Newton’s third law of motion tells us that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. For the sake of the safety of Americans here and abroad, I hope there’s an appeal process to that law.

Eliminating Osama bin Laden was a no-brainer, I’m sure. The man was the manipulator of the marionettes who’ve attacked the United States over the last decade and a half. Removing him from the threat list will qualify as a red-letter day for the CIA and the U.S. government.

But that pesky “reaction” part of the axiom…

Andy Card, former chief of staff to President Bush (better known as the guy who interrupted the President’s reading-to-Florida-little-kids-event) was quoted this morning as saying the U.S. had “cut off the head of the snake.”

Okay, except Al Qaeda isn’t a snake, it’s a hydra.

For every second-in-command we’ve killed over the past ten years, two more have taken his place. And now we’ve severed the head without cauterizing the stump.

The question is academic, but I can’t decide which scenario would cause a greater (and more violent) reaction among bin Laden’s remaining followers: the scenario in which he’s killed or the scenario in which he’s captured. Revenge is an odd creature with a temper that flares unpredictably.

And Pakistan, supposedly our ally in the hunt to track down bin Laden, now has quite a bit to answer for. We vanquished the Taliban in part for harboring terrorists of bin Laden’s caliber. Should we do the same to Pakistan? Of course not, but I suspect the bizarre buddy-cop movie that was “Zardari and Obama: Riding through the Desert on a Missile with No Name” will come to an awkward climax.

So now what? We’ve accomplished the nominal mission in Afghanistan. How long do we stick around keeping the peace?

Do we wait for the reaction? To quote “West Wing:”

“Doesn’t this mean we join the league of ordinary nations?” – Jed Bartlet

“I’m not gonna have trouble saying the Pledge of Allegiance tomorrow.” – Leo McGarry

Commentaries reflect the views of the author only and not necessarily those of Blast Magazine, its editors or its publisher.

About The Author

Adam Sell is a Blast staff writer

Leave a Reply