May 4, 2011
What impressed most when the news arrived late Sunday night was the cheering, yelling, flag-waving crowd that materialized almost immediately outside the
Justice had finally been done. And when the news -- the long awaited news -- reached America, celebrations erupted. Everywhere. Especially in the heart.
The long arm of American justice had finally caught up with this mass murderer, who had managed to elude his just deserts for a long and arduous decade. The American eagle, talons extended and eyes ablaze, had landed on
It had taken a decade of frustration and confusion, sacrifice and danger, to track him down -- a decade that, all too often, was a decade of disunity to boot. But this, this glorious night, was different from all other nights. All could celebrate tonight.
He who had delighted in killing the innocent was killed himself. Americans and, surely, free men everywhere could not suppress a shout of sheer, unbridled joy. There is something about justice done that thrills to the bone.
It was time to gather at the
A few paused at that quiet meadow after the news came to remember the Americans who had thwarted the hijackers' designs, and given their own lives in the effort. They were the first Americans to strike back at the terrorists, whatever it might cost them. "Let's roll!" one shouted. And they did. A whole nation did.
Just as Americans waved the flag on that first, awful
Let this remarkably successful strike be remembered in song and story, for a nation that celebrates its heroes will have more of them. It was a beautifully executed mission -- from start to funeral (at sea). We've been waiting for this day a long time -- and so have the fishes. Who knows, this latest saga of the SEALs may yet renew interest in military history on many an American campus. Why not? ROTC is coming back even in the
The joyous reaction to the news was almost as satisfying as imagining what the reaction must be among our enemies -- in the pestholes around the world where terrorists and their friends gather. Let them gnash their teeth in
No wonder flags were waved and songs sung and congratulations exchanged. Imagine the buzz in the halls of the Pentagon or the corridors of West Point. And the quiet toasts in American intelligence headquarters around the globe -- toasts long awaited and well deserved.
Even more impressive than America's triumphing over evil in this singular case is that Americans can still recognize evil. We will not be reduced to whimpering, "Why do they hate us?" We have better things to do, like chasing down these killers to the ends of the earth. And there is no reason to be ashamed when they're caught and dispatched.
Congratulations to the armed forces of
For once Americans weren't blaming each other, or dreaming up conspiracy theories about our own leaders. On this night, all were celebrating -- regardless of race, creed, color, party or any other irrelevance. Out of many, we were one again: E pluribus unum. Which is not only a motto but a battle cry.
Surely it won't be long before the usual partisans roll out their usual talking points, but on this night America rose above all that. And united we stood. May we always. For there is no better guarantor of liberty than unity.
To adapt a passage from
Should we be in any danger of forgetting our elemental character as a free people, let the news that arrived Sunday night, and ran through the country like a joyous current, serve as a reminder. How sweet those news bulletins were, as sweet as justice no longer delayed.
Yes, American embassies around the world have been told to be on guard for attacks in retaliation for this act of justice. By all means, let us remember to stay vigilant. But let's not forget to be proud, too.
No, this is not the end of the struggle, far from it. Or as a leader in another long, long struggle for freedom and civilization,
- Bin Laden Death Raises Big National Security Questions
- Where the United States Goes from Here
- Welcome to Paybackistan
- Osama Bin Laden: Got Him!
- Will Bin Laden Death Affect Afghan Exit Timetable?
- Pakistan Unaware of Osama bin Laden Presence? Don't Believe It
- Congress Praises Obama and Troops After Bin Laden Death
- Strategic Implications of Osama bin Laden's Death
- Bin Laden's Death and the Implications for Jihadism
- Final Letter to Osama bin Laden
- Justice Has Been Done
- President Obama on Osama Bin Laden
- Bin Laden and the Return of Common Sense
- Osama Bin Laden Dead
- Osama bin Laden Aftermath
- The Future of the Liberal World Order
- Why DOHA Trade Negotiations Are Doomed and What We Should Do About It
- Who's Afraid of the International Criminal Court?
- 5 Economies Worse Off Than the United States
- The Rise of the Islamists
- The Black Swan of Cairo
- Understanding the Middle East Revolutions of 2011
- Parsing the Differences Between Tunisia, Egypt and Libya
- The Heirs of Nasser
- Terrorism After the Arab Revolutions
- Egypt Can't Seem To Shed Bad Habits
- How Hosni Mubarak's Reign Came to an End
- Libya: The Two Obamas
- How to Save the Euro and the European Union
- Recalibrating Homeland Security
- Getting the Military Out of Pakistani Politics
- Power and Politics in an Autonomous Latin America
- The Sacred and the Dead
- China and the End of the Deng Dynasty
- United States - Pakistan Partnership in Peril
- Islamist Militancy in a Pre- and Post-Saleh Yemen
- Iraq, Iran and the Next Move
- World's Most Dangerous Man? Syrian Leader Makes Strong Case
- A View from Syria
- Libya and Beyond: Why not Every Nation for Itself?
- Confidence Remains Strong in Global Markets Despite Crises
- Latin America Provides Cautionary Tale for Middle East
- The Arab Risings, Israel and Hamas
- America Should Exercise Pragmatic Idealism in the Arab World
- Richard Goldstone Recants His Report Attacking Israel
- Middle East: Autocratic Deafness
- A Brave Libyan Stands Up Against Rape
- Is Pacific Fish Safe to Eat After the Disaster in Japan?
- Demand and Disasters Complicate Global Energy Picture
- Global Arms Trade: A Vortex of Death and Wealth
- Arms Trade: a Filter, Not a Dam
- Organised Crime: Joint Responsibility
- It's Time, Mr. President: A Time for Clarity
- Chances for a New US Foreign Policy Not Taken
- Did the United States Give Up on Libya?
- The Gulf Region: Anger Management
- Saudi Arabia: Guarding The Fortress
- Israel's Recent Political Actions Aren't Going Over Well
- Israel: If Not Now, When?
- A 'Reverse Beauty Pageant' for Tyrants
- African Hydropower: Damming at What Cost?
- United States - Pacific Relations: Pacific-Minded
- 7 Problems That Could Derail the Global Economic Recovery
- Technology Powers Revolutions and Saves Lives
- Russia Stocks Soar on Rising Oil Prices
- Japan: Heavy History
- China: Weak Impetus for Change
- China Sees the Evil of Plastic Bags
- Pakistan: Educating For Tolerance
- Immaculate Intervention: The Wars of Humanitarianism
- AQAP and the Vacuum of Authority in Yemen
- Japan Quake and Tsunami Among Most Costly of All Time
- China's Economy the Key to Quelling Social Unrest
- Syria's Stalled Revolution
- Prudent Multilateralism in Libya
- The Thinly Veiled Campaign for Regime Change
- Unexpected Revelations in Libyan Intervention
- President Obama's Most Amazing Libyan Achievements
- Libya: Insanity Dawn
- Obama's Half-a-Loaf War
- Obama Said He Doesn't Mind Criticism on Libya Mission in Latin America
- What Happened to the American Declaration of War?
- The Power of Giving Back
- Safety on the Cheap
- Egyptian Elections: the Sooner, the Better
- The Libyan Question: What Now?
- Obama's 'Goldilocks' Doctrine
- War Number Three
- Un-Unified Oppositions in Bahrain and Yemen
- Japanese Earthquake Brings Back Sad Memories
- 5 Reasons Investors Should Not Bail on Japan
- Japan's Nuclear Crisis Reignites Safety Debate
- Military Involvement in Libya Costs Taxpayers Millions
- United Nations Relevance
- A Mother's Confession on Mothers' Day
- Middle East Crisis: Today's Events in the Middle East
- World's Costliest Disaster
- Japan Crisis: Video Reports 3/23/2011
- Israel Faces a Culture of Hatred and Violence
- Yemen in Crisis: A Special Report
- Libya, the West and the Narrative of Democracy
- Libya Crisis: Video Reports 3/22/2011
- Japan Crisis: Video Reports 3/22/2011
- Libya Crisis: Video Reports 3/20/2011
- Libya Crisis: Implications of the Cease-Fire
- The Libyan War of 2011
- Libyan Forces Approach Benghazi
- Taming Chaos with a Personal Plan
- The Threat to Israel From the 'New' Middle East
- The United States Finds Itself on the Outside Looking In
- Egypt and Tunisia Could Learn From Chile's Transition
- Japan's Crisis for Nuclear Power
- Chernobyl's Lessons for Japan
- Pakistan: Bad Investment for the United States
- Iran and the Saudis' Countermove on Bahrain
- Japan, the Persian Gulf and Energy
- Radiation Rising and Heading South in Japan
- Japanese Government Confirms Meltdown
- Bahrain and the Battle Between Iran and Saudi Arabia
- Officials Claim Positive Signs on Japanese Reactor
- Nuclear Meltdown at Quake-Damaged Japanese Plant
- U.S. Geologists Explain Science Behind Japanese Earthquake
- The Slow Decline of North America
- Will Libya Again Become the Arsenal of Terrorism?
- How a Libyan No-fly Zone Could Backfire
- Superpower Obligations
- Caught in the Middle East Minefield
- You Cannot Kill an Idea
- Democracy Must Be the Future of the Middle East
- Arab Revolutions Need Not Be Americanized
- 'New Chapter' in the Middle East
- Embarrassing Times for Al Qaeda
Available at Amazon.com:
Copyright 2011, TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.