From 9/11 to 5/1

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There is nothing bad about Osama bin Laden’s death, nothing our post-modern, post-heroic culture should apologize for, anguish over, deconstruct or lament. The elimination of bin Laden—and not by some faceless drone or double-dealing “ally,” but by the force and skill of American arms striking at close range—is a victory for the country, for the notion of justice, for America’s troops and intelligence officers. This is a good day to be an American.

How good? News of bin Laden’s death made today’s crop of college students—poisoned by years of moral relativism and politically correct bunk equating all uses of force as the same, declaring war as our enemy, teaching that nothing is worth fighting for or against—take to the streets and spontaneously sing the Star Spangled Banner while waving the American flag. They were waving the Marine Corps flag and Old Glory on the streets in front of the White House, chanting “USA!” in Times Square, climbing up trees to hoist the colors—our colors—high. Anything that can do that is wonderful and wondrous.

They have every right to be proud and wave flags and sing songs of victory. This is a great country that can do great things in war and in peace, with a great political system that can sustain and win long, twilight struggles, protected by a great military that is amazing not just because of its reach and determination, but also because of its restraint.

Never forget that as our elite strike force of Navy SEALs hunted down a mass-murderer masquerading as a holy man, other U.S. forces were feeding the hungry in sub-Saharan Africa, trying to stop a massacre in Libya, nurturing a fragile peace in Iraq, building bridges while fighting the medieval Taliban in Afghanistan, fighting pirates off the Horn of Africa. In recent years, they have rescued Haiti and Pakistan and Sumatra and Japan after disasters of biblical proportion; liberated Iraqis and Afghanis from vast prison states; and shielded Kosovars and Kurds, Kuwaitis and Koreans.

Their work never ends and never ceases to amaze and humble. They are America’s very best not because they wear a uniform, but because of what they do in that uniform, which leads us to our system of government and politics. Our defenders take their oath to the country and its constitution, not to a man. It pays to recall that the U.S. military’s long hunt for bin Laden began in the 1990s and was the shared work of three administrations, three commanders-in-chief. They are very different men, serving at very different moments in history: one in the pre-9/11 world, in a decade when the burdens of leadership and history seemed to be quaint relics of some bygone era; one amid the flames and fury of bin Laden’s maiming of Manhattan and the Pentagon, in the early days of a new twilight struggle; one in a decade when the scars and memories of that terrible Tuesday had started to fade. Yet for all their differences and disagreements, flaws and failures, imperfections and indiscretions, they pursued the same goal, the latter two with virtually the same team of warriors, generals and commanders in place, keeping just enough of the country on the same page to realize this day.

That’s the kind of tenacity and resolve that, viewing America through the distorted and grimy prism of our own popular culture, bin Laden and his ilk will never understand. Beneath the soft, flabby outer edges of our nation, there exists muscle and bone that can unleash an unspeakable, unrelenting fury. As one wartime president soberly put it, “It is a fearful thing to lead this great peaceful people into war.”

After mocking America as impotent and cowardly, the enemy now understands this.

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  • ImaFreeAmerican

    This was a great day for America. This is the one and only time I appreciated Clinton's words when she said that the enemy can't wait us out and that we're here until they're defeated. It also showed them our resolve when President Bush said America would get him dead or alive. America kept it's word.

  • Gunner57

    I found the jubilation about the death of OBL to be rather bizarre. I hadn’t expected it.

    I find it hard to believe all those partying hard today have spent the last decade in constant anxiety because of OBL remained alive. Had they lived in terror all these years, this kind of celebration would make sense perhaps. But, these people have mostly spent the last ten years watching sit-coms and buying trinkets at the mall. These are the same people that are oblivous to the threat Islam poses to United States within our own borders. Many of them would go along with Obama'a assertion that Muslims should be allowed to build a victory monument at Ground Zero.

  • Gunner57

    …What their reaction tells us is just how much our population are willing to allow their reactions to events to be dictated by the subtle cues they pick up from the media. The event, beginning with Mr. Obama’s speech, has been framed by the media as a momentous occasion for our nation. Because most people do not question the narrative presented to them by the media, they celebrate when told to do so. They do not pause for reflection let alone a moment of refreshing skepticism.

    Given the OBL’s body was disposed of at sea, it is not clear how we really even know that he is dead. We also don’t know that if he is dead that he was indeed killed in the last 24 hours. There is no proof save the word of the Obama administration. Given this lack of evidence, the general gleeful reaction seems even more unwarranted.

  • kafir4life

    bin Laden is fish feces. The difference to what he was the day before as a muslim is the fish.

  • affinity

    does it really matter. OBL could have been dead for 8 years–books have been written about his death years ago. what matters is that there are 10,000 more terrorists like OBL waiting to take his place. perhaps a time to be glad but then lets get back to work and infiltrate every mosque in the USA with FBI agents not afraid of Islamic wrath

  • Lillith66

    Read this if your stomach is strong enough…mainly read the comments….

  • GypsyTyger

    Great article. The only thing I would say is that this was not the work of three administrations. It was the work of two. Clinton did not take Bin Laden seriously and from what I understand squandered at least 3 chances at him.

    • tagalog

      President Obama deserves credit for one thing for sure: when it comes time to pull the trigger, he doesn't shy away from it.

      It was gutsy to order the SEAL attack instead of the bombing. On the other hand, we're lucky it went the way it did because we could have come out of this with dead SEALs and no bin Laden.

  • ApolloSpeaks


    Click my name a read my piece on the signs that prefigured bin Laden's death under Obama.