Staff Editorial: Bin Laden has become a martyr

Andrew Fergin

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Since Osama Bin Laden’s death there has been no shortage of celebration across the United States. However, while Bin Laden’s death has been cathartic for many Americans, it is a superficial achievement.

For nearly a decade the United States has been fighting what politicians dubbed the war on terrorism.  Fighting terrorism isn’t like fighting a nation though, it can’t be shot to death or put to rest by assassinating its leaders.  Yes terrorists can act in an organized manner but the only requirements to become a terrorist are sufficient hatred and enough to knowledge to kill another human being, for this reason the only way to truly fight terrorism is to fight the hate that feeds it.  Bin Laden’s death may have been satisfying for many Americans but it did nothing to quell the anti-American sentiments that bred terrorist organizations like Al-Queda in the first place.

Because he was killed outright instead of taken prisoner, Bin Laden has been transformed into a martyr of his cause in the eyes of many.  During an interview in Kandahar, a man wishing to remain anonymous said of Osama “He always predicted that he would be killed by Americans. Now he will become a fire that Muslims will follow for generations”.  The man also noted “Now he is the number one martyr for Al-Qaeda because he is stronger dead than alive,”

In an interview with CNBC Dennis Gartman, the founder of The Gartman Letter, said “There will be a lot of burning of American flags, there will be a lot of hanging of effigies of American political figures”.

Don’t mistake this article as a general criticism of America’s pursuit of.  The United States was entirely justified in striving to bring bin Laden to justice and the men and women who fought to track him should be lauded as heroes.  What’s being criticized here is that in our eagerness for retribution we forgot our primary objective.  Gartman put it best in his interview with CNBC when he said “The death of Osama Bin Laden is in fact the triumph of good over evil, but we have now created a martyr.”