Osama bin Laden was a gift from God to all of us for which many of us have yet to express our thankfulness. This is not to say that the people who were killed on 911 deserved to die or that God wished them dead, but rather that our response to the collapse of the twin towers was a wake-up call to all Americans to look into the mirror and see what we have become as a people, which we might now realize as we review our unfolding reaction to that attack:
1. We see how fragile our commitment to the rule of law and to the spirit of truth and justice has become. Our leaders responded not with wisdom and restraint but rather with vengeance and an almost total disregard for what we say our nation stands for, or what we hope to teach our children the meaning of freedom is.
2. Our first reaction was to attack a country that had no connection to the 911 attack. As an occupying force our responsibility was to protect the lives, wealth and well-being of Iraqi citizens and to preserve their heritage and the many good things they enjoyed in life. Instead we did exactly the opposite of that, showing an almost total disregard for their lives, their heritage, their future, or their posterity. In fact we committed great atrocities, including awful war crimes against hundreds of thousands, in fact millions of innocent men, women and children.
3. We also unveiled before the world the dehumanizing nature of the greed and brutality that describes the culture in which our economy, our government, and our corporations operate.
4. We saw that our elected officials at every level were impotent in thought and deed in terms of honoring their oath of office, totally failing to provide the proper checks and balances on those who used the crisis for their own selfish or ignorant ends. Most elected officials in fact had no trouble ignoring their oath of office as they allowed the administration to degrade the Constitution and the rights and freedoms of not only Iraqi citizens but all world citizens, including our own.
So when I say that bin Laden was God's gift to America, I mean that God already was aware of the degraded moral fiber and the lack of consciousness of those who had attained leadership positions in our society. Even more important, God knew that our population at large had never learned or perhaps had forgotten that we are all responsible for the state of our nation and its place in the world. It is every citizen's responsibility to keep freedom, truth, and basic human decency alive so that our children's birthright might be insured -- the right to live in a just society, under a fair and equitable rule of law, amongst people who are committed to democracy, freedom, truth and justice for all people.
Osama bin Laden, with help from God, swept aside the veil behind which America's decline had gone unnoticed. We should cherish and be thankful for the opportunity God is giving us before it is too late.