Osama bin Laden’s death: a Pyrrhic victory?

I am very weirded out by all the sudden bursts of patriotism following Osama bin Laden’s death. Even President Obama said something to the effect of, “This goes to show that when Americans set out to do something, we can accomplish anything.” Really? An assassination (and one that took 10 years, no less) is a symbol of our can-do spirit? (There were also impromptu rallies outside the White House, Ground Zero, Times Square, etc.)

Nothing is more ironic to me than the fact that, in Osama Bin Laden’s assassination, we have achieved the ultimate Pyrrhic victory: we have finally eliminated the physical presence of the principal challenger of American values over the last decade, and yet our collective reaction to this killing demonstrates how clearly and decisively bin Laden won the war on our values. We lost sight of absolutely everything and went crazy for ten years (torture, followed by a national refusal to call it torture, not to mention the bloodlust that led us to attack an unrelated country, Iraq, and even now continues to agitate for military action against Iran, etc. etc.). Then, to cap it all off, it took less than a day following bin Laden’s killing for people to come out of the woodwork and claim torture was the reason we were able to find him.

Somehow, I think Osama bin Laden would be OK with all of this.

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About Jay Pinho

Jay is a data journalist and political junkie. He currently writes about domestic politics, foreign affairs, and journalism and continues to make painstakingly slow progress in amateur photography. He would very much like you to check out SCOTUSMap.com and SCOTUSSearch.com if you have the chance.

0 thoughts on “Osama bin Laden’s death: a Pyrrhic victory?

  1. It is good to keep our eyes open to who has won in this situation. I agree that elements of what was used are not something I agree with, and yet, I do not agree with the taking of innocent lives ever. It is a difficult place to be in to weigh whether, we should do something to save more lives, or lose more lives.
    I’m glad I did not have to make such crucial decisions.

    1. Agreed. Without a doubt, armchair diplomacy is incredibly easy. That said, it is frustrating to see the degree to which the knee-jerk reaction of so many people to bin Laden’s assassination (execution?) has been to embrace torture and other illegal and immoral activities as justified, when it’s not.

What do you think?