4 November 2019

NOTE FROM NORM: The Death of a Terrorist is not the End of Terrorism

On May 11th, 2001 United States Special Operations Forces conducted a daring raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan and killed Osama bin Laden.

The architect of 9/11 who, on that day, killed nearly 3,000 innocents and subsequently was responsible for the loss of life of untold thousands of others afterward, died an ignominious death.

President Barack Obama, who ordered the raid, was rightfully applauded for his decision to authorize the dispatch of bid Laden.

On October 26th, 2019 United States Special Operations Forces conducted a daring raid in Idlib Governorate, Syria and killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Assuming control of ISIS in 2010, the terrorist leader was responsible for bringing the terrorist organization into creating a caliphate in Iraq and Syria.

President Donald Trump, who ordered the raid, has been rightfully applauded for his decision to authorize the dispatch of Baghdadi.

Each President stood up to the place of leadership that America, and the world, needed in directing American military forces to bring justice to those who have died at the hands of these two terrorist leaders.

In the end, though, regardless of who authorized the operation there is no disputing that the final credit goes to the brave men and women in our armed forces.

Every single second of every single minute of every single day the safety and security that America enjoys can be attributed to the commitment, dedication and service of the men and women who serve in our nation’s military.

It is their work, those whose work takes place behind the scenes and will never be known, and those on the front line whose very lives are at risk every day, who made the world safer with the killing of Osama bin Laden and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The killing of Baghdadi is a remarkable feat of intelligence, skill and persistence.

It deals a massive blow to an already reeling ISIS terrorist organization that now must attempt to remain relevant without a singular leader.

Yet, as the death of bin Laden has shown us, the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi does not mean the end of global terrorism.

There remain those in the world who truly believe their fanatical beliefs – whatever they may be – should be imposed upon people by ruthless force and persecution.

It has been this way since the first oppressor of human beings came to power on Earth.

We’ve seen it in more modern times Adolf Hitler of Germany under Nazi rule, Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union, the Kim Dynasty of North Korea and Mao Zedong of the People’s Republic of China.

We saw it with Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and we see it today with the Mullahs in Iran and the murderous regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

Vladimir  Putin in Russia and Xi Jinping of China are no slouches when it comes to imposing their will on the people of their own nations and have shown their willingness to do it to people of other nations, as well.

America’s role in the world is one which is needed today perhaps more than ever before.

We need not be engaged in every conflict around the globe, nor should we find ourselves feeling obligated to insert ourselves into every grievance big or small.

But there is a need for America to continue to be mindful that those who wished to do us harm on 9/11 and those since then have not stopped thinking about and planning for America’s demise.

Those who seek our destruction do so in ways both direct and indirect.  Attacks on our allies in an attempt to weaken them is an attempt to weaken us.

I know Americans have grown weary of what seem like never-ending conflicts in places like Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.

Yet, those who seek our destruction and to deprive us of our life, liberty and pursuit of happiness do not tire in their despotic desires.

Our vigilance cannot be turned on and off if we hope to remain a nation that is committed to freedom and liberty for all.

We cannot turn inward to protect our own security and disregard the needs of our allies when they are under attack from the same forces that seek our annihilation.

America will never be defeated by those whose only aspiration is to snuff out the aspirations of others if we heed the words of President George W. Bush given before a joint session of Congress on September 20th, 2011.

“We are not deceived by their pretenses to piety. We have seen their kind before. They are the heirs of all the murderous ideologies of the 20th century. By sacrificing human life to serve their radical visions — by abandoning every value except the will to power they follow in the path of fascism, and Nazism, and totalitarianism. And they will follow that path all the way, to where it ends: in history’s unmarked grave of discarded lies.”