JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

Osama Bin Laden

Wow.

Wow.

Wow.

Wow.

Osama Bin Laden—dead. Gone. Deceased.

But I’m not sure how to feel.

Obviously, from a human standpoint I’m happy this monster no longer exists. The sting of 9/11 never vanishes, and to finally track down and eliminate the mastermind behind it as no small thing.

And yet …

Too often, events like this work to galvanize. Surely, Al Queda will use the death of its guru to rally as much anti-American hostility as humanly possible; to convince more young men that the United States is the devil, and must be stopped at all costs. It will serve as a rallying cry; a potentially bloody, deadly, pwerful rallying cry.

And (double) yet …

I am elated. Or, at the least, thrilled.

I am also curious, from a purely political standpoint, how the right reacts. Ever since he stepped into the Oval Office, Barack Obama has been slammed as soft on terrorism; as someone who can’t keep our nation safe. Well, let’s compare. Under the watch of George W. Bush, we suffered the worst act of terrorism is modern history, then failed to seize the culprit. Under Obama, zero attacks and Bin Laden dead. Does the president deserve the credit? Obviously, no. He’s the QB, but this is about intelligence and military action. But does he still deserve scorn?

No.