Monday, May 2, 2011

Usama Bin Laden is Dead

Usama Bin Laden is dead, and so ends a 10-year manhunt across Afghanistan and Pakistan.  He was discovered in Pakistan, in a mansion eight times the size of the other houses in the neighborhood.  Significantly nicer digs than the spider hole they pulled poor Saddam Hussein out of a few years back.  

As I'm watching the cheering crowds at the White House and Times Square in New York, I'm having a hard time getting into a celebratory mood.   I am glad they finally got him and I'm incredibly proud of our U.S. military for conducting what seems to be a flawless surgical strike on the compound.  But this event raises some difficult questions and should be cause for much concern.  

The big question is why Bin Laden was apparently given refuge in Pakistan, which is supposed to be our ally in this "War on Terror."  We are giving them a LOT of foreign aid to buy their friendship - $7.5 billion over 5 years - which technically, we're borrowing from countries like China. 

The other question in the air is whether there will be retaliation for the assassination of Bin Laden.  If the radical Islamists responded to a Koran burning in Florida by rioting and murdering innocent U.N. workers, what will they do about the death of a fellow Muslim at the hands of American soldiers?  Add to that the fact that his body is in m U.S. custody and photos of his corpse are already circulating on the internet.  U.S. officials are saying they will bury him by sundown tomorrow, in accordance with Islamic requirements.  Where will they bury him?  We're being told a burial at sea is being considered.  Add Muslim burial ceremonies to the every-growing list of functions of the Federal government. 

UPDATE:  CNN is reporting that U.S. officials say Bin Laden has been buried at sea.    Who had the unfortunate job of washing Bin Laden's body in accordance with Islamic law?  That's a disturbing visual image, isn't it? Let the conspiracy theories begin.

We need to pray fervently for our men and women in uniform and for missionaries in Islamic countries.  This will be a very dangerous time for them.

The other elephant in the room that no one seems to be discussing is the curious timing of the shuffling at the Department of Defense and the CIA.  You may recall that last Thursday, in the midst of this operation, the President appointed CIA Director Leon Panetta to be the new Defense Secretary and appointed General Petraeus to head the CIA.  In the middle of what will possibly be the most important military operation of the year.   There will be many months of fall-out from this event and the Obama administration decided it was a good time to mix it up.  Why?  

Now, I'd like to share a summary of some of the articles and blog posts about Bin Laden's demise:

"May 1st, the day that Usama Bin Laden's life came to an end and the day that he found out that the story about the 72 virgins waiting for him on the other side was bunk" (John Scott, Fox News).

Oh yes he did say that!  

Osama Gets His Virgins - HUMAN EVENTS:
"But in reality, while the death of bin Laden is fine news, and is certainly a psychological blow to the jihadis and a confidence-booster for Americans, it really won't change anything. 
The role of al-Qaeda in the global jihad, and the role of Osama bin Laden in al-Qaeda, have both been wildly overstated. Al-Qaeda is not the only Islamic jihad group or Islamic supremacist group operating today, and Osama bin Laden was not some charismatic leader whose movement will collapse without him. The exaggeration of his role, in fact, was a result of the general unwillingness to face the reality that the global jihad is a movement driven by an ideology, not an outsized personality, and that that ideology is rooted in Islam. "

Although this is a time of exuberance, rejoicing and healing, America, as well as our allies, must be vigilant and on guard for retaliatory attacks from the extreme Islamic world.  What strongly concerns me is that bin Laden was not found hiding in a remote cave, but in an urban area of Pakistan where the Pakistan Army’s premier training institution operates. This is a war that is no where close to being over" (Rep. Allen West R-FL)..

At the Mets - Phillies game, the crowd erupted into chants of U-S-A after news started to circulate around the stadium:


Michelle Malkin says the following:

"Meanwhile, Democrat hacks are burning the midnight oil making this All About Obama.
It begins: “New DNC chief: Obama deserves credit for bin Laden killing.”
A Huffington Post reporter gloats: “Chants of ‘four more years!’ in front of WH.”
College kids in front of the White House are chanting “Yes We Can!” according to a beaming CNN reporter.
Spotted at the White House gathering: “Latinos for Obama” sign.
So much for that we-are-one unity President Obama invoked earlier tonight, eh?"


 "U.S. warns of anti-American violence after bin Laden death Why? Aren't moderate Muslims thronging the streets, dancing in celebration and handing out candy? Didn't bin Laden represent a Tiny Minority of Extremists™ despised by the Vast Majority of Peaceful Muslims?"

The U.S. government is also adding Muslim burials to it's every-growing list of activities.  Apparently, Bin Laden will be buried by sundown tomorrow, in accordance with Islamic laws.  Robert Spencer from Jihad Watch asks why:
 "After all, didn't Barack Obama say this tonight? 
'We must also reaffirm that the United States is not and never will be at war with Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader. He was a mass murderer of Muslims.'
 So why is the body of a mass murderer of Muslims being handled in accordance with Islamic tradition? Aren't U.S. officials thereby tacitly acknowledging that bin Laden was a Muslim leader, notwithstanding Barack Obama's protestations to the contrary? 
And if Osama was indeed a Muslim leader, what are the implications of that for U.S. policy?
There's a question no one in official Washington will dare to answer." 


Finally, Denny Burke offers us a theological perspective on the death of Usama bin Laden:
1. Romans 13:4, “It does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.” If ever there were a just use of force, this was it. The U.S. government carried out its God-ordained task and has acted as the minister of God bringing His wrath upon one who practiced evil. The U.S. government isn’t God’s only minister of the sword. But tonight was our night, and I am grateful that justice was served.
 2. Hebrews 10:31, “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Isaiah 33:14, “Who among us can live with the consuming fire? Who among us can live with continual burning?” I shudder to think of what Bin Laden is facing right now. I do not question the justice of it, but I can hardly bear to contemplate the horror of it. If my thinking is defective now, it won’t always be. The day will come when God will command me to rejoice in His justice in the damanation of the wicked (Revelation 18:20). Until then, the horror should serve as a motivation to warn people to flee the wrath to come (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 2 Corinthians 5:18-21).
3. I think Christians are right to contemplate how jubilation (like we see on TV right now) is consistent with Ezekiel 33:11, “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live.” So I can understand why Christians may be asking, “If God is not delighting in the death of the wicked, then how can we?” I think there is confusion on this point because this verse is easily misunderstood. The second part of the verse is key to understanding its meaning. The text is not trying to say that God never delights in the death of the wicked. Rather, the verse means that God prefers for sinners to repent rather than to perish. If they refuse to repent, God delights in His own justice enough to punish them appropriately (Jeremiah 18:11). We have to be willing to praise God for His justice one way or the other (Revelation 19:1-3). 

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