Bin Laden is dead. The news made me happy. I don't want to feel pleasure about the death of another person, no matter how much he deserved it. But apparently I don't have a choice. I've been delighted since last night and the feeling doesn't seem to be going away.

This is the first time that another person's death has made me happy. When the Iraqis executed Sadam Hussein, it was simple justice. When drones kill lesser terrorist leaders, I'm pleased at the result, not the loss of life. Bin Laden was different.  Like many of you, I was watching television on the morning of September 11th, 2001 when the second plane hit the second tower. This time it was personal.  For me, Bin Laden's death is deeply satisfying.

This is the sort of event that defines our national sense of self. The United States didn't stop trying to kill Bin Laden for ten years. We Americans might not do things right on the first try, but betting against us in the long run remains a very bad idea. I'm proud to be an American. I want to be on the team that will gnaw through a concrete wall to get it done, even if it takes ten years.

Tomorrow we'll go back to criticizing one another and complaining about just about everything. That is our way. It keeps us sharp. But today, for just one day, let's enjoy a collective victory. Let's remember those who died on 9/11 and in Afghanistan thereafter. Let's think about the level of bravery and professionalism that went into this operation. And let this remind us that we are part of something bigger than ourselves. 

History turns on psychology. The United States has been in a rough patch for ten years. That changed last night. Buckle up; the next part of this ride is the fun part.

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May 2, 2011
Might be interesting to hear what people were guessing the news would be during the 45 minute lead up to Obama's speech. My guesses were:

1. Ghadaffi dead
2. Ghadaffi not dead, kept one nuke, and was threatening to use it
3. Osama dead
4. China took Taiwan
-9 Rank Up Rank Down
May 2, 2011
Who got killed?
+11 Rank Up Rank Down
May 2, 2011
I was in NY that day and witnessed the 2nd plane hitting the tower so this news brings MUCH pleasure. Better late than never.
+12 Rank Up Rank Down
May 2, 2011
As a Canadian, I have to say, that OBL's death seems to be a good thing, since it looks like the brightened moods has given a nice little jump to the US economy: Look at stock prices.
That's probably hundreds of jobs that were just saved... that means the day-to-day happiness of hundreds of families are preserved.

If killing one violent terrorist can help hundreds, possibly thousands of families for one week, line em up.
May 2, 2011
Well it's been about 12 hours. Do you think he's done about 3 of the 72? I wouldn't rush it if I were him.
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
May 2, 2011
Today is not the day to discuss this, but I'll say it anyway...

I also hope that people start to build the courage to emphatize with the other side, the terrorists. When I hear in the news another attack by a suicide bomber, I think of the victims. Yet, I also wonder how a child, born innocent, can come to such a desperate action. I am not convinced that religous indoctrination is the sole reason (if so, american patriotism is another religion), much bigger issues are at hand: inequality, exploitation, oppression, you name it. It is much easier to point than to understand, and as long as you look away from possible root causes, there will be terrorism. From their perspective, you are the terrorists.
+7 Rank Up Rank Down
May 2, 2011
>>The question is: Everything else equal, is the world a better place with Osama Bin Laden dead?

So you are good with assassinating !$%*!$ Bieber, then?
+9 Rank Up Rank Down
May 2, 2011
From The Far Left Side:

Osama bin Laden is dead, or so we're told. May I see his death certificate?

What this means is that the U.S. has spent trillions of dollars to kill a man who bombed the U.S. embassy in East Africa in August of 1998.

What? 9-11? Sorry, OBL was never formally charged by the FBI with that crime. No matter how many times he claimed responsibility for the attack on the Twin Towers, in various audio and video tapes of dubious authenticity, that's not the same thing as real proof.

Bin Laden is simply a boogeyman whose death is now convenient fodder for all sorts of U.S. propaganda, but it's not going to substantially change our military presence in the Middle East. Were staying, because that's where the oil is.

His death is primarily an excuse to gain a few brownie points for this administration, while simultaneously raising the level of paranoia and xenophobia among the more gullible of our citizens who actually believe that tiny bands of fundamentalist Muslims are determined to "take their freedoms", something they happily handed over a decade ago to the fascists that actually own and operate this country.
-7 Rank Up Rank Down
May 2, 2011

"Some people here are missing the point. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the suspension of freedom in America, is irrelevant. The question is: Everything else equal, is the world a better place with Osama Bin Laden dead? And the answer is yes, resoundingly so. This is why Scott is pleased, and so am I. "

Uhm, no. That's not what the question is. Scott did not ask it as such. He mentioned he experienced joy from this news and went on to link it to american pride, confidence, perseverence and other patriotic nonsense.

I also strongly disagree with what you suggest: just looking at the outcome and not comparing it with the actual cost. @brillbert has done a fine job of displaying a few of the mind-boggling numbers.
May 2, 2011
Can't say I feel anything worth celebrating, to be honest. "Gnawing through a concrete wall" is not a valid analogy. "Blindly bashing your head against several random concrete walls until you got the right one" is more like it.
Western "civilisations" have been kicking the hornets nest in that part of the world for centuries, and we wonder why they hate us?
+9 Rank Up Rank Down
May 2, 2011
I have to admit, I don't know if I'm more surprised that we entered Pakistan to get him or that he was in fact still alive.
+22 Rank Up Rank Down
May 2, 2011
I didn't feel much of anything at the announcement of Bin Laden's death. Fighting for peace is like f=u=c=k*i=n=g for virginity. I can't help but wonder what could have been accomplished to improve life for our society with all the money, resources and energy that was put into hunting down this guy. On the flip side, I guess everyone feels infinitely safer now.
May 2, 2011
I too remember watching TV and seeing the planes crashing in to the Twin Towers and their collapse.
I am glad the architect of that terrorist act is finally dead.
I wish this was the end.
But as others, I fear the terrorist network is still alive and well.
Congratulations to the Seal team that carried out this action.
Let's keep our guard up
May 2, 2011
I sure hope the next part of this ride is fun. Our president just got a truckload of political capital and I get the feeling he'll use it wisely. He's already done a couple of smart things by delivering a Reaganesqe speech last night (interrupting "Celebrity Apprentice", I might add) and timing the announcement on the very day that Bush made his "Mission Accomplished" speech, 8 years later.
-2 Rank Up Rank Down
May 2, 2011
I concur. I'm glad the !$%*!$%*!$% gone and we got him. Not sure why but I've been smiling since last night too.
May 2, 2011
> DavidT7: Buried at sea? What does that "Prove"?

Congratulations, you're the first "Deather"
+17 Rank Up Rank Down
May 2, 2011
Some people here are missing the point. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the suspension of freedom in America, is irrelevant. The question is: Everything else equal, is the world a better place with Osama Bin Laden dead? And the answer is yes, resoundingly so. This is why Scott is pleased, and so am I.
May 2, 2011
I know this sounds like one of those wacko conspiracy comments; but how do we know they didn't just put him on the island with JFK, Elvis, and Marilyn? Buried at sea ...indeed?
+18 Rank Up Rank Down
May 2, 2011
Nothing good happened here.
Bin Laden killed nearly 3000 people in his attacks on the US. He successfully goaded the US into pointlessly invading Iraq, damaging US credibility, sacrificing more than 4000 of its own soldiers, hundreds of allied forces, and more than 100,000 Iraqi civilians. The cost to the US taxpayer, nearly $US800 billion, is 2000 per cent the cost of the direct damage caused by the September 11 attacks, estimated at about $US40 billion. (paraphrased Peter Hatcher SMH link below)
Phyrrhic victory at best. Several people died in the raid including a woman used a human shield. He's now a Martyr and don't get me started on the conspiracy wackos that are going to cream over his body being dumped at sea.
No happiness. No rejoicing. Just a few more deaths.

-4 Rank Up Rank Down
May 2, 2011
Enjoy your fulfilled revenge, while the feeling lasts. Justice would have tasted better in the long run, but that was certainly not possible - because of both sides. For one side dying was the more effective solution, for the other killing was the easier one.

Do you really think the death of this person will change anything? If anything at all, now there is one martyr more.
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