doesn't seem like it will have much effect; from a symbolic standpoint, it may have a deeper but more temporary effect.

2) I'm very interested to see the details of how he was found. Aside from a reallocation of resources--of which Obama should get credit--I don't think we've had a huge change in our methods of tracking him down. Given the information we know now, it seems like it was simply determination of trying the same thing repeatedly. It took a long time, but it worked.

3) Is this a moment of joy for the United States? I say yes, but immediately following this news there was a lot of individuals simply stating that the news of anyone's death--even from an admittedly evil man--should bring sadness at the situation, not joy. While I'm sympathetic to this sentiment--force should almost always be a last resort and is almost never the optimal solution--I also think that it's legitimate to celebrate this resolution. Bin Laden brought this on himself, as it were, and he's done everything possible to confirm that given the chance he would do it again. I don't see how not killing him would have any positive effect at all. It is sad, but it's because the situation had to exist at all in the first place, not because of the actual act of removing him from this life.

Lastly, I think it's legitimate to pick apart the political ramifications of this news...but not quite yet. That's not going to stop a lot of politicians from saying stupid things over the next few days, of course. Such is the republic.

No comments:

Post a Comment