A few more thoughts about last night:
Is it appropriate to celebrate the death of a human being? As Fallows said: “It is almost never right to celebrate a death. Almost.” I would not describe the celebrations going on in various cities as celebrating a death. I would describes as a profound relief and a deep satisfaction. Justice has finally been delivered.
Mostly it’s a feeling of vindication: a feeling that the death and maiming of so many of our best has been redeemed in some way:
There was a break in the kitsch. One man right next to the White House gate held up a picture of a young man in uniform and a folded flag — the kind of flag given to a family upon the death of a soldier. The man holding this was Thomas Cowen, a security contractor, and the man in the photo was Sumner, his late son. Sumner had fought in Iraq, gotten injured, and been sent home. While home, he took his life. When he heard the news about bin Laden, Thomas felt like there had been “vindication” for his son.
“My boy did what he needed to do,” he said. He went on to talk about how proud he was that bin Laden was killed by Americans, and as he talked, he was constantly interrupted by young revelers tapping him on the shoulder and thanking him.
Nothing can ever bring back those we have lost. But if, indeed, this is the breaking of Al-Qaeda, we can know that their sacrifices led to this. The leader of the vilest terrorist network in history has an American bullet in his brain. This has to weaken our enemy and make us safer.
There are many images and videos from last night. But this is the one that I find really striking: our leadership huddled around laptops watching a livefeed as they gambled they could bring down a monster.
They did. Well done.