Osama Bin Laden Killed: A Time for Celebration or Reflection? by Ambassador mo

Posted on at

Terrorism is not defeated, but it also does not lead the global agenda, unless we allow it. Celebrators in front of the White House may have been missing both points. This was not the moment of victory and end of conflict symbolized by the “celebratory kiss” of an American serviceman and woman nurse in Times Square (picture above) some 66 years earlier commemorating the end of WWII. Perhaps though, the greater celebration should be within the Islamic world. Bin Laden did kill more Muslims and create more conflict. Most importantly, he had become a siren causing many ships setting for something new to crash on his rather ideologically sparse island dooming many who ventured for a course of change. Will there though be any immediate change and redirection toward progress in places like Afghanistan? Probably not. Will it help revive economies and feed development and the hungry? Will it help in the reforms and change now sought on the streets of the Arab world? It at least helps remove a distraction. The most critical implications will be most evident though in how we define future priorities and agendas. This battle with terrorism, as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated, does not end with Bin Laden’s death. Terrorism under the brand name of Al-Qaeda or something else will continue, perhaps even re-energized for the brief moment as some try to claim Osama Bin Laden’s role in terrorist circles. However, the greatest danger is to become again fixated on “terrorism” as defining priorities in such absolutes for the United States or the free world. The more critical battle now is fought for the hearts and minds. The killing of Bin Laden while long time coming is proving very simple compared to winning the real wars in Afghanistan or Iraq where thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands have died; and victory, even its definition, remains elusive at best. Hunting down Bin Laden was a task that had a clear goal compared to the challenges facing us today. How to support but not intervene in change, long overdue in the Arab World? This last battle is one that deserves greatest priority as it will most greatly affect the future. The United Nations Secretary General has reacted with a brief statement, congratulatory mostly in tone. The international agenda though has already moved on to other issues gradually over the last decade. While understanding why America may be preoccupied with the satisfaction of exacting revenge with Bin Laden’s killing, the global community by and large has already been looking ahead to the new defining moments, many of which may already be underway regardless of Bin Laden dead or alive. Undoubtedly, a few may not be inclined to re-enforce the sense of self-satisfaction by some in the US. Much of the global community is back to whispering about United States’ perceived “arrogance” in less flattering terms comparable to pre 9/11/2001 periods. However, there is also a realization that the “war on terrorism” was becoming self-absorbing and even diversionary to objectives that would actually defeat religious radicalism as well as terrorism over the long term. The celebrations in front of the White House last night reflected more a victory in a sports championship. That has been the increasing tendency to perceive politics and war in terms of the team colors of jerseys worn – in terms of “us” and “them.” The game though is not over. It is never over, but particularly when trying to shape the future rather than define the past with an instantly gratifying score. The challenge though is to the Muslim world as well. Osama Bin Laden was a man of the past in death and in life. His past was not authentic either, but a very myopic view of what served authoritarianism under any theology or ideology. It is the wind of change, democracy and openness that blows now, and needs to be recognized as the most significant dynamics in the battle against terrorism as well as reactionary politics. By Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey Face Book at "Diplomatically Incorrect" Twitter - DiplomaticallyX

About the author


"Voice of the Global Citizen"- Diplomatically Incorrect (diplomaticallyincorrect.org) provide film and written reports on issues reflecting diplomatic discourse and the global citizen. Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey (@MuhamedSacirbey) is former Foreign Minister Ambassador of Bosnia & Herzegovina at the United Nations. "Mo" is also signatory of the Rome Conference/Treaty establishing the International…

Subscribe 0