Some day, I will learn that the man who killed my cousin has himself died, and I will be content. I won’t be crass and happy, I won’t march up and down the street to song and celebration. But I will feel (at least for a little while) that the scales are balanced. That there’s closure. That hopefully, in whatever passes for an afterlife, there is justice. The world will be lighter by one monster, one selfish asshole, and that’s worth a small amount of satisfaction.
That’s essentially how I feel about the death of Osama bin Laden. I’m not a jingoist, I’m not a chanter of “USA-USA”, unless (of course) the Olympics are involved. The war on terrorism has been costly in money and costly in lives – American and nonAmerican alike. We must never forget that. There are well reasoned and valid opinions related to every facet of its existence and execution. We shouldn’t forget that either.
But for today, for me, there’s a little bit of closure. I am proud of the President for approving a boots-on-the-ground mission to maximize certainty and minimize collateral damage, I am proud of the Navy SEALs who went in and did the job without sustaining any casualties.
Today the man who ordered the death of thousands of people he never met, for things they did not personally do to him, is dead. The world is lighter one evil mastermind, one fanatic, one colossal asshole.
And I can’t fault anyone for taking satisfaction in that.