Osama Bin Laden is dead. Three Presidents have been seeking this to take place as he was considered to be the most dangerous terrorist in the world. President Obama was the President when this finally took place which demonstrates that the perseverance of those who have held that office has paid off. The President is not running around patting himself on the back saying, “I did it,” but instead of graciously pointing out to a long line of work that has taken place. It is correct that he do so. This is an American accomplishment that neither party can take credit for. It is an accomplishment of the United States.
It is, of course, a huge accomplishment by our intelligence services and the Navy Seals. The Seals, despite some last minute mechanical difficulty on one of the helicopters dropped in and did their job efficiently and well. While I hate the fact that, at times, killing seems to be a necessity, it is amazing how well these brave Navy folks worked. They dropped in and did their job well with as little collateral damage as they could, and left. They had no casuals and the only ‘innocent’ person who died was a poor woman who was used as a human shield. This woman’s death is a reminder to everyone as to the character of the terrorists happens to be.
As for Bin Laden’s body, he was buried at sea using Islamic traditions. His body was washed, wrapped in a white cloth, placed in a ‘weighted bury at sea bag’ and the ritual prayers were done. It was the right decision. A grave with him in it would be a shrine to terrorists and would, in and of itself, be a place of violence for too many people. Bin Laden has been the cause of enough people’s deaths. In a moment of being personally evil, the fact that fish are feasting on his remains as I write this does not disturb me. This man was evil and deserves no honor and neither does his death. What happens now is between Bin Laden and God.
I’ve been thinking about how awful this kind of decision is to make if one is the President. In the movie, “The American President,” after President Andrew Shepherd orders a military action which will lead to the death of others, an advisor tells the President how proud he is as the President had never been more Presidential. The President’s response is that he had never been ‘less Presidential’ in ordering the killing of others. I would imagine many Presidents have laid awake at night wrestling with the fact that, on their orders, deaths took place. Even when those deaths, those killings seemed like the right thing at the time. Whether we like to acknowledge it or not, the Sixth Commandment is very short and does not offer much in terms of wiggle room. But, alas, people choose to run for this position and so they choose to make these decisions and pray to God they are correct.
Of course, as difficult as this is for the President to make, I think of the Navy Seals who actually carried out the mission. As they headed into Pakistan on the helicopters, these incredibly well trained and brave people did not really know what they would encounter and if the intelligence was correct. Would the mission be a success? Who would live and who would die? Amazing.
And, I think of the people who died on 9/11. Over 3000 people either burned alive or caught in a collapsing building, or jumping to their deaths. When I think of the phone calls made from people at the top of the Twin Towers, telling loved one’s that they loved them and had to say good-bye, before they vanished into the smoke of that day, my heart breaks.
The deed is done. God help us we are glad a man has been killed; but we know he was evil and now we move on-----and pray for peace.