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bin Laden
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A couple weeks after Navy commandoes killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, Kershaw County residents are no doubt still celebrating with their countrymen his demise. Americans are by nature a compassionate people and not attuned to celebrating death; in this instance, it is justified in every way and a cause for joy, for bin Laden will endure in infamy as one of the most cold-hearted murderers the world has ever known.

Certainly it had been discouraging to pursue bin Laden for such a long period of time without success. He'd been pictured as moving from place to place, living in primitive conditions in caves and rural areas, continuing to work to pursue his dream of death to all who are not extreme Muslims. So it's ironic that he was killed in a luxury compound near the capital of Pakistan -- not so secure, however, as to avoid ultimate death for him. And by all accounts, he had become a bedraggled old man.

Only the most extreme of people could say the death of bin Laden wasn't justified. Indeed, the Council on American-Islamic Relations welcomed the news, as did virtually all Americans. It has been heartening to witness the expressions of patriotism that began upon the news of his death, and our feelings lie particularly with the families and friends of those who were killed in the 911 attacks; we hope this final episode in his life will bring comfort to them. And we share the sentiments of Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who said, "There is no place to hide" for those who attack the United States.

Though in the last few years bin Laden had not played as major a logistical role in al-Qaida as he once did, he had been an inspiration to those who would employ terror to achieve their misguided missions. With his death, we say with relief, as so many Americans across this country and around the globe have echoed: God bless the USA.