When I heard that Osama Bin Laden was killed by American forces, my feeling was ambivalent. On one hand, I felt that somehow the world became a little safer with the chief terrorist gone. Terrorism is evil because it targets the innocent civilians. Its aim is to disrupt the normalcy of the ordinary citizen’s lives. With Bin Laden gone, Al Qaeda’s operation may temporarily be disrupted but it does not mean that its terroristic activities will stop. On the other hand, with Bin Laden’s death, there’s fear that the group may conduct terroristic activities to avenge their leader’s death.
Bin Laden has been the object of fear and hatred of the western world for almost two decades. He was the chief boogieman of the United States that has been used to justify military operations against Arab countries. With him gone, the US is now targeting Zawahiri, the terror group’s number two man.
On the other hand, I felt sad that Bin Laden was gone because, somehow, he was the only terrorist leader that had defied and hurt the United States by planning and executing the world’s greatest terrorist act so far, the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York. He proved that the US is not invincible. Blame it on the Filipino’s propensity to side with the underdog, but Bin Laden’s war against the United States won my admiration (not sympathy). He has eluded the most powerful intelligence and armed organization in the world for a more than a decade despite the 25 M dollar bounty on his head. That proved that he was no ordinary man. He was a gifted terrorist (a terrible gift).Well, he’s dead and a dead terrorist is a dead terrorist.
There was celebration in the US when Bin Laden’s death was officially announced. Interviewees were praising the US Navy Seals for their daring operation which is understandable especially if they have loved ones killed by Al Qaeda’s attack. But on the other side of the world, Muslims are hailing (in secret of course) Bin Laden as a hero and a saint. His death will inspire more to take up the Islamic cause against the west. It’s a cycle with both sides claiming God is with them.
Of course, all of us, maybe even the late Bin Laden, want peace. We all want to live a a life free from fear and strife. Terror begets terror. Hayyy...why can't we just leave each other alone.