Two weeks later, and Osama bin Laden is still dead. In the interim, TNB writers have reflected on what his death means:
Alison Aucoin‘s take: “The death of Osama Bin Laden is not cause for jubilation. It is cause for grief that a person chose to react to the horror of oppression by creating infinitely more horror and oppression.”
Simon Smithson writes, “I don’t know how to reconcile everything I know and everything I feel, but one thing I’m certain of is that the easy way out of the dilemma is the one that sees people dying.”
“Let him be a memory not just of fire and falling men,” says Andrew Panebianco, “but also of just how precious it is to cling to that shred of what’s good in us.”
“A real triumph resounds over decades,” Nat Missildine writes. “You hear it as a slow roar of hope in the unassuming coexistence of others, in a man practicing proper dental care on a one-time site of tragedy and in Americans analyzing the busted fragments of the last ten years.”
Brian Eckert says, “Now that we’ve shot our collective patriotic load into the womb of vengeance, it’s time to roll over and think about what we’ve done, and more importantly, how we’re going to get out of here.”
The Dust adds, “Whether bin Laden’s hunkered down in the punishing fires of Sheol, Gehenna, Tartarus, Hades, Vitti, Peklo, or Jahannam…talking Mullah Omar into blowing up those huge Buddha statues outside Kabul seems like a really crappy idea right about now.”
One thing’s for sure: if his goal was to drive American forces away from the Arab world, bin Laden’s life was the kind of spectacular failure that makes Matt Millen and Heaven’s Gate seem like hiccups.