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The Meaning of Justice

The sense of relief and joy and accomplishment and completion we are all feeling in response to the news that American special forces finally, finally, finally got him—another dazzling achievement by American personnel fighting the war on terror, who have set a new historical standard for patriotic sacrifice and excellence—makes this one of the great days of my lifetime. Do we know what changes the killing of Osama bin Laden will effect? We can’t know. We believed that the capture of Saddam Hussein would bring the resistance in Iraq to its knees, and then, of course, the resistance not only continued but deepened. But even as the talking heads filling time awaiting the president’s speech fill time by attempting to decipher the political and spiritual and moral effects of Bin Laden’s killing, the truth is that the killing of Bin Laden is important not because of what it will do for us going forward but what it does for us looking backward. It provides this still-wounded country a rare moment of simple, pure, unambiguous justice. Evil has been met, and defeated.



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