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A death, and a victory
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Ordinarily, we wouldn’t celebrate the violent death of another human being. Until late Sunday night when President Obama told the world its worst terrorist was dead at the hands of American forces.

History is peppered with the bloody trails of mass murderers — Adolf Hitler, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Saddam Hussein — and Osama bin Laden was among them. Perhaps his swath of death and destruction wasn’t as widespread as the others, but his wanton and callous disregard for the sanctity of life and his slaughter of the innocents, of women and children and noncombatants, earns him the ignoble distinction of one of humanity’s most despicable creations.

For years, bin Laden has called for attacks upon U.S. servicemen and upon U.S. civilians and institutions. He was the one who called for the first attacks on the World Trade Center back in the 1990s and the bombing of the USS Cole in a Yemeni port.

But since what started out as a brilliant, late summer day now nearly 10 years ago became one of the darkest days in American history, bin Laden has been Public Enemy No. 1. Bin Laden wasn’t just striking at as many Americans as possible that day — and many others of many other nationalities, religions and backgrounds also were needlessly butchered by the hijackers that morning — but he was lashing at America’s symbols of power. The World Trade Center. The Pentagon. And who knows where Flight 93, which wound up plummeting into a Pennsylvania field thanks to the courage of its passengers, would have crashed into.

Finding his whereabouts through the rugged, treacherous mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan proved an arduous and difficult task for American forces and our allies. Meanwhile, his lieutenants and collaborators, according to the Associated Press, began telling interrogators that a trusted bin Laden courier might very well be living with the Al-Qaeda leader and founder.

Intelligence agencies, tracking that courier, discovered the compound that might be hiding bin Laden. Eventually, they came to the conclusion that the compound had to be hiding bin Laden.

To his credit, President Obama said his goal was to get bin Laden and he took the bold course of action before him — send in the highly-trained, highly-skilled Navy SEALs for a raid in the dead of night in a foreign country without letting that nation know what was afoot beforehand.

The world’s most notorious terrorist was granted the opportunity to surrender. He refused. And he was shot in the head as a result of his incalcitrance.

His death does not end the War on Terror. Al Qaeda will go on and its aim of America’s destruction will too — but without its figurehead and inspiration, how effective it will be in carrying out its murderous deeds is unknown.

The man who blatantly showed an utter lack of respect for life, any human life, has now been killed, paying for his aggression and his hatred with his own.

The world will not miss him.