The networks have never had such a big story to interrupt all the ridiculous CSI shows on a Sunday night.
Osama bin Laden, the notorious and nefarious leader of Al-Qaeda, has been killed by U.S. Military forces who launched an offensive on a hiding place in Abbottabad, Pakistan. President Barack Obama, in making the announcement on national television, told us that no Americans were killed in the firefight, and that there was an effort to minimize civilian deaths in the attack. bin Laden's body is in U.S. custody. No word on what has become of the second-in-command of Al-Qaeda. President Obama put it this way, "On nights like this one we can say that justice has been done."
There are those who ran out into the streets outside the White House and Ground Zero in New York to chant "U-S-A" and wave American flags. But I was particularly moved by a quick interview with a family member of one of the thousands killed on September 11th in the World Trade Center. You could hear in the woman's voice that she was shocked. And I think that's a place many of us went to upon hearing the news of bin Laden's murder. Here is the man who has kept this country on pins and needles for more than ten years, taking responsibility for bloody and deadly attacks in Somalia as well as the U.S. on September 11th. We've been promised that "We're gonna git 'im!" and yet nothing. Now, we've finally closed in on him and killed him? Wow!
And it raises an interesting thought for me: will his death really bring closure for the families, and by extension, this country which was so deeply wounded by the 9/11 attacks? I imagine it will be a mixed-bag. There will be those who join in the chants of "U-S-A!!" but I'm not comfortable going there. I'm not UNhappy about the demise of Osama bin Laden, and yet I find it hard to rejoice in the death of an individual. I wasn't giddy on the day that they hanged Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and I don't find myself particularly joyous tonight. I don't think the world is safer because I don't think Al-Qaeda stops it's plans to take us down. In fact it may be a time of heightened security. One can only hope that by cutting off the head of this organization, the rest of this particular body will collapse.