BOSTON (CBS) – Forget about politics, religion, how you feel about our war on terror. The death of Osama bin Laden is great news for humanity on a very basic level – it removes from our midst one of the most bloodthirsty murderers of all time.
Bin Laden’s first known violence against civilians came in 1992, the bombing of a hotel in Aden that killed two people. This was a meager slaughter by bin Laden’s usual standards, but it reportedly spurred the issuance of an in-house al-Qaeda policy justifying the killing of innocent bystanders on the grounds that if they were true believers in bin Laden’s extremist beliefs, they would simply be getting an early pass to paradise, and if they weren’t, then they would be getting what they deserved.
Listen to Jon‘s commentary:
This bloodcrazed killer quickly graduated to larger kills. He was a key instigator of a war in Algeria that ended in the death of more than 150,000 Algerians. There was the 1997 massacre in Egypt where tourists visiting the pyramids were slaughtered and their bodies mutilated. bin Laden’s alliance with the Taliban in Afghanistan also led to thousands more dead.
Keller @ Large: Winners & Losers Of Bin Laden’s Death
By 2001, he had demonstrated clearly that he was not just risking civilian lives in pursuit of a political goal – he was specifically targeting civilians as a tactic in a military campaign with genocide against non-believers as its ultimate purpose. Then on September 11, with the mass murder of US civilians in two non-military targets in New York City, bin Laden secured his status as one of the most destructive killers of modern times.
I’ll leave analysis of the fallout of bin Laden’s death on global security and international relations to others for now.
All I can say is, he got what he had coming to him a long time ago.
His passing leaves the world a significantly better place. And I can only hope the tens of thousands of survivors around the world who had their lives shattered by Osama bin Laden can extract some measure of peace from his deservedly violent end.
You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.