Monday, May 2, 2011

Bin Laden's Dead: So What?

Apparently, 9-11 mastermind Osama bin Laden has been killed. This could and should be good news to anyone seeking an end to the wars we are fighting and closure for the victims of those atrocious attacks some 10 years ago. But I fear the death of bin Laden will do little more than fuel blind displays of nationalism and, in the short-term, appease those demanding results in the so-called "War on Terror."

Before I get as excited as those on the internet and elsewhere about Bib Laden's, I must question whether the death of this monster will lead to any real change in US foreign policy. For the death of bin Laden bringing no lasting effect is no good news at all.

Osama bin Laden's hate was fueled and recruitment was aided by US involvement and occupation in the Middle East. Does that mean he was innocent of his crimes? Not at all! It just means that the US helped create and aid the very enemy we then fought to destroy. Our own CIA reported such, and we would be wise to prevent such behavior in the future. We must not repeat our past mistakes, if we are to achieve real, lasting victory in our current aims to crack down on terrorism as well as be successful future endeavors. 

If we do not put a stop to a foreign policy that helped create and aid monsters like bin Laden, there is no victory in his death. Others like him will merely rise up to replace him.

Ten years ago we began our efforts to track down the mastermind behind the terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001. Since then we have developed an alarming appetite for war, seen our civil liberties trampled upon one by one, scores of lives have been lost, numerous dollars and resources have been spent, and our country looks far less like America and more and more like a tyrannical empire. Perhaps, bin Laden has had more success than many are willing to give him. Therefore, let us repair the damage done and return to constitutional governance. Let's act to prevent such atrocities in the future.

I would have preferred we'd dealt with bin Laden through the constitutional means of issuing Letters of Marque and Reprisal, but we have brought him death nonetheless. Now let's put to death any policies that would bring about another bin Laden or aid his desired pursuits--such as taking the lives and liberties of others. If we do not, bin Laden is dead, but so what?

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