Osama bin Laden is dead. So what?
Osama bin Laden has gone to claim his virgins, and while that is fine news, it really won’t change anything. The role of al-Qaeda in the global jihad, and the role of Osama bin Laden in al-Qaeda, have both been wildly overstated. Al-Qaeda is not the only Islamic jihad group or Islamic supremacist group operating today, and Osama bin Laden was not some charismatic leader whose movement will collapse without him. The exaggeration of his role, in fact, was a result of the general unwillingness to face the reality that the global jihad is a movement driven by an ideology, not an outsized personality, and that that ideology is rooted in Islam.
So Osama bin Laden, after years of silence punctuated by mysterious gnomic utterances delivered (how? by whom?) to the media, finally joins Generalissimo Franco in the ranks of the still dead. I will forthwith hoist a suitably haram beverage in toast of the happy news. And then it will be back to work. The jihad will go on, and so will I, and so, I hope, will you.
“Osama bin Laden Killed by U.S. Strike,” by Dean Schabner for ABC News, May 1:
Osama bin Laden, hunted as the mastermind behind the worst-ever terrorist attack on U.S. soil, has been killed, sources told ABC News.
His death brings to an end a tumultuous life that saw bin Laden go from being the carefree son of a Saudi billionaire, to terrorist leader and the most wanted man in the world.
Bin Laden created and funded the al Qaeda terror network, which was responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. The Saudi exile had been a man on the run since the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan overthrew the ruling Taliban regime, which harbored bin Laden.
In a video filmed two months after the Sept. 11 attacks, bin Laden gloated about the attack, saying it had exceeded even his “optimistic” calculations.
“Our terrorism is against America. Our terrorism is a blessed terrorism to prevent the unjust person from committing injustice and to stop American support for Israel, which kills our sons,” he said in the video.
Long before the Sept. 11 attacks, bin Laden was known as an enemy of the United States. He was suspected of playing large roles in the 1998 bombings of two U.S. Embassies in Africa and the attack on the USS Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden in October 2000….