Reaction to Osama bin Laden’s death will likely range from optimists, who assume myriad terrorists will now simply pack up their bombs and go home, to others who will label it as symbolic, but militarily insignificant, as well as some who will deride any satisfaction from such a primeval instinct as revenge.
Some may even interpret his death as a negative occurrence, leading to possible martyrdom and merely upping the ante for the next inevitable round of terror.
First, clearly the death of one man alone will not lead to the dissolution of al-Qaida, much less victory in Afghanistan or against terrorism in general. There are still far too many misguided zealots who seem blind to the hypocrisy of earning tickets to heaven by self-detonation in crowds of innocents.
However, I do believe that his death will almost certainly affect the morale of rank-and-file al-Qaida and other unaffiliated terror organizations, who all must undeniably have drawn ongoing strength in bin Laden’s ability to seemingly vanish for a decade, despite the unfathomable resources used to ferret him out.
To those who deride others for deriving any satisfaction from payback, to quote Samuel Johnson, “Revenge is an act of passion, vengeance of justice; injuries are revenged; crimes are avenged.”
Lastly, I hope that the most important resonating message of his death, to be directed to all others who might be plotting attacks upon the United States — U.S. forces will find you, however long it takes, at whatever cost.
Robert D. Beauchesne, Lewiston