Osama bin Laden is dead. Almost 10 years after the massacre of September 11, vengence has finally been wrought. Thanks to the impressive efforts of our intelligence agencies and military personnel, he wasn't just captured, he was killed.
It's a great feeling to watch news footage of Americans celebrating in the streets, waving flags, shouting "USA!" What's even more heartening is that these are college students. So often, college students are the liberal anti-war folks. I don't know how to explain these wacky patriotic college kids, but I'm extremely happy to see it.
Too many times have Americans had to see footage from overseas featuring the shouting and cheering of our enemies, burning the American flag, and celebrating 9-11 and other terrorist events. Tonight, the world gets to watch patriotism surge as Americans celebrate a victory in the war on terror. It reminds me of a similar surge right after 9-11. That was an angry and sad patrtiotism; this one is jubilant.
Several thoughts have raced through my mind as this news was announced. (I'm up late because of a very fussy baby.) As I'm sitting here typing at 2:15 a.m., I'm watching footage of college students belting out "God Bless the USA" and "America." It makes me proud and gives me chills. Too long have we heard from anti-war groups that this war on terror was a waste of time and money. Too long was George W. Bush criticized for his actions after 9-11. This was the sole purpose for going in to the Middle East: to attack Al Queda and wipe out the terrorist threat to Americans.
I think Americans will be encouraged by this victory, simply because it strengthens our place as a power not to be messed with, for lack of better wording. As George Bush put it tonight: “The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done.” He said, in the days just following 9-11 about Osama bin Laden: "I don't know if we're going to get him tomorrow, a month from now, or a year from now, but we're gonna get him." Amen.
I do fear that Bin Laden will instantly become a martyr for Al Queda, which will very likely lead to more uprisings and attacks on Americans. In fact, the White House has already issued a warning for Americans globally to be on heightened alert for some sort of retaliation.
Lastly, I feel an immense pride in our Armes Services and intelligence community. They have worked tirelessly for over 9 years following every lead and putting themselves in harm's way, dealing with suicide bombers, and battling a harsh opinion of the war on terror by the media. These people have given so much, and I feel that congratulations and thanks are in order for every single member of our military for their part in fighting this menace to the world.
I know that this does not end the war on terror, but it is a symbolic victory, and it makes me proud to be an American.