05 May 2011

On the Death of a Fanatic

So, Osama Bin Laden is dead.

Is the world a better place without him? No. It is just as bad and just as good after his death as it was before. Humanity seems perfectly capable of producing evil men however many we dispatch to the courtroom of eternity.  The deaths of Stalin and Hitler did not end atrocities. Pol Pot, Pinochet, Galtieri, Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, Mugabe and more rose to fill the void.

Has justice been served? Well, yes and no. Bin Laden has caused the death of thousands if not millions of innocents; he had to be stopped. Those that live by the sword shall die by the sword. What about the injustices perpetrated by Western powers on other peoples? Terrorists do not emerge from a vacuum.  Some who perceive themselves to be oppressed will always aspire to be the oppressor. 

Will terrorism diminish? Of course not. I will be surprised if no atrocities are committed to avenge Bin Laden.  Al Qaeda has lost its most recent leader. It may be distracted for a time while key figures struggle for ascendency but it will not remain leaderless. It may have lost access to Bin Laden's money, but there are surely other wealthy fanatics in the world willing to fund terror.

The world is not a safer place. I think it's a bit too soon to rejoice ...

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