Osama Bin Laden is dead. Reports say he was killed one week ago, by a U.S. missile, and that we have the body. His identity has been confirmed by DNA, which is why they waited a week to announce it.
This is good, of course, but why don’t I feel like celebrating? Bin Laden has done and said some of the most vicious things in world history, so you’d think I’d be busting out the champagne. I guess it could be because I have an exam to write this evening. But I don’t think it’s that. Rather I think it’s because (1) this news is loooong overdue, and (2) this war really is like a game of “whack a mole,” in which it doesn’t matter how many you’ve hit down, there is always another ready to pop up and take its place.
Nearly ten years ago, we thought this call to action might actually be heeded. Now we’ve learned that, unless there is a fundamental change in the culture, it never will be.
UPDATE: They have corrected the initial reports. He was shot during some sort of firefight, not hit by a missile. (Also, he was killed Sunday evening, not a week earlier. It will still take time for the DNA evidence to come back.) This makes me think of one good aspect of this: I bet that Obama would have preferred that Bin Laden be captured alive and allowed to stand trial. Our soldiers did not let that happen. Good for them!