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Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

No, Really, Celebrate. If This Isn’t Worth Celebrating, What Is?



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The comments on lefty blogs are pretty much what you would expect. I get the feeling that grassroots conservatives feel better about President Obama’s authorization of this operation than grassroots liberals do.

Over at Salon I read:

Bin Laden was clearly an evil human being, but it is deeply disturbing to see photos of some of my fellow Americans literally celebrating and cheering like it’s a some kind of football game win.

Er . . . really? Which development really warrants the full-throated exultation? The United States finding and lethally punishing the world’s most wanted terrorist, with the blood of thousands of our countrymen on his hands, or that our team won the big game? Take it from a die-hard football fan, when my team wins, I’m elated, but by and large, after the game, life is more or less the same. Jerry Seinfeld had that painfully funny joke, “We’re a little too into sports in this country, I think we gotta throttle back. Know what I mean? People come home from these games, ‘We won! We won!’ No, they won — you watched.”

No, really. This is the moment to cheer, to scream, to pump your fist, to break into that old bottle of your favorite beverage you’ve been saving for a special occasion. Because the world is different this morning. A key message has been beamed to every corner of the earth, sure to reach anyone who has ever committed terror against Americans, who seeks to do so again, or who is contemplating the act: No matter who you are, no matter how many followers you have, no matter how smart or careful you think you are, our guys can find you. It’s just a matter of time. If you kill our countrymen, they will look, and they will look, and they will look and they will never quit and we will never forget. You will die in prison at Gitmo or you will die quickly from a covert-ops team’s bullets. But one way or another, you will pay the price for harming our people.

Elsewhere, Salon groans that the war against Osama and his organization has cost $1.3 trillion. Think about what that says to aspiring terrorists. When we say, ‘We’ll pay any price to see them brought to justice or to bring justice to them,’ we mean it. That’s the kind of country we are.

Are we safer today? Yes. Not overwhelmingly so, and yes, we may see retaliatory attacks in the coming days, weeks, or months, God forbid. But I roll my eyes when I hear someone warn that some U.S. action may “further enrage” al-Qaeda members. These guys already have the rage turned up to eleven.

Al-Qaeda didn’t just lose their founder, leader, prime propagandist, etc. They also have to grapple with the image of him hiding behind his wife as the SEALs close in. They’ve just had a major blow to their morale, the possibility of the U.S. wrapping up more of them with the intel collected yesterday, and now there’s a major public-image problem. Young Muslim men join al-Qaeda because they want to see themselves as valiant, brave warriors dedicated to their divine being, not wimps who hide behind their wives when the bullets start flying.

And now they’ve just been challenged; the world is waiting for these retaliatory attacks. If none come — God willing — then they’ll be seen as largely exhausted and fractured and smashed beyond any serious capability. Al-Qaeda the “social movement” — the notion that a Muslim who’s frustrated with his life should find meaning and purpose in killing infidels and perhaps blowing himself up — will continue. Al-Qaeda the highly-organized terror organization may be coming to an end.


Tags: Osama bin Laden


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