For once, I am at a loss for conclusions. I spent much of Monday on my computer, reading news articles, political commentators and the rabid prognostication of the online masses on message boards, trying to find out what exactly the consequences of Osama bin Laden’s death will be.
Will this provide an endgame scenario for the phasing out of troops from Afghanistan, or will the U.S. government, al-Qaida, some third party or all of the above use this development as justification for further violence?
All I, a lowly young adult with no real expertise on war or international politics, can do is hope for the best. I was 13 years old on Sept. 11, 2001, and in the following decade my generation saw the heinous attack propel the U.S. into two blood-soaked wars that changed the face of the world forever. Untold thousands of militants and innocents have lost their lives since then.
I will hope the termination of the criminal mastermind bin Laden, who is responsible for the deaths of so many Muslims and people of many other faiths, will bring to mind the importance of tolerance and the dangers of exceptionalist mentalities and us-versus-them rhetoric.
I know that threats at home and abroad to our safety still exist and probably will for the rest of my life, but I hope we will be vigilant as American citizens in safeguarding our own personal freedoms. I hope we will be hesitant to sacrifice those freedoms in the name of collective security.
I hope people my age realize the world today is different from the world we lived in as eighth-graders and that we have a hand in how things will come to pass 10 years from now.
I suppose it is contrary to reason to expect an act of war to bring about greater peace, but if that ever works, I hope it works this time around. We may not be able to control the goings on of the world stage directly, but the way we react to those events is up to us.