The Impact of Osama

May 03 2011

The Impact of Osama

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I have a terrible memory- I barely remember anything from my childhood, already. But there is one day that I still haven’t forgotten, and still remember with surprising clarity. Even though back then the impact wasn’t entirely clear to me, everyone elses’ reaction made it obvious it was an event to remember. I’m obviously talking about 9/11, like everyone else is these days, in the wake of the death of Osama Bin Laden.

How has Osama impacted our country? The numbers are easy to count- two buildings destroyed, three air planes, thousands of lives. You must also consider the heightened security he forced, the farther reaching impact of his terrorist actions- he terrified our country, forced us to give up freedoms we used to enjoy. Getting through airports is a prodigious hassle- some claim that the financial problems many airlines have had in the past decade can be blamed on Osama for making flying so scary and so inconvenient.

Osama’s impact in dozens, possibly even hundreds, aspects of our lives are evident- even if he was not directly responsible, he became our scapegoat, our subject of hate, for everything terrorists stand for. Osama himself may not even have been an especially active leader in the past few years, but Americans still hold his death in great regard.

Are we overestimating his importance? One article essentially pins him as the greatest nemesis America has ever known- very likely a true accusation. At the same time, as oil prices slowly drop, some people argue that this is a direct reaction to the death of Osama. Although most analysts try to bring some sense by pointing out that the death of Osama doesn’t actually lower the threat of terrorism, the importance we place on Osama himself is extremely interesting. Even others claim that the stock market will react to Osama’s death– that this huge reduction in threat should prod investors into riskier and more grand investment schemes.

I think it’s all ridiculous. Osama hasn’t played a serious role in our country in years. When was the last time he released a video, when was the last time he was blamed for an attempted bombing? When was the last time a news headline even regarding any progress in finding the man? My point is that there is a lot of talk about how the world will change now that Osama is dead, but I think we should just hold our horses for a little while. Getting too excited about his death, reducing security measures and throwing our money around willy-nilly in celebration of his death will surely lead to negative side effects. The last thing we want is for Osama to still be haunting America, even in death.

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