As every last soul has surely heard by now, Osama bin Laden is dead. Finally located and taken out by American special forces, the death of bin Laden marks a significant moment for America. The occasion was marked by numerous celebrations and expressions of profound relief and satisfaction, coupled with a harsh brushing of the wounds left by 9/11. Whether it helps Obama’s political fortunes is yet to be seen, but it surely has raised Americans’ spirits.
But one question still remains in the minds of many - were the sacrifices we have made up to this point worth it? Over the past nine years Americans have had their privacy invaded, their values called into question, and their coffers tapped to fund two wars expensive in both treasure and blood. We’ve certainly engaged in some ugly practices in our anger over what bin Laden did to us on that fall day in 2001. Your average citizen may never know the true extent of the things done in the name of fighting terrorism.
It’s clear to me then that we have paid an immense price for this victory, one that is hard to justify in retrospect. It’s hard to look at the way our lives have profoundly changed and not say that, despite the fact that his life ended at the point of an American rifle, Osama bin Laden will go down as a victor. His actions have altered the American landscape permanently and have led us to do things that we ought be ashamed of.