Osama bin Laden was an international terrorist criminal who needed to be hunted down and captured or killed. There is no question (in my mind) about that. His death, however, does not mark the end of terrorism the way that the death of Hitler marked the end of WW2.
I can’t help but feel uncomfortable about the “celebrations” surrounding what amounts to an assassination. I understand that there is a sense of satisfaction. I understand that those who were personally touched by the events of 9-11 may feel a sense of closure. However, I don’t understand the chanting and flag waving. These celebrations are not about the end of any threat, but just about one man’s death taken in revenge (and, admittedly, justice). Frankly, I find it a little disturbing to treat this as a celebration. I think that it demeans us as a civilization.
Celebrations of this sort give power to those who need to find a vehicle for their hatred. They encourage people to dredge up feelings of hostility towards innocent Museums and other foreign cultures. They make us smaller and more petty as human beings and smaller as a world community.
I’m personally glad that bin Laden was caught, and I don’t even have a problem with his immediate execution, whether it was necessary under the circumstances or not. There are lots of reasons for a party, though, and this isn’t one of them.