The mastermind of 9/11 is dead and finally there will be peace and democracy in the region. There will be minority rights, gay rights, political rights and perhaps even women's rights, but that one's debatable. The USA can withdraw from Afghanistan now and just leave the country to govern itself.
What's that? Leaving Afghanistan would mean giving up a strategically crucial area which provides leverage against sworn enemy Iran, 'that other big country' Russia, and upcoming superpower India? No problem, they're just here to spread democracy and save the world and stuff!
If by now you didn't get that I was being sarcastic, do yourself a favor and press alt-f4.*
While OBL's death may provide Americans with some sort of psychological relief, it will change very little in the long term. Weeding out Osamas in a garden which is perfect for growing them, only has a temporary effect. Afghanistan, and even more so Pakistan is a perfect breeding ground for extremists such as Bin Laden. One needs to understand Cold War politics and current Pakistan/India politics in order to understand what the source is. I'll try to briefly mention some events:
- USSR Invasion of Afghanistan. The CIA financed, armed and trained extremists Bin Laden's to fight the Soviets for them.
- Bin Laden's frustration with the corrupt Arabic oil monarchies and American military presence in Saudi-Arabia.
- American de facto global hegemony led by corporate interest, leading to the destruction of much of (Muslim) Africa and potentially the world.
- Pakistan's ongoing war with India, in which the USA uses mainly Pakistan against India to prevent it from growing too powerful. This includes providing it with nukes, making it the worlds most dangerous place. I'd like to remind everyone that if shit hits the fan between Pakistan/India (Kashmir territorial disputes amongst other things), it could very well be the end of the world as we know it. If anyone cares that is.
- American occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan leads to a lot of anti-Americanism throughout the Islamic world, which continues to feed Al-Qaeda-esque groups.
- The recent and ongoing bombing of Pakistan by American drones, killing innocent civilians in the process, is causing anti-American sentiment which was already very high, to explode.
- Israeli occupation and expansion, needs no further argument.
There is much more to be said and this brief list doesn't do the complex situation any justice. It should however help dispel some of the sentiments that 'the war on terror' is over and we don't have to worry too much about the millions of people that are suffering because of corporate power and the propaganda that's needed to control and domesticate entire populations.
If we're serious about securing ourselves against future attacks and stabilizing not only the Islamic world, but the entire world, real steps have to be taken. One of the most obvious and easiest to implement is stop Israeli expansion. Stopping the killing of innocent civilians in Pakistan sounds like a good idea too.
While I've so far only stated what is obvious to anyone with even a slight interest in global politics, it seems to be very alien to most people I talk to on a daily basis. I doubt it's the complexity of foreign policy as it frankly isn't that complex to begin with. Rather, large-scale ignorance has more to do with a well-oiled propaganda apparatus that feeds a (receptive) audience the kind of garbage one has come to expect from governments.
*I will say this, despite all the criticism the USA has received from the rest of the world including Europe, none of those countries have achieved the level of civility, freedom and democracy that the USA has. No, I'm not being sarcastic. Post-fascist Europe still has a thing or two to learn from the USA.