May 2, 2011

Osama Bin Laden is dead.

It was nearly 10 years ago that the United States suffered those horrible attacks that I still cannot find the words to adequately describe. September 11th was was exactly 3 months before my 18th birthday and has cast a shadow over everything in the decade since.

While I believe that Bin Laden's death is certainly both a relief and a genuine catharsis, I am hesitant to ascribe to it joy or to engage in celebration. Make no mistake, I believe that even the darkest, most rank places in Hell are too good for Osama Bin Laden, but I cannot find pleasure in the death of another human being.

Instead, I believe that this is a time for reflection. I believe that we need to understand Osama Bin Laden as a human being. I say this, not because I believe we should empathize with him, but because it is only with that understanding that it will be possible to create a more secure and safe world. Remember, those who forget history are doomed to repeat it and if we forget the evil that humans are capable of, we will enable the creation of others like Osama Bin Laden.

Furthermore, let us not forget that terrorism is like the ancient hydra, for every head that is cut off, two more will be created. This is a symbolic victory. Yes this is a cathartic victory, but terrorism will not end with the death of one person. We have killed the head, but let us be aware that many more could be given life.

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