Thursday, May 5, 2011

Final moments of Osama Bin Laden

Just wondering what bin Laden was thinking in his final moments?
By:Dave Sherman

I would have liked to have seen the look on Osama bin Laden’s face when the U.S. special ops team burst into his compound in Pakistan early Monday. I wonder if he had time to notice the American flags on their shoulders before they shot him dead.

Did he feel trapped at that moment, just like the innocent men and women who worked high above the sidewalks inside the World Trade Center?

Did he have time to call his family, just like the passengers aboard Flight 93 as it hurtled toward the Pennsylvania countryside?

Was he as well prepared as Adolf Hitler was when Allied forces surrounded his bunker in Berlin? Hitler chose a coward’s fate, taking his own life before he could be shot or captured.

Someone in bin Laden’s inner circle used a woman as a human shield, authorities said, so that’s about the same level of bravery that the Fuehrer displayed.

“We love death. The U.S. loves life. That is the difference between us two,” is one of the many bizarre quotes attributed to bin Laden, the mastermind behind the Sept. 11 attacks on America. His actions damaged our economy and changed everyday life in a free society in many ways.

They also resulted in the death of almost 3,000 innocent people who had nothing to gain or lose in one man’s vendetta against freedom.

His blurry perception that most of the world was lining up against people of his faith was erased Monday by the Muslim American Society.

“The Muslim American Society welcomes the news of the death of Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims. Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own,” said Ahmad El Bendary, president of the society.

How would bin Laden respond to that? Would he activate some of his poor-quality video equipment or send a cassette tape to a supportive news agency?

Would he proclaim the righteousness of his cause and attempt to validate any actions he deemed fit?

“We concur with the president that his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity,” said Bendary, chipping further into binLaden’s boastful ramblings about the valor associated with murder.

As bin Laden and his confidants tried to dodge the growing gunfire, would he have wanted someone to protect him and sweep him to safety?

Someone like one of the 343 New York City firefighters who never came home on Sept. 11, 2001?

Was he as resolute as the men who put on their leather helmets and turnout gear for the last time that day?

Would he have expected help from his most trusted colleagues? People like the complete strangers who banded together, shouted “Let’s roll” and overtook the lunatics who were steering a passenger jet toward Washington?

Was he thinking he could overcome all odds and triumph no matter how serious the situation?

Did bin Laden remember the words of President George W. Bush echoing from Ground Zero, three sad days after the attacks?

“We will find those who did it. We will smoke them out of their holes. We’ll get them running, and we’ll bring them to justice,” he said with his arm around a firefighter and a bullhorn in his hand.

Then on Sept. 20, before a joint session of Congress, “Freedom and fear are at war. We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”

I do know some words that bin Laden did not hear. They are the words spoken by President Barack Obama Sunday night in the cherished East Room of the White House.

“Justice has been done.”

(David F. Sherman a columnist for the Weekly Independent Newspapers of Western New York, a group of community newspapers with a combined circulation of approximately 75,000 homes. Opinions expressed here are those of the author. He can be reached at

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