Bin Laden is dead

Osama bin Laden, the face of fundamental Islamic terrorism and the man most responsible for the terrorist attack on September 11th 2001 that killed thousands of US citizens, was hunted down and killed by an elite squad of Navy SEALs on Monday, May 2nd. The announcement of his death by President Barack Obama triggered a massive celebration by America and its allies. Bin Laden, long thought to be hiding in an isolated cave with little to no real operational command of al-Qaida, was actually found in an affluent Pakistani town located less than 100 miles away from Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital, and less than one mile from a prominent military academy. Questions have run abound about whether the Pakistani government may have given protection to bin Laden, but President Obama has assured us that “our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden” in a speech to the American nation the night of the raid. Within 24 hours of his death, the US dumped bin Laden’s body into the ocean in keeping with Muslim burial cultures. Many doubters and conspiracy theorists demanded proof in the form of pictures or the actual body of bin Laden, but Obama refused to release such, other than to key Congressmen (including Rep. Dave Loebsack of Iowa). More conclusive proof has come in the form of releases by al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and Pakistan, admitting that bin Laden had indeed been killed by US forces. The death of bin Laden has left both parties scrambling for paltry credit and political gain. Should the victory go to the Republican Bush administration that set up many counterterrorist programs, or to the Democratic Obama administration that pulled the trigger on the operation? The truth is that it doesn’t matter. This should not be another divisive political issue. It should be a uniting triumph of American ingenuity and the American capacity for excellence. Regardless of the political connotations associated with the death of bin Laden, the bullet through his left eye promises to help heal the gaping wound in the collective American conciseness left by the attacks. We can rest easy knowing the world’s most wanted man just became the world’s most wanted seafood dish.