Good riddance to bin Laden

When al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was shot dead by U.S. Navy SEALs in Pakistan earlier this week, the immediate reaction by Americans to celebrate his death was predictable.

What was also predictable was the outcry against those celebrations.

Let's face it: the death of bin Laden is an emotional issue for our neighours to the south. Not only was their country attacked on Sept. 11 by Islamic extremists headed by bin Laden, but also many felt first-hand the fallout from the attacks. What followed included heightened security, thousands of deaths of soldiers serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the loss of hundreds of billions of dollars that have flowed from the country's coffers toward war and reconstruction efforts.

While Canada also had a connection to the attacks in the form of Canadian deaths, we can never truly put ourselves in the shoes of those Americans who have had their emotions tested for nearly a decade.

In many corners of the U.S. on Sunday, people's undying patriotism shone throughout the country with spontaneous singings of the national anthem and tributes to those who died on Sept. 11. Even the song Proud to Be an American was played between innings of the Texas Rangers-Oakland A's game on Monday.

Many obviously needed to release 10 years worth of tension in the form of celebrations, and for some to criticize their enthusiasm at the death of the world's most wanted man is uncalled for.

As President Barack Obama noted, bin Laden's death was a good day for America. Of course, it's not just good news for the U.S., but the rest of the world anxious to see justice done.

It is also important to note that while nearly 3,000 people died on Sept. 11, if bin Laden had his way, it would have been much more. Indeed, in his radicalized eyes, the more the merrier - even if it meant millions.

But as the death of bin Laden brings relief to many, there is still the realization his brand of Islamic terrorism still poses a threat and probably always will.

We know this. Americans know this. So let them blow off some steam and celebrate the death of a terrorist bent on killing as many "infidels" as possible before the next threat arrives.

One less evil person in the world is a good thing - especially when it comes to someone as influential as bin Laden. Good riddance.

© Copyright 2018 Kamloops Daily News

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