We’ve heard for years that America’s youth are opposed to the war on terror, so the thousands of cheering, American flag-draped young people who packed the streets outside White House last night was a bit of a surprise. Absent from the impromptu party was any sign of the anti-war movement, which was once a trademark on college campuses. Nobody called for troop withdrawal, nobody condemned the administration’s counterterrorism policies, nobody denounced targeted killings.
Just the opposite. The crowd chanted “USA! USA!” or “Kiss Him Goodbye,” and applauded the military. A Bush-Cheney sign was even spotted bobbing along in the throng of thousands celebrating the death of the world’s most notorious terrorist.
“The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done,” former President George W. Bush said last night, in response to the news of Osama bin Laden’s death.
That idea is likely to strike cord with college students, many of whom were barely out of elementary school when bin Laden orchestrated the deadliest terrorist attack of all time on American soil. The search for the terror leader went on for nearly half their lives. And on the streets outside the White House last night there was a palpable sense of relief that justice had finally been carried out.