“Allah knows it did not cross our minds to attack the towers but after the situation became unbearable and we witnessed the injustice and tyranny of the American-Israeli alliance against our people in Palestine and Lebanon, I thought about it. And the events that affected me directly were that of 1982 and the events that followed – when America allowed the Israelis to invade Lebanon, helped by the U.S. Sixth Fleet. As I watched the destroyed towers in Lebanon, it occurred to me punish the unjust the same way (and) to destroy towers in America so it could taste some of what we are tasting and to stop killing our children and women.”
– Osama bin Laden, 2004
It was announced tonight that Osama bin Laden, prominent leader for the terrorist organization Al Qaeda and conspirator behind the September 11th attacks, is now dead and his body is in US hands. 10 years after launching its war on terror, the United States met one of its primary objectives in said war, though the war continues.
Within minutes of the announcement, the Twitter and Facebook news feeds absolutely exploded with status updates shouting praise at this man’s death. Some even thanked Jesus for it. Some were quick to point out how little his death means from a military standpoint, saying many will take his place. All the same, the US Government will happily tout this as a great military victory at a time where the war on terror and the war in Afghanistan was becoming a blight on the US military agenda. Even now, as I watch CBS, I hear them claiming that a key chapter in the war on terror has been closed, as if a great step toward victory has been taken.
What saddens me is that this was the same language the media and the government used when Saddam Hussein was captured and executed. We spoke as if a great stride forward had occurred, that, somehow, Hussein’s death would be the end of conflict in Iraq, and yet we remain in Iraq today, with a weak exit strategy. We act as if killing these men, whom the media has demonized and crafted an inhuman portrait of (accurate to an extent, don’t get me wrong), will truly end this conflict, when, instead, it has only proven to escalate these wars. The woman reporting on CBS is claiming this isn’t Vietnam, that this war isn’t unending, even though she admits that this isn’t the end of the war. Even now they are speaking of other Al Qaeda targets across the world that “we need to take down to claim victory.”
The above quote came from Osama in 2004, giving reason for planning the September 11th attacks, not out of disregard for human life, as if he were a megalomaniac bent on the destruction of all human life. This quote instead paints a portait of a man taking action against a nation he viewed as an invader, an oppressor who supported his enemies. One man’s terrorist is merely another man’s freedom fighter. He sought to strike back, not to start a war, but to continue one he already saw in action. If we wish to find a reason that men like Osama Bin Laden are driven to commit acts of great destruction as what occurred on September 11, 2001, we need only look in the mirror. The longer we play to our favorites, the more we seek profit out of countries through military action, the more men like Osama will arise and strike back.
We are the cause of our own enemies, and as long as our foreign policy continues in the fashion it does, with oppressing one nation by supporting another, we will only continue to make more of them, and more fine young men will be forced to spend years in the desert cleaning up our government’s mess. For once, could we utilize our position as a powerful and influential country to instead act as peacemakers, seeking the best solutions for ALL involved, and not just the country who could benefit us the most?
Further clarification: this is not a post sympathetic to Osama Bin Laden’s cause; I do not support violence from one man over another. I am sorrowed that this occurred at the result of our own military action, and that this war could have been ended before it began. I am sorrowed even more by the fact that Bin Laden died without knowing Christ, because Jesus loved him too, even if we didn’t, and one soul lost to separation from God is all the more reason to mourn than the loss of a brother in Christ, especially if things could have been done to reach them. Yes, God is just, and justice clearly was served here, but the price at which it came was great, and this is cause for mourning.