Bin Laden is Dead. A Major Victory In A Long War
Osama bin Laden is dead. The fallout from 9/11 remains with us for some time to come. Yet there is no question that this is a major victory for the struggle against the global jihad movement.
The attacks on America on that awful day augured in what some call an age of terror (notwithstanding that jihadist terrorists had already been taking high-profile pot-shots at Western targets for several decades). That does not end with the arch-terrorist's untimely (yet long overdue) demise at the hands of American special forces. And the jihadist movement, of which Al Queda is now only a well-branded segement, will continue to pose lethal threats to NATO soldiers and innocent defenseless civilians alike.
But Osama bin Laden's death does have consequences. His audacious and horrific exploits captured the imagination of millions of psychotics from Illinois to Islamabad. After nearly a decade of evading capture or death, bin Laden had become a near-mythical symbol of resurgent and unstoppable holy war. A bullet-ridden corpse is all that remains of this internationally-renowned thug. This fact can't help but demoralize some of its more grounded adherents -- at least, those jihadists who may have thought that they could find reward in this material world as well as in Mohammad's vision of paradise.
A loss of morale is no small thing when applied to the legions of jihadists worldwide. For some time, morale was essentially the only thing going for the Islamist movement. The Taliban have no prospect of conquering Afghanistan (unless a deranged Karzai simply hands over the reigns). In Iraq, the Al Queda insurgency was decisively defeated. And in the West, police and security forces have helped to prevent freelance terrorists from carrying out all manner of lethal plots. Despite it all, the willingness of Islamist cells to carry out murderous atrocities has not abated.
The death of Osama bin Laden will send shockwaves through the ranks of the jihadist drones. Some will be motivated to carry out their attacks on an expedited timeline in revenge -- hopefully, security forces will benefit from the sloppiness of rushed jobs and be better positioned to prevent them. Many more perhaps will be dissuaded from attacks, understanding that jihadists have no natural immunity to justice in this world. There are other routes to heaven that don't involve getting locked up for 30 years in solitary confinement or gunned down by Navy Seals. Outside of the hard-core of the jihadist movement, perhaps some would-be fighters will turn in their truckloads of nitrate and jury-rigged detonators for more mundane modes of existence.
Tonight we celebrate a victory over our enemies. The war is not nearly over. But it is a victory, nonetheless.
Jonathon Narvey is the Editor of The Propagandist