In the current essay I would like to consider the significance of the death of Osama bin Laden. To begin with it should be noted that on Sunday evening (1st of May 2011) U.S. President announced that during the American raid in northern Pakistan Osama bin Laden was killed. After the September 11 attacks, the elimination of the leader of al-Qaeda was the obsession for U.S. military. “We can say that justice is done”¯ ”“ said Barack Obama in his speech.
It can be said that, in my opinion, the death of bin Laden ”“ is a landmark moment in the war on terrorism. However, there are two options of further actions: either the death of the leader of al-Qaeda will breathe new energy into his supporters, or it can help reverse the situation in Afghanistan and will give an additional argument for the withdrawal of military troops. In turn it can be said that the news of the death of Osama bin Laden inspired the world: the crowds of people gathered near the White House and applauded, waiting for the president, who officially confirmed the death of the number one terrorist, as stated in Osama bin Laden obituary.
As a matter of fact, elimination of bin Laden was the number one goal for U.S. military during the last 10 years. Although bin Laden for more than three years did not appear in public, he continued to remain a symbol, a man who managed to realize a dream, even a decade ago seemed unattainable: to internationalize jihad and spread terror through alliances with groups all around the world. The ability of Osama bin Laden’s influence on the institutions of American national security is evident even after his death. Today, in order to avoid reprisals from Bin Laden’s supporters, military bases around the world are on high alert. The U.S. Department of State on Sunday (1st of May) issued a warning to U.S. citizens worldwide about their impending danger, citing to increased likelihood of anti-American violence after the counter-terrorism operation in Pakistan, as described in Bin Laden’s Quiet End.
However, the symbolic meaning of bin Laden’s death can not be overestimated, especially for the U.S., because the U.S. could not catch or kill bin Laden during the entire presidency of George W. Bush. In turn, for Obama the possibility of internal attack from al-Qaeda and its related entities carried in itself a threat to national security and political threat. It should be noted that in his speech the current U.S. president admitted that the death of bin Laden does not mean the end of al-Qaeda or the cessation of terrorist threats against the United States and its allies. The fact is that the movement of Osama bin Laden today has secondary importance in the struggle for power in the Muslim world. It is essential to note that on the ground, al-Qaeda has eclipsed its rivals – Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, as described in Osama bin Laden obituary. Since the mid 2000’s the United States call their main enemy so-called “axis of resistance”¯ that united under the leadership of Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas. All of them are much stronger than al-Qaeda, which is based on the nationalist movements and local factors. They are struggling with a specific enemy, presenting them clear claims and pushing theoretically achievable. Bin Laden has found that only a spectacular military operation, even against the hated enemy, not necessarily raise the people to revolt against local tyrants or fight with him. Many Arabs believe that the September 11 attacks staged by CIA or Mossad. It is widely known that only a small minority of Muslims believe that terrorism is the appropriate response to U.S. actions in the Middle East. Moreover, even new major terrorist attack will not save the al-Qaeda from the internal crisis, as stated in Osama’s death: What next for al-Qaeda? I presume that al-Qaeda has already played its unifying role and currently cannot pretend to be the leader of world terrorism and currently other terrorist organizations are the most dangerous for the U.S.
To sum it up I would like to say that in my opinion, al-Qaeda and bin Laden has already played their main roles ”“ they demonstrated that they can wage war with the United States ”“ the country, which supports and defends democracy all over the world. Bin Laden has proved to the terrorists all over the world that this is possible and now we can only eliminate the rest of his supporters, for example from Hezbollah or Hamas. Of course, the importance of bin Laden’s death is hard to overestimate, because thus the United States demonstrated to the whole world what expects its enemies – death and the punishment is inevitable, it is just a matter of time. Who knows, maybe after the bin Laden’s death many terrorists will think about themselves and abandon their plans? I really hope so.