It may have taken 9 1/2 years--but getting our final revenge against Osama Bin Laden has certainly been worth it. The boost to American morale is palpable, and perhaps will rebuild support for the many fronts upon which we continue to fight the War On Terrorism.
Some have been quick to compare this to the death of Hitler in World War Two--a blow that will only hasten the end of the war. Unfortunately, this is more like the death of Admiral Yamamoto in that same war. The architect of the Pearl Harbor attack was killed in April of 1943--thanks in large part to an intelligence coup where the US Navy knew where his plane would be flying--and our pilots shot him down. That was a great blow to Japan--but he was not the man driving their war effort--and the battle dragged on for another two-plus years.
Nonetheless, this is a great victory for the US Military and President Obama. The President deserves a hearty pat on the back for the efforts he has undertaken in the War on Terror. Candidate Obama promised to bring the troops home in his first 90-days in office. Obviously, those troops were still engaged in battle on Sunday morning.
And the President learned from the mistakes of his predecessors. President Clinton had the chance to assassinate Bin Laden at least once during his time in office--and passed on the opportunity. President Bush had Bin Laden trapped in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan early in the war--and allowed him to slip away without a targeted strike. President Obama had a killshot opportunity in a coutry with which we are not currently at war and he took it.
Some of the reports last night had the intelligence that led to Bin Laden coming from detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Again, candidate Obama promised to close that facility and return those held there to their homelands. But President Obama realized the value of dataining those deadly criminals and continuing to employ interrogation techniques that some of us find unsavory--but obviously can lead to important advances in the war.
I hope that everyone is able to put aside the partisanship for a few days and give genuine credit to those who deserve it. Those who ignored the protesters on the sidewalk calling for the troops to come home, those who raised a hue and cry about Gitmo staying open and those who thought the continued effort to track down the man responsible for the deaths of 2819 innocent people on September 11th, 2001 was a waste of time.
To quote the great wartime leader Winston Churchill: "Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is perhaps, the end of the beginning." Let's keep up the good fight.