Okay so we got him. The “soulless” son of a bitch that put a hole in my skyline, left nearly 3,000 families with a waking nightmare, and guaranteed me an additional four years of the Bush Administration, is dead. Yes, after nearly ten years of hunting for a man nearly six and a half feet tall in a region of the world where the average height is about a foot shorter than that, our Special Forces finally tracked down the guy who needed to be hooked up to a dialysis machine several times a week and sent him to the other side.
Everything should now be good now, right? We can have our fairly tale happy ending, right? No, wrong. Dead wrong.
Now that bin Laden is no more, and is off with his celestial virgins (hey, maybe even a beer volcano and a stripper factory, who knows?), the book is not closed on him. In many circles all that has been accomplished by his death, is that he has been elevated to martyrdom status. We've taken a human and turned him into a myth. If you think it was difficult to fight him before when he was tangible, you haven't seen anything yet. The reason wars against philosophical and ideological opponents cannot be won (i.e. Communism, Capitalism, Terrorism, the Crusades, and so on), is that there is no definitive opponent, and no concrete measuring stick. Wars of this nature are like trying to punch the wind. Bin Laden is now the wind.
One of the cornerstones of this nation is fairness and equality (even if it is mostly just on paper). “Innocent until proven guilty” was a building block for us when we established our Constitution. With bin Laden, there was never an official charge, and will never be a trial. Trials in this country, under our laws, give the opportunity for even the most guilty person to get off Scot-free. This was never afforded to bin Laden. He was accused, tried, and convicted in the media and court of public opinion. By abandoning this basic principle, we have sold our collective “soul” in order to obtain a measurement of revenge. How does it feel America? You know that little bit of unease that a lot of you have been describing feeling about not feeling just right about celebrating the death of an individual? It's because you know it's wrong. You can get a prosthetic arm or foot if you have to have one of them amputated; There is no prosthetic for the “soul.”
So what's next? Where do we go from here? We have cut off the head of the serpent, but like the Hydra, another head (or forty) is going to just grow back to take its place. We are going to have to find out who the new figurehead is and what level of retaliation we are going to face for our actions yesterday, because there will be a retaliation. My crystal ball sees dark things in our future, and when I talk about something being dark, you should pay attention. We did not make the world a safer place yesterday, we kicked the hornet's nest.
I realize that it may sound like I am defending bin Laden, I'm not. I am questioning the morality and hypocrisy of our actions. After the Towers fell there were news stories that featured some people in the Middle East dancing in the streets, cheering, and singing. People in this country were overwhelmingly appalled that people could rejoice at the loss of life. Yesterday when the news began to break, American crowds spontaneously gathered in American streets to cheer and sing about the loss of life. We have lost the moral high ground. We became what we beheld, and are content that we have done right; We shouldn't be.