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Bin Laden's Death Leaves Unanswered Questions
Barbara Beckwith
Source: St. Anthony Messenger magazine
Published: Sunday, July 3, 2011
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A tribute poster hangs on a phone booth outside the World Trade Center site in New York May 5.
I’m relieved Osama bin Laden is dead. There, I’m glad I said it. I wasn’t one of those out in Times Square cheering, but then I don’t live in New York City, which took the major hit on 9/11.

Several of my relatives live in the area and lost loved ones that day. Sean O’Neill, the son of a dear Catholic press colleague, died when the World Trade Center towers collapsed. All 2,983 victims of 9/11—those in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania—may rest more easily now. The architect of those attacks—and others like the one on the U.S.S. Cole, the embassies in North Africa and the trains in Madrid and London—cannot do it again.

But others will take up the gauntlet; bin Laden had confederates who will go on. Now we have to worry about Pakistan, which has nuclear weapons.

Technically, the U.S. Navy SEALs and other special forces invaded a sovereign country to carry out a night raid. Granted, President George W. Bush announced after the 9/11 attacks that the United States would go after terrorists and into countries that gave sanctuary to them. But was that sufficient warning to satisfy the just-war requirement and make this attack “legal”?

One era has ended, but with the growth and dispersal of Al-Qaida around the globe, who is to say what the next decade will bring?

Click here to read the rest of the editorial from the July issue of St. Anthony Messenger.

This article also appears in the e-book Franciscan Voices on 9/11.

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