Jim's Column

Good Riddance

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Washington, May 6, 2011 | Wendy Riemann ((202) 225-5101) | comments

World history was made on May 1: Osama bin Laden was finally found and killed.  To him I say good riddance.

For decades this man terrorized the world and remains responsible for the killing thousands of people, including thousands of Americans on September 11, 2001.  In many ways, he was the Hitler of today’s generation.  I believe it is better that he was killed before he could kill more innocent civilians, or be captured and granted a global stage for his message. 

The hunt for this awful man continued through three presidential administrations: Clinton, Bush and Obama. It did not come easy; it did not come without great sacrifices; and it did not come without making tough decisions. 

President Obama made a gutsy decision in giving the okay for this mission and he should be commended for that. 

We must also give credit to the team of Navy SEALS who risked their lives to complete this mission, not fully knowing what they would encounter inside the compound or whether they would survive the night.  I take my hat off to them for accomplishing the mission with no American causalities, and I am secure in my belief that our Navy SEALS did what they felt needed to be done. 

Gratitude must also be expressed to former President George W. Bush.  Shortly after that tragic September day in 2001, President Bush stood on a pile of rubble where the Twin Towers once anchored the New York City skyline, and vowed that we would hunt down Osama bin Laden and bring the terrorists to justice.  Through his work, combined with the efforts of countless intelligence officials; the blood, sweat, and tears of our Armed Forces; and President Obama and his team – freedom truly prevailed this week.

America kept her promise to the thousands of men and women we lost on September 11, and their loved ones who miss them every day.  We continue to honor all of them. 

While we can give thanks that this news has finally arrived and this terrorist is no longer a direct threat, our vigilance must remain.  The threat to Americans, the threat to our nation, and the threat to freedom continue to loom and are a very real presence.  The snake’s head has been removed, but the snake is still very much alive.  We must not let our guard down.  We must keep moving forward as we still have work to do.       


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