Monday, May 2, 2011

WANTED: Dead or Alive

What a night last night was!  I was eating a late dinner when my mom called and told me to turn on the TV - that the President was going to be making a huge announcement regarding national security.

So we turned on the TV about an hour and 15 minutes before Obama finally made his announcement.  As we were waiting, I said to Leni, "I doubt this is the case but wouldn't it be incredible if the announcement is that Osama bin Laden is dead?"  It wasn't 5 or so minutes later that CNN reported that they were getting multiple confirmations that bin Laden was indeed deceased.

I hope you were able to see the speech on TV.  If you missed it, definitely watch it here:

I saw it live and then when CNN replayed it about an hour or so later.  Props go out to the speech writers as well as President Obama for his smooth delivery. 

As the reports of the event of the death of bin Laden unfolded, several thoughts ran through my mind and I wanted to share them.  Here they are, in no particular order:

  • Many congrats and even more thanks go out to the members of several government agencies who worked together to complete such a dangerous mission.  The meticulous and detailed planning that went into this operation is equaled by the numerous ways that it could have failed - but didn't.  I am also impressed and proud of the way in which Osama's body was handled after his death by our military.  He was treated in accordance with Islamic tradition and the fact that the U.S. bestowed that honor upon him is honorable and commendable.

  • I am quite impressed that we learned of the success of this mission within hours of its successful conclusion.  In the days following September 11th, it seems we were often told that events such as this would probably be classified for security reasons for a long time before becoming public.  Things change a lot and the passage of time has probably greatly helped whatever changes needed to occur so that we could hear this announcement so rapidly.

  • The War on Terror is not over.  There are people out there that think that this struggle is about to see its closing and that we will begin to immediately withdraw troops.  That would make for a great story, but I'm not buying it.  Think of the past: people my age were in elementary school with the first Gulf War was going down.  To us, Saddam Hussein was the big bad guy.  It was a decade later that the news of his capture hit the media and several years after that that he was tried, convicted and executed.  Has a lot changed in Iraq?  Perhaps...but our troops are still there.  By the time Saddam was captured, he was more of a figurehead than an actual involved leader and many of the decisions were being made by those under him.  The same has got to be true for Osama bin Laden.  Al Qaeda is not the cohesive organization that it once was but whatever remaining leadership it has will, I'm sure, continue its work.  I believe we can expect a continued presence of the U.S. military in the Middle East for some time to come.  If that is the case, however, our government will need to release some goals that we have for staying and under what conditions they will decide to start pulling troops out.

  • Credit for this event needs to go beyond the Obama Administration.  My first thoughts were along the lines of praising the Obama Administration for finishing what the Bush Administration couldn't.  But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that surely the work that was done under Obama's watch had to have depended on work done by those under Dubya.  Good job, George and company.  Mission accomplished.

  • Some of the public's reactions to the announcement of bin Laden's death have disappointed me.  The feelings I have I think can best be described as relief.  Not joy.  The Vatican said it best: In the face of a man's death, a Christian never rejoices, but reflects on the serious responsibilities of each person before God and before men, and hopes and works so that every event may be the occasion for the further growth of peace and not of hatred.  A friend shared this blog post written by a rabbi who shared these feelings.  I hope that you will join me in praying for the soul of Osama bin Laden, trusting that God's will be done in the next life.
To end on a lighter note, enjoy these quotes and thoughts:
  • "I've never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure." ~ Mark Twain
  • Will Donald Trump demand a death certificate for Osama bin Laden?
  • Who will now fill the role of World's Best Hide 'n' Seeker
  • What an amazingly Disney-esque weekend this has been: a common girl marries a prince, a great hero honored, and the bad guy defeated.
Keep It Real!


  1. Agree with everything. And nice end quote ;)

  2. Fantastic breakdown, Maggie. You've put into words much of what I was thinking last night. ~K

  3. I hope the Seals took a long a Christian Navy Chaplain to hear OBL's confession of sin and admission that the Lord Jesus Christ is his Savior before we shot him. OBL probably wouldn't take such an opportunity though. I'll pray for him although I have faith that it won't do any good.

  4. Dear Maggie, You have a way with words. I appreciate your thoughts. I too enjoyed the quotes at the end.