Former President George W. Bush and his choice for Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, have been vindicated. Eight years ago today, the President declared “Mission Accomplished.” Their patient work over eight long years has been justified and they can know that history will credit them with much of what it took to get this job done.
Pakistan can claim credit for aiding the United States in bringing a form of justice to help right a terrible wrong.
And President Barack Hussein Obama can breathe a sigh of relief. His wisdom in not interfering with his military and intelligence apparatus to allow them to do the job they are sworn to do no doubt was a large part of this. Obama did not blow it. That is his main accomplishment.
But the real accomplishment the President can gain real credit for would be to completely re-align United States Foreign Policy in the Middle East Region and with much of the Islamic World.
The death of bin Laden will no doubt make him a martyr to the cause of Jihad and Islamic justice in our world. Millions will rally to the banner in the face of this bitter disappointment to them. But if the United States were to declare victory in the war to respond to the immediate causes of the 911 Tragedy and reach out yet again to the Islamic World it would be a great day for peace and justice in our world. Democracy and economic justice along with real respect for the cultures of these people all over the globe and new respect for Muslim Americans would do more than all the killing we have seen since 911.
Our soldiers have performed magnificently. Those training are ready to do what has to be done whatever the mission. But an opportunity is presenting itself and whether or not the United States embraces this opportunity will tell the world a great deal about us and our level of maturity as a nation-state and a people.
Restraint, understanding, cooperation, respect, along with an insistence that the very same is returned to us is what is now needed. We could send the proper message to the world by declaring this event the crowning victory in the conventional military war against terror and bring the troops home from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya.
The war on terror behind the scenes, with the cooperation of virtually all of our partners in the world to forestall terrorist acts can go on unabated. We have teams of military personnel to use anywhere in the world when this sort of mission is required. But maintaining so many conventional forces around the world now is no longer needed.
Christ’s command before leaving this Earth was to love one another. The Quran speaks of hospitality and love also. Every major faith in our world does the same.
A Middle East where Turkey is a major player with our cooperation following their lead, and where we continue to support Israel but insist on justice in Gaza and the West Bank and really reaching out to be a force for peace by our good example can do so much to diminish the status of bin Laden the Martyr.
Most of all, those of us of faith should pray today for the families and victims of 911 and so many other tragedies around our world and be in solidarity with them. If not of faith, we can express that sentiment to our leaders. We can thank again all the First Responders who met the test that terrible day in September we all remember too well.
A door has opened. The opportunity for a more peaceful and tranquil Middle East that supports democracy and economic justice and respect for Islam as one of the world’s great faiths is there. Will the United States grasp this great opportunity? The event just announced can as the President said lead to greater unity in the United States as well.