After the better part of a decade of trying, we've finally done it.
So, apparently, the US military has finally managed to find and kill al-Quaida leader Osama bin Laden. This is good news. The guy had it coming.
For those who might have forgotten or maybe don't know, here's a little history. About ten years ago, on September 11, 2001, the United States was attacked by terrorists who hijacked four jetliners, three of which were crashed into buildings. The fourth the passengers managed to force into the ground before it reached its target.
Two of the planes that reached their targets hit the two main towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. The third hit the Pentagon. The one that was forced down by the passengers was in Pennsylvania.
Ultimately, the death toll was somewhere in the area of 3000, if memory serves. But there was more damage done than just lives lost and infrastructure destroyed. It also affected the US economy, and perhaps even the entire world's economy.
At the time, I was working what I would soon learn was a temp job at the Gateway computer factory in my hometown. I was on the job the day it happened. Because, I am tempted to think, of some sort of ripple effect, about two months later, I wound up looking for another job because Gateway had begun laying off workers as the company shrank. I can't help but wonder if there's some connection between those of us who lost jobs in the short term after the attack and the actual attack itself.
But worse than that is the fact that these attacks sent the US to war in the Middle East. This has been going on for the last ten years, and given the relative instability in that area in general, and also North Africa, I find myself wondering how much longer this will continue. There have been hundreds of lives ended in this military action and thousands more forever altered by these deaths and injuries sustained by this action.
Now the guy most likely to have masterminded the attacks that started it all is dead. I would say it's definitely a good thing by all means. I will, of course, be waiting for pictures of the body before I really really believe that it's actually happened. But given the number of reports I'm seeing saying that this has happened, I'm willing to believe it.
All that's really left now is to hope we can begin winding down our military involvement in that part of the world. There are other things we can do with that money, other things those troops can do with their time now that the big job over there is done.
Let's hope we can get on to bigger and better things.