Osama Bin Laden is dead. A small surgical strike by an American special forces team took him out in a wealthy neighborhood in Abbottabad, a town in Pakistan on May 1, 2011. The hunt is over!
How appropriate he was taken out on May Day – an international celebration of the unity of working people. It was the relentless dedication of thousands of dedicated workers in the intelligence community and military as well as in governments around the world, dedicated to bringing him to justice for the murder and maiming of thousands and the threats against millions of workers, along with retired persons, housewives, disabled and children, of all religions, races, and nationalities, that led to this outcome. We thank them! Our world is a little safer today. The message is clear. Terrorists can not hide!
Justice has been done and Bin Laden will now answer to his victims. He has been buried at sea in accordance with Muslim religious customs out of great respect to his religion, which he ignored and denigrated by stating that his cause was a holy war. Even in death, he was given more respect than he gave to his victims. This will prevent his final resting place from being a place of sick celebration.
We must NEVER blame the Muslim religion. Bin Laden was a terrorist murderer who murdered Muslims as well as Christians, Jews, Buddhists and others without regard to race, age, religion, nationality or morality.
The Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi said it best:
“Osama bin Laden, as we all know, had the very grave responsibility of spreading division and hatred amongst the people, causing the death of countless of people, and of instrumentalizing religion for this end,” he said. “In front of the death of man, a Christian never rejoices but rather reflects on the grave responsibility of each one in front of God and men, and hopes and commits himself so that every moment not be an occasion for hatred to grow but for peace.”
It is my prayer that this act of justice will unite the world, bring a measure of closure to his victims and remind us all that diplomacy, debate, compassion, understanding, civil discourse and gentle non-violent protest and persuasion will solve the world’s problems and allow the peoples of the world to move forward.
There is no place for violence and war in a modern world. They are destructive and move us backwards instead of forwards.
Let us all pray that our leaders come to understand this fact that was so well understood by Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and the many peaceful protesters in recent years on the streets of towns in Iran, Egypt, Tunisia, Madison and elsewhere.
To the people of the world – UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL – IN PEACE
Today is a good day! Peace be with you all!
Note: Abbottabad is a wealthy suburban area about a mile from the capital of Pakistan, Islamabad, in northern Pakistan. This proves that terrorists can hide ANYWHERE, even in our best neighborhoods, next door to us. The neighbors report that the people living in the large house with 12-18 foot walls and barbed wire were secretive. The fact they burned their garbage and had no telephone, Internet, or other connections with the outside world was a tip-off to the intelligence community.
It is not unusual for family compounds in wealthy areas of Pakistan to be fortified due to the terrorists activites. Neighbors would not necessarily be tipped-off by the fact this huge house/compound in that part of the world was fortified. Many retired military brass live in that community. What better place to hide than right in front of the face of your enemy – the least likely place that anyone would look for him!
We must all start to know our neighbors better. In America surveys have shown that 70 % of people do NOT know their neighbors. This was very different 50 years ago. It is time that our communities reverse this trend. Terrorism cannot survive if our communities are knowledgeable and united. I call upon our churches, community organizations, clubs and municipalities to be creative about reversing this sad trend. It truly takes a community and not individuals alone to fight terrorism and keep the peace.