As I began writing this commentary, CNN Newsroom was exploring in detail the fresh facts and implications of the death of Osama Bin Laden. Just one click away, HLN, CNN’s second station, was reviewing the wedding and after party of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
I hadn’t quite decided whether I was going to talk warmly about the fairy-tale quality of the wedding’s pageantry or poke fun at the excessive attention paid to this social event when news broke that American forces had tracked down and terminated Bin Laden.
Forget the wedding. The details of the raid (certain to be a movie someday) undoubtedly will fascinate us in the days to come, but the unadorned fact that the world’s most hunted and hated terrorist was finally caught and killed is momentous.
It’s been almost ten years since Bin Laden changed our world forever with the most diabolical and successful acts of terrorism in the history of the world.
“Nine-eleven” has become a phrase that explains how and when we became permanently preoccupied with fear of random violence from Islamic extremists.
So, like millions of others, I was elated to hear that our nation’s promise to bring to justice the mastermind of the murder of more than 2,000 innocent people was finally kept. I confess to discomfort rejoicing the death of another human being, but I won’t deny or disclaim my primal sense of vindication.
I hope Bin Laden’s overdue demise will make us safer in the long run and will precipitate the return of our troops from Afghanistan, but whether it does or not, I am glad and grateful that an avowed enemy without mercy is no longer a threat.
This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.
* It’s an odd coincidence that the anniversary of Hitler’s death is April 30, one day before the death of Bin Laden.