Thoughts on the death of Osama Bin Laden:
1) If hell exists, and if OBL is not in it, then everything written about Christian theology and Christian ethics needs to be torn up into little teeny pieces.
2) Hooray for President Obama:
a) For going against his promise to close down Guantanamo, thereby continuing to harvest valuable information that enabled special forces to get OBL.
b) For not dismissing but retaining the wisdom of experienced Bush Administration senior staff like David Petraeus and Robert Gates.
c) For approving the surge in Afghanistan after dissing the successful surge in Iraq;
d) For stepping up drone warfare despite it being---let’s be frank---a targeted assassination policy and perhaps chasing OBL from the mountains into an urban area of Pakistan.
e) For making the final call to kill Osama Bin Laden through a boots-on-the-ground military operation and recover the body to dispel uncertainty.
3) President Bush deserves credit for building the military, intelligence, and technological infrastructure that enabled President Obama to finish the job, but he’s not getting much credit in mainstream news reports so far.
4) The celebration about the death of another human being, no matter how heinous, is distasteful.
5) But if we’re celebrating a big reduction in future terrorism, that’s okay.
6) Isn’t it amazing that there were no leaks about this operation for the past six months? Another hooray for President Obama.
7) The silver lining that some Republicans foresaw from the 2008 Obama victory—that the country would be more unified by military action from a Democratic President because he would not be subject to criticism—is proving correct though he started yet a third war, and renditions, American fatalities, targeted killings, and innocent deaths show few signs of abating.
8) President Obama’s order to kill three pirates in 2009 showed that he wasn’t afraid to use deadly force.
9) President George H.W. Bush was immensely popular after the victory at the end of the first Gulf War on February 28, 1991. 20 months later the senior Bush was voted out of office. President Obama is deservedly popular for the action he took yesterday, but he can’t rest on this accomplishment because the news cycle and the emotional swings of the electorate move much faster than in 1991.
10) We’re supposed to pray for the soul of Osama Bin Laden, but I’ll have a hard time doing that. No beatification for me.