So Bin Laden is dead.
Well unless you believe the conspiracy theories that have inevitably begun to go around. As far as that goes I have no comment, what I am wondering is if it is true does it really make the world a safer place ?
I can understand people who feel it is vindication for 9/11. The pilots of the planes are of course dead (and presumably there are a few less virgins in heaven as a result), but the amount of planning and co-ordination required to undertake the attack must of involved many people.
Even if it was in fact Bin Laden who thought up the idea in the first instance he alone was not responsible for everything that happened on that day.
As an act of terrorism it was the ultimate.
And whilst I want to make it absolutely clear that I in no way condone the atrocity that happened on that day, in terms of striking America where it would hurt the most and having maximum impact it was genius.
Evil, warped, sadistic, horrific genius - but genius all the same.
Even the date - if you live in the USA what number do you dial for the emergency services.
No doubt that date was chosen with the idea that from then on every time a US citizen rang it they would be reminded of that awful day.
And lets not forget that Al Qaeda are thought to be responsible for the July 7 bombings here in London. This was nothing like as devastating as what happened in New York but killed 56 people and left 700 injured.
And struck right at the heart of the capital.
Was one man really capable of thinking up and planning all that ?
My concern is that Bin Ladens followers will now be seeking revenge for his killing and the evil genius minds that went to work on 9/11 are possibly still at large. His death may well send out the message that terrorism will not be tolerated and that there is ultimately no place to hide for the perpetrators, but given the fanaticism of his followers and their belief that death is not to be feared I am worried.
Although this same person apparently hid behind a woman when he realised that ultimate justice was about to be served.
That made me laugh - the man who sent his followers to die in the ultimate act of sacrifice and supposed martyrdom trying to shield himself from a bullet with his wife.
The world can increase security measures and military intelligence become ever more sophisticated, and in doing so we may ensure that nothing like 9/11 can ever happen again, but what if they were to get their hands on a nuclear weapon.
The thought of retaliation would not worry them - a deterrent is of no use if your opponent does not fear the consequences.
I am also slightly irritated by the way a lot of news coverage is taking the line that Obama killed Osama.
At what point in the military operation was his life at risk ? He might’ve been the one who gave the green light but according to everything I’ve seen he was sat in a nice safe office at the time.
Just as I don’t believe one man was solely responsible for 9/11, nor do I think one man should take the credit for his death and I wonder if in taking onus for it and revelling in the glory of this triumph for America, has Obama actually just moved himself to the top of Al Qaeda’s most wanted.
I suppose he is happy to take credit, given that my understanding is he was looking unlikely to be re-elected and the death of Bin Laden is a cause for celebration for American citizens. Just as they will never forget what was done to their country so they will admire and respect the person who finally brought retribution to the man thought to be responsible.
How about electing the soldier who pulled the trigger ? Surely he or she is far more worthy of that honour then the politician who really just inherited someone else’s problems when he moved into office.
In fact I thought that one of the reasons Obama was elected to power was his promise to remove US troops from Afghanistan when he in fact sent more. I had said at the time that he was running that I thought the comparisons being made between him and Martin Luther King might prove to be wrong.
He sounded more like Malcom X to me.
My hope was that it was not another case of what I called Maggie Thatcher syndrome.
When she was elected prime minister over here there was a general feeling throughout the country that having her in charge of our government would bring about good changes - because she was a woman.
My impression was that America felt the same about Obama, because he was to be the first black president as she was our first female PM, a representation of hope for a better brighter future and change for the good.
But what she was, firstly and foremostly was a politician.
The contents of Maggie’s underwear bore no relation to how she ran this country.
She refused to impose sanctions on apartheid south Africa when the world was up in arms about what was happening there.
She pretty much took away the power of unions in this country that protected workers.
A lot of people say that she did a good thing when she brought in a system that allowed people to buy their local authority owned housing, but as a result of that we now have a housing crisis here.
The yuppie generation, which she was largely responsible for crashed and burned.
She earned the nickname The Iron Lady.
And not because she was great with domestic appliances.
I have to be honest and say that I have very little understanding of or interest in politics. My opinion is really that they are all as bad as each other. As I see it most election campaigns here consist of empty promises and telling us how bad the opposing parties are and I suspect it’s the same across the pond.
But most acts of terrorism in the world are the result of religious differences and carried out in the name of whatever god the perpetrators follow.
And that has little or nothing to do with politics.
The death of one man may be seen as a step towards making the world a safer place. It may be a triumph for America and some closure for victims, survivors and their families.
But the war on terrorism is a long way from over, if it ever really will be.
As long as there are religious fanatics, crazy dictators, warmongers and people willing to buy into whatever nonsense they spout the world will never be truly free from terrorism. You might kill the man but you cannot kill what he stood for or represented to his followers, you might in fact just fan the flames of their beliefs.
That thought worries me.
"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."
Martin Luther King, Jr
Apparently the after life isn't that great after all.