I don’t find anyone’s death a cause for celebration, even one who has done so much violence as Osama bin Laden. Furthermore, his death doesn’t mean that the wars are over, we can send the troops home, and we will never have to take our shoes off at the airport ever again. We may have killed the man, but we haven’t yet killed his ideas: Blame others for our problems and solve those problems with violence. I worry that by celebrating, we’re doing more to bolster his ideas than defeat them.
I did see one area for hope. Our military, even though he and his proxies have caused the deaths of thousands of our citizens and their comrades-in-arms, still gave him a proper Muslim burial. They made sure that his body was properly prepared and was buried within 24 hours, as required by Islamic law. Even in the heat of combat, we can still treat our enemies with dignity. We showed a morality that our enemies lack.
The way to battle evil is not to lower ourselves to its level. That’s how evil forces can defeat us — letting us become like them. Decency, compassion, and respect are not just nice words — they are our main defense against evil. By maintaining our human decency in the face of evil, we can assure victory for ourselves and all humanity.