I must say I'm glad they finally got him, although I wish he'd been captured alive and made to face an international court for his war crimes. I remember the horror and the heartache of September 11, 2001. No one in North America can forget it.
Still, my somewhat stuffy Canadian self draws the line at cheering and partying because of someone's death. Other people died there in that mansion in Abbottabad, Pakistan, including a woman being used as a human shield by one of Osama Bin Ladin's men. We can hardly celebrate that.
Contrarily, I also wish the CIA, the Navy Seals, or a similar organization had done the same thing in Iraq, just gone in and killed Saddam Hussein, perhaps making the war unnecessary.
Twice as many Americans have died in Iraq and Afghanistan as died in 9/11. According to internet sources, 4452 Americans have died in Iraq alone since 2003, with another 1566 in Afghanistan. Many, many more have been injured. The numbers could be higher. The sources could be out of date.
Yes, Canada lost far, far more people in one day in Dieppe in World War II, from a then-much-smaller population, but was Osama Bin Ladin comparable to Hitler? Was Saddam Hussein? The comparative scope of their crimes might never be measured successfully. Time might tell, however.
My niece asked me this morning why it had been necessary to kill Bin Ladin instead of capturing him. I haven't heard an explanation yet, but I reasoned it thus: If he were still alive, his followers in Al Qaeda would have moved mountains to save him, and now they are leaderless.
On the other hand, there is already talk of retaliation by members of the terrorist group. Will they be able to act cohesively without Bin Ladin at the helm? Time, again, might tell. I hope they feel that, as a group, they are rudderless. I hope they put down their weapons and go home to their families. However (and there is always a 'however'), who will, physically or figuratively, pick up those weapons? Will there always be an Al Qaeda, or a group like it?
Is this the reality of the 21st century? Will the young men and women of the US, Canada, and other coalition countries have to remain in Afghanistan or can they come home to their families—and to us?