Commentary By Gery L. Deer
Deer In Headlines
As the free world celebrates the final demise of Osama Bin Laden, it’s important to keep the victory in perspective. The death of this vicious murderer signals neither the end of global terrorism nor the collapse of Al Qaeda.
Security has been increased at air ports and military bases around the country and the world in preparation for possible retaliatory strikes against the United States. Officials at the Department of Homeland Security did not immediately raise the terror threat level, but are telling the media that they are keeping a, “heightened state of vigilance.”
Once the jubilation settles down, Americans will be saying, “Ok, we got him, now what?” Good question. The answer is that there is no answer. When Adolf Hitler was confirmed dead, the world celebrated. Needless to say, Hitler killed millions more than Bin Laden, but the sentimental comparison is similar.
The difference was that Hitler, for all of his madness, was the leader of a definable government. Once Berlin fell and Hitler was dead, the healing could begin. German citizens could begin rebuilding their country and try to undo the horrors he’d laid at their feet.
Bin Laden, on the other hand, was the leader of an ideal more so than an organization. His murderous followers firmly believe in the fanatical ideas that he preached, most notably that the United States and its allies are the evil scourge of the world and should be eradicated.
There is no doubt that they will continue his efforts undaunted by his death. If anything, he’s now a martyr to them, possibly fueling their fanaticism even further.
The so-called “War on Terror” is not over, by any stretch of the imagination, but the world can breathe for a minute while a stunned Al Qaeda regroups. American and Allied forces will continue their efforts to smoke out the remaining leaders of the organization and fight for freedom and the safety of all the world’s people.
Every free citizen of the world should be mindful of the level of destruction of which crazed fanatics like Bin Laden are capable. It can all happen again. Government leaders should be careful who they befriend. Where will the next threat come from – a terror group, or an organized government?
Instead of airplanes into buildings, the next attack could be nuclear bombs that wipe out an entire city. Intelligence agencies are working hard to stop these actions before they even get out of the planning stages. So far, they’ve managed to stay ahead of the terrorists, but America must not let her guard down for even a moment.
National security is still of the utmost importance. Every day, terror groups are recruiting new members and global intelligence organizations will do everything possible to keep them under surveillance.
In the meantime, how will the death of the world’s most notorious terrorist affect the daily lives of average Americans? With the possible exception of crackpot conspiracy theorists who believe the U.S. government arranged the 9/11 attacks, most Americans will be celebrating Bin Laden’s death. But it is unlikely that there will be any dramatic change to day-to-day activities.
Alabama will continue its tornado recovery efforts. Congress will maintain bickering across the aisle about budget cuts and party objectives. Commuters will worry about rising gas prices and shrinking paychecks.
Kids will be rushed off to school in the morning and those who have been struggling to find work will do their best to remain hopeful and diligent. Life goes on.
What’s next? Only time will tell. Celebrations will continue for a time, but, eventually, people will become complaisant once again. Osama Bin Laden’s death may yield a false sense of security, but the very nature of the enemy behests vigilance and consistency.