As news spread of Osama bin Laden’s death last night many American’s rejoiced. The most dangerous terrorist leader was finally dead nearly a decade after the most heinous attack on United States soil. Fans at the New York Mets versus Philadelphia Phillies game chanted “USA! USA!” The epitome of America! Hell Yeah! attitude.
We should be proud of our military and the long search to find the mastermind of al Qaeda’s terrorist organization. We should be proud of the long fight finally having come to some kind of resolution. Now the news is a day old – we should move on from the entire war on terrorism.
As 9/11 widow Kristen Breitweiser summed up earlier today in a post entitled: Today Is Not a Day of Celebration for Me
Ten years later, now fully awake in the bright sunlight of the day, when I contemplate the definition of victory for our country when it comes to the death of Osama bin Laden, I can only think about the damage that has been done.
I think about the thousands of lives lost — American, Afghani, Iraqi. I know firsthand the sorrow those families have felt. I ponder how the billions — maybe trillions — of dollars could have been better spent. I remain alarmed about the continued expansion of absolute Executive power in the name of fighting this seemingly ongoing and never-ending “war on terror.” I worry about the further erosion of our constitutional rights. I wonder when our troops will ever be called home. I know all too well, that thousands of young American men and women soldiers will never have the opportunity to return home. And of course, I fear reprisal.
There may be reprisal at killing a symbol of American hatred. There may not be. But most of all the symbol of the war on terrorism has been our utter willingness to let go of basic freedoms as well as spend ourselves into an unconsciousable debt through two wars. We argue now about the latter in terms of funding for public radio or Planned Parenthood instead of the real causes. We carry ourselves as a beacon of freedom while allowing our phones to be tapped in violation of the Constitution.
Neither of these are winning a war on terrorism. We need to move on and find peace in time for the 10th anniversary of the horrific events of 9/11. In just about four short months we will commemorate the day with a moment of silence, a reading of the people we lost on that day, may be a 21 gun salute, a reef, etc. But we can commemorate it best by finding peace in bringing home our troops, restoring our civil liberties and ending the wars we are fighting.
We have spent far too much time in the past decade caught up a Cold War style of the last century. Osama bin Laden is dead – let’s move on and begin moving our country forward in this decade. We can allow the American hope and ideals to cultivate this next decade and beyond instead of fear and hatred of the other.
© Aaron Krager 2008-2013 | Have any questions? Send me an email.