May 5 2011
Former President Bush was right to decline the invitation to attend the ceremony at ground zero. Hopefully his decision will help remind the public - and the current administration - that the death of Osama bin Laden is largely symbolic. While every American was glad to see him finally meet his fate, his death does not eliminate the threat we continue to face from al Qaeda and Islamic terrorists around the globe.
No war should be defined by a single man - even one as evil as bin Laden. But our celebration of his death this week suggests we continue to place too much weight on his leadership. It was not bin Laden, so much as his jihadist ideology, that was at the heart of the 9/11 attacks and that continues to threaten us today.
More important than bin Laden's death is what happens next. What does this mean for the war in Afghanistan? What is the future of our relationship with Pakistan? What will be next for al-Qaeda? The Pakistani Taliban? And on and on.
Mr. Bush was right to stay home. Hopefully amidst all the applause he's getting this week, President Obama is thinking about the grave dangers that still lie ahead.