It is not enough to say we must not wage war. It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it…We must concentrate not merely on the negative expulsion of war but the positive affirmation of peace. ~Martin Luther King Jr.
Media sources worldwide are reporting as I write about the death of Osama Bin Laden at the hands of American Special Forces. What will it all mean?
Across the U.S., I see jubilant crowds, at the White House, at Ground Zero, waving flags,singing the National Anthem, and generally celebrating heartily. Certainly, in thinking back to 9-11 and those horrific and unforgettable images and unspeakable losses, there is ample reason to be grateful, even jubilant, that the world has been rid of a major terrorist and enemy of the United States. So much credit and admiration are due the troops who carried out the operation successfully and apparently with little collateral damage–and equal is due to all those who worked so tirelessly to track the tyrant down and bring him to justice. So celebration is warranted, but perhaps also, some caution would not be so out of place.
This “triumph” happened on President Obama’s watch and I admire him for giving his support to those who planned and carried out this operation. It took courage, knowing all the potential pitfalls and dangers. I resent those who are already turning this into a political issue. I saw no sign of triumph in the President’s demeanor, no smugness over having scored a personal victory. I saw a man burdened by the enormity of all that has been, and still is, at stake. He gave full acknowledgment to the troops involved in carrying out the actual attack and to the intelligence community who made it possible. And, let’s be clear–if this had been a failed operation, the blame would have been laid entirely on Mr. Obama’s shoulders. So no hypocrisy or double standards are acceptable to my mind.
Already the State Department has issued warnings that there could be retaliatory strikes of some sort, although as of this moment, official threat levels have not been raised. (Since I have a daughter traveling out of the country tomorrow, I am very concerned and watchful.)
Thus, right now, my main response is that while I cannot deny being thankful that Bin Laden himself is no longer a threat, I pray for peace in the wake of this very significant news. There are those who are not celebrating this news and we must not lose sight of that fact.
I ask that you join me in prayers for worldwide peace and a cessation of hostilities and/or retaliation, as well as prayers for all of our troops everywhere.
May God bless our country and keep it safe!