Always nice to start the week with some good news...
Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the most devastating attack on American soil in modern times and the most hunted man in the world, was killed in a firefight with United States forces in Pakistan, President Obama announced on Sunday night.
In a dramatic late-night appearance in the East Room of the White House, Mr. Obama declared that “justice has been done” as he disclosed that American military and C.I.A. operatives had finally cornered Bin Laden, the Al Qaeda leader who had eluded them for nearly a decade, in the early hours of Monday local time. American officials said Bin Laden resisted and was shot in the head. He was later buried at sea.
The news touched off an extraordinary outpouring of emotion as crowds gathered outside the White House, in Times Square and at the Ground Zero site, waving American flags, cheering, shouting, laughing and chanting, “U.S.A., U.S.A.!” In New York City, crowds sang “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Throughout downtown Washington, drivers honked horns deep into the night.
“For over two decades, Bin Laden has been Al Qaeda’s leader and symbol,” the president said in a statement televised around the world. “The death of Bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat Al Qaeda. But his death does not mark the end of our effort. There’s no doubt that Al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must and we will remain vigilant at home and abroad.”
I just wish "we" hadn't been so damn determined to take any opportunity to invade Iraq. Then maybe we wouldn't seen this headline six or seven years ago. Still, better late than never.
And if any of you are wondering how the kids over at Conservapedia are taking this, the answer is, "with difficulty":
Or, to quote directly:
Bin Laden dead. He has been killed, a United States official said Sunday night. The US knew where he was for months, but sent ground troops in to recover the body rather than use a Predator drone. Ayman al-Zawahri, the brains of al Qaeda and bin Laden's chief deputy, remains at large. Bin Laden's death is nearly 10 years after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Bin Laden was killed in a mansion outside a highland town 150 km. north of Islamabad, capital of Pakistan, a U.S. source said on Sunday. [emphasis original]
Well, I suppose you really would have to say that President Obama is a "United States official" but it does seem a little bit churlish not to name him. Ah, well. What would we do without the Conservapeons?*
I'd like to offer congratulations to all of the U.S. personnel, as well as our allies, who helped make this possible. Now, I only hope we can find a constructive way forward.
* Probably sleep easier at night in the knowledge that such a creeping horror wasn't at large in the world, but I digress.