AssessingtheimpactofOsamabinLa

<>Osama bin Laden is dead. The Saudi multimillionaire, who founded al-Qaida and masterminded the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York, was killed in a firefight with a U.S. SEAL team in a Pakistani resort and buried at sea on Sunday. Americans streamed to the site of the World Trade Center, where more than 3,000 people were killed in the nation's worst terrorist attack nearly a decade ago. Large groups also appeared at the gates of the White House as well as at town centers across the country to celebrate the death of the face of global terrorism.

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<>U.S. President Barack Obama said bin Laden's death was “the most significant achievement to date in our nation's efforts to defeat al-Qaida.” Former U.S. President George Bush, who declared war on terrorism and ordered the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, cautioned the war would go on. “But tonight,” he added, “America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done.” Yes, justice is done, but the war goes on.

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<>Bin Laden's death will no doubt bring a sense of closure to some survivors of the 9/11 attacks as well as a sense of security to the Western world. As Obama said Monday, “The world is safer. It is a better place because of the death of Osama bin Laden.” Many will agree with him, at least in the long-term. The world is on higher alert now as many fear that bin Laden's death will trigger reprisals from his supporters. The question is, how much safer is the world now?

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<>Al-Qaida survives. Bin Laden, its No. 1 martyr, is to be succeeded by Ayman Al-Zawahri, an Egyptian surgeon who is now in command of the world's largest terrorist group. Terrorist attacks will continue in what al-Qaida followers believe is a jihad or holy war. The extremists believe in an eye for an eye, a Judeo-Christian principle of retaliation which Jesus Christ tried to forgo. Interpol predicted a heightened risk and called for extra vigilance in case his fanatic adherents — there are many and his death won't shrink the ranks — try to avenge their leader.

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<>Islamic terrorism won't end until the problem of Palestine is solved. So long as peace fails to come between the Arabs and the Israelis, terrorism goes on. Is there any chance that the problem can be resolved? Not in any foreseeable future.

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<>The Palestinian Arabs, displaced by the Six-Day War of 1973, want to have a government of their own on the West Bank of the River Jordan. Israel, founded after the partition of Palestine after World War II, is afraid the Arabs within its territory may, with the help of their richer brethren, bury all the Jews in the Mediterranean. The United States, the guarantor of Israel's security, can't make the Arabs and the Israelis see eye to eye. The feud, which is almost as old as the Diaspora, can't be resolved in a few years.

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<>Perhaps one of the most substantial and lasting impacts of the top terrorist's death will be the boost it gives to Obama's national security credentials, which the Financial Times described as “bulletproof” after the eventful Sunday. Many have praised the composure and leadership Obama has shown in directing the operation that killed bin Laden, in particular the fact that he bypassed an easier option of simply bombing the mansion knowing that definitive proof of bin Laden's capture or death was key.

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<>Due to the staggering 50 percent drop in approval ratings the senior President Bush suffered after the first Gulf War until his defeat by Bill Clinton just months later, pundits are careful not to over-exaggerate the significance of bin Laden's death to Obama's re-election chances. But one thing is sure: opponents who are trying to paint Obama as an indecisive, cerebral leader out of touch with the American public will have a hard time making that case now that the president has delivered the Holy Grail of the “war on terror.”

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<>〈本文仅供参考,不代表本会立场〉

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