01 May 2011

Osama Bin Laden's Death: Is the War Over?

Osama Bin Laden's death brings justice to a very evil man, and is a blow against a very evil network. Congratulations to the American military forces involved. I understand these included US Navy Seals. They are heros. You don't mess with the Navy Seals!

President Obama's speech tonight was very good. He took the high ground. Well done!

Now, our hope is that this is the beginning of the end of the war against terrorism. This can occur if the war was based on personality, that is, on the person of bin Laden. If he is the equivalent of Hitler, then the war may indeed be over. With Hitler's death, the core Nazi movement also died leaving behind the petty hatred of those we now call "Neo-Nazis."

So, I cannot help but consider that if the motivation of those involved with bin Laden is based on more than personality, that it is a clash of ideas with unresolved issues still persisting, then the war will indeed take a different turn, but will not necessarily be over. I pray this is not the case because I, too, want this war over.

We must remember that bin Laden's organization is a network, not a hierarchical authority as was the Nazi government. These sort of networks thrive because they are based on ideas which guide the actions of its members. Killing the leader does not necessarily mean the movement ends. Rather, the war against terrorism will effectively be over when one side or another wins the political war, which is a war of ideas. A good book to read about networks is The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations by Ori Brafman and Rod A Beckstrom.

So, if bin Laden's death takes away the mind and heart of this terrorist network, then the war will be over. Let us all hope this is the case.