Reader Response: Osama Bin Laden’s Death

This is in response to “Osama Bin Laden is dead. Does it even matter?” by Serena Korn. I am a combat veteran of Iraq, and I was also deployed in September 2001 for Operation Enduring Freedom. I have been attending SPSCC for over a year. I would like to take issue with the above mentioned article. First of all, CIA operatives did not kill Osama Bin Laden, Navy Seals from Seal team 6 did. I submit also that killing Bin Laden was a victory. For the longer he stayed alive, the more of a figure head he was for Islamic terrorism. He was idealized as the one who could beat the U.S. Well now he is dead, and American soldiers killed him. We proved he is not above justice, and anyone who kills innocent Americans can be touched. This will lead to a severe morale blow to Al Qaeda.

I agree that this should not be treated as a “mission accomplished.” Terrorists will still hate us, and kill us. I would like to point out, speaking as someone who spent nearly 3 years of my life in the middle east: This IS a fight to the death. Your squeamishness over being happy that Bin Laden is dead is exactly why they believe they can win. And just because you can not be happy over the death of a man who murdered at least 3,000 Americans plus thousands of innocent Muslims across the world, it does not give you the moral high ground in judging those who cheered “USA, USA” at the White House. I for one am very happy he is dead. I also want an end to this war, but I refuse to blanket myself in moral superiority and pretend because of that the bad guys will go away.

2 comments on “Reader Response: Osama Bin Laden’s Death
  1. I understand your viewpoint, but would like to point out that the number of innocents that the American military has killed in Iraq alone since 2003 is now at more than 110,384 and likely up to 15,000 more than that. We are not heroes here.

    I don’t believe that Bin Laden should have been left alone, but there is something wrong with celebrating the death of ANY human being, not because of the individual, but because you loose some of your own humanity once you assume you have the right to decide who lives and dies.

    Another point. It’s not “Islamic terrorism” The reason the World Trade Center was a target was purely a social/ political reason. Sooo many articles have been written on this subject and Bin Laden himself said it was because of American policies in the middle east, particularly the USA’s of Israel.

    And also? Don’t you think that martyring Osama is also going to make him a figurehead?

  2. Well, he was already a figurehead. He was the charismatic revolutionary head of a far-reaching terrorist organization. A man who was a legend while alive does not become more powerful after death, at the very least not in cases like this.

    The Iraq war really has nothing to do with Osama Bin Laden, so let’s not drag that into this.

    I have two questions for you: would you feel differently if you personally had lost a loved one during the WTC attacks? If you had more of a personal interest in revenge, or justice, however you want to phrase it, you might very well be one of the people who celebrated in the streets. If you had been in NY at the time, had watched them sorting through the rubble mixed with various bits and pieces of what used to be your neighbors or co-workers, perhaps you would have a different view, so then who are you to judge?

    There is nothing wrong with celebrating the death of a man if that death represents something greater than merely the ending of a human life.

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