Osama Bin Laden is dead.
As with most decisions I make, the reasons behind my decision to join the Foreign Service were complicated. Among them of course was that my wife was in the Service. But bin Laden was a deciding factor too...after 9/11, I wanted to serve my country. And as an out lesbian, military service was not an option.
So I am glad he is dead...I know that while this has cut the head off the snake, the danger continues. I pray for the safety of all those serving our country now.
As President Obama said, bin Laden was not a Muslim leader. He was a murderer of Muslims.
I think the manner in which he was living really speaks to that.
He is (was) a spoiled rich kid. He sent poor muslims off to die in the service of a jihad that most muslim leaders reject. He never took a risk to his own life to carry out his murderous plans.
And so all this time, while we had an image of him living in caves, an image that no doubt served him well among his followers, many of whom actually are living in caves and other lives of desparate poverty, he was actually living in a million dollar mansion.
He had excellent security and was in town and a mere 60 miles from Islamabad. He was not living a life of hardship, but he used the lives of hardship of his followers to carry out his plans with no personal risk to himself.
How profoundly hypocritical.
Now I know there are those who will decry this action, who will say all war is wrong.
I am a believer in diplomacy, in negotiation. I believe soft power must go hand in hand with hard power, that we can save lives by better funding the diplomatic corps so we can fight fewer wars. But I don't think we can ever hope to stay out of all wars.
Because I believe Hitler would have continued his evil plans to wipe all Jews from the face of the earth had it not been for war. I am not convinced that slavery would have ended without war. And I am not convinced that Osama could have been convinced to change his ways while there was breath in his body.
So good riddance. Lives will be saved because his is dead.