May 2011 04

by Shotgun Suicide

For nearly ten years, the citizens of America have been waiting to hear one short phrase: “Bin Laden is dead.” Americans have wanted this revenge since that awful September day that we’ll never forget. We may all have our differences, but one thing every American could agree on was that we needed to kill the man responsible for taking so many American lives that day.

On September 11, 2001 we watched our television screens in horror and sorrow as the attack on our country took place. We panicked, we cried, and we asked ourselves “why” as we watched planes crash and people jump. The days that followed were full of mourning and pride. We stood together as a nation, appalled and disgusted that we had been attacked, and sympathetic to those who had lost loved ones. And we stood strong, wanting and waiting for our desire for revenge to be sated.

[Above: President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with members of the national security team, receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House, May 1, 2011. (photo and caption from the official White House Flickr account)]

On May 1, 2011, nearly 10 years later, thanks to the brave and relentless efforts of our troops and security forces, we finally got to hear those words; President Obama announced that Bin Laden had been killed. Americans rejoiced and celebrated knowing he was finally gone, and an overwhelming sense of relief and accomplishment permeated the national consciousness. But should Americans really feel relief?

[Above: President Barack Obama shakes hands with Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in the Green Room of the White House following his statement detailing the mission against Osama bin Laden, May 1, 2011 (photo and caption from the official White House Flickr account)]

“As a matter of leadership of terrorist operations, Bin Laden has really not been the main story for some time,” is a direct quote from a former senior U.S. intelligence official, Paul Pillar. A lot of Americans do not understand that Al Qaeda has been working for years without Bin Laden there to guide them. Al Qaeda still attacked when Bin Laden was hiding, and they did so without his leadership. Just because we killed Bin Laden doesn’t mean that the war is over. In fact, the war will probably get worse before it gets better. The remaining members of Al Qaeda are probably very angry that we killed their figurehead, making them want revenge. So the question that a lot of active military are asking is “When will Al Qaeda strike back?”