"I've never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure." -Mark Twain
President Obama addresses the nation and the world...
The news of the operation in Pakistan that finally took out the world's number one terrorist, was greeted here in London with a sense of relief. Also, with a undercurrent of concern that the scenes of jubilant celebration in the United States, while completely understandable, could serve as a rallying cry and recruitment tool for Al-Queda leaders who are still at large. That being said, I for one am quite happy the bastard is dead.
The President's speech hit all the right notes. President Obama payed tribute to those who died, those who served and continue to serve and restated the truth that the United States is not at war with Islam. Taking care to again draw the distinction between violent extremists, and a religion that billions of people around the world, including in the United States, peacefully follow.
Yet even now, there are people in the United States who just cannot get past their personal hatred of President Obama and the Democratic Party. A former university classmate of mine, and neo-conservative blogger just couldn't help himself, when he posted on Facebook how he was glad President Obama hadn't "given up on the War on Terror, like many in his party wanted him to."
There is no way you can respond to something that irrational, that mindlessly partisan and that demonstrably false. So you shake your head, click "unfriend" and join the rest of the world in the reality-based community.
As much as the scenes of celebrations in New York might make some people uncomfortable; the sense of euphoria at "ground zero" is understandable.
I remember 9/11/01 very well. I was actually on an airplane. I was flying from Chicago to Houston for work, when about 20 minutes into the flight we suddenly turned around and returned to Chicago. The pilot assured us there was nothing wrong with the plane, but that the FAA was grounding all air traffic. Everyone onboard assumed it was a problem with the Air Traffic Control system at Chicago's Midway and O'Hare airports, which had experienced problems earlier in the week. It wasn't until we got into the terminal, we saw CNN and found out what had happened.
So with so many people around the world, I am relieved and happy to hear the news that Osama Bin Laden is gone. At the same time, mindful that the violent extremist ideology he championed, is still very much alive. We owe it to those who have died to continue to be vigilant.
Yet if today's news shows us anything, it is proof that the aims and tactics of terror groups like Al-Qaeda will, in the end, only result in the terrorists own violent demise.