Opinion

The death of Osama bin Laden: Victory at a terrible cost

About 3,000 people died in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Since then, nearly 5,900 U.S. service members have died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

About 100,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed since the U.S. invasion and in the last four years nearly 10,000 Afghan civilians have been killed.

Last summer the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars was estimated to top $1 trillion, money the country does not have.

Bin Laden’s death, announced Sunday, is a significant victory in the U.S.’s war on terrorism. Coming almost 10 years after 9/11, and seven years after the invasion of Iraq, it is also a reminder of how badly the mission has been bungled, how many lives and billions of dollars were wasted and how Americans have been misled.

The wars are not over, the killing and suffering will go on, as will the profiteering, plus the cynicism of the political parties as their followers scramble to argue that Bush, no, Obama deserves credit.

It is not a difficult task to justify killing bin Laden, the world is better off without him. More difficult is to justify the cheering.

Considering how many lives have been ruined, the mountains of bodies and lies, the bottomless grief and suffering, the hard, cold question needs to be asked:

Is celebration the appropriate response?

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