Monday, May 2, 2011

On Killing Bin Laden

So last night the President announced that we finally killed Osama bin Laden. After painstakingly collecting evidence as to his location, Obama ordered a strike on the compound in Pakistan where he had been located since August and American forces not only killed him, but also retrieved his body for DNA comparison. Which pretty much means he's dead; there won't be any surprise returns from the grave for this guy.

I don't know how to describe how I feel about all of that. It is, without a doubt, a good thing that he is dead. The man was a blight on this world. He threatened the safety and security of everyone I hold dear, he orchestrated one of the worst terrorist attacks in modern day history, and he has been a consistent advocate of bloodshed and violence throughout the world. All this he has done in order to extend his power and influence, basically a major motivation for every wicked man from Gadianton to Akish. The fact that his death has been announced just before the apparent start of Al Qaeda's 'spring offensive' makes me begin to compare this moment to the day that the Nephites woke up and Amalikiah was dead. Sure, Ammoron and friends are going to be pissed, but you can't help but cheer Teancum in this kind of situation, can you?

At the same time, I don't want to focus so much on the very personal satisfaction that it gives me to hear his corpse is cooling in some American military vault. Vengeance, sweet as it would be in this case, is not the point of a moment like this one. Osama's death was not about revenge. It was about justice and closure for the many families he has harmed over his years as a terrorist, and it was about denying him and his ilk the opportunity to continue to do such things. He is dead, and the world is safer for all of us as a result. Most importantly, my daughter will never have to worry about him as she grows up, and that alone deserves a certain moment of gratitude.

In any case, hope all of you are doing well, and I will see you around.

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