Let me preface this by saying that I am not crying over bin Laden’s death (if it’s true this time). However, aside from quenching your thirst for retribution, in the grand scheme of things there is almost zero significance. Hell, for the better part of the past decade nobody even knew if he was still alive.
Symbolism? Yes. His death is symbolic in that it stirs up the sort of religious fervor, flag-waving, circle jerking blind nationalism that despots and tyrants have always used to their advantage. And for those who were personally affected by his actions, I suppose that symbolically they can feel that “justice” has been done.
But significant? No.
You are not going to be any safer. Al-Qaeda presents basically the same threat level that they presented yesterday, last week, or last year which is to say: virtually none. The “organization” has been essentially impotent since 9/11. Killing bin Laden neither strengthened nor weakened the organization.
Al-Qaeda is not going to disappear. The loose, networked organization known as Al-Qaeda is still out there. And although fear-mongers are already suggesting this event might incite some retaliatory action, I do not believe Al-Qaeda poses a significant threat.
America will not become more free. The Empire will not shut down military bases in over 100 countries, withdraw troops from far-away lands, lower your taxes, repeal the PATRIOT Act, change its belligerent foreign policy, cease funding death squads and overthrowing popularly-elected officials in third world countries so that giant corporations have easier and cheaper access to their abundant natural resources, etc.
So… Let’s all hail the savior Obama, who has succeeded in banishing the great Devil, Osama bin Laden! And then, go pour another cup of the “America! Fuck Yeah!” Kool-Aid and get good and drunk on that stuff. You’re gonna need it to deal with the fact that, on this great day in American history, nothing at all has changed.
Back to your regularly scheduled distractions: Royal Weddings, singing contests on TV, sporting events, and iPads.