"With Liberty and Justice for All"
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The concluding words of America's "Pledge of Allegiance" come to mind when reading German news media commentaries on the death of Osama Bin Laden. Bringing Bin Laden to justice has been America's goal since former U.S. President George W. Bush declared him to be wanted "dead or alive" in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks masterminded by the El Kaida leader.
It would be naive , though, to think that Bin Laden's death will mean the end of terrorist attacks against the United States. While nothing justifies terrorism, it is also true that terrorists aren't born, they are made.
The 9/11 terrorists recruited by Bin Laden were well-educated and not motivated by bitterness over personal poverty. Instead, perceived grievances against the United States fueled their motivation to deal a blow to America.
America's pursuit of justice in hunting down Osama Bin Laden is also a challenge to demonstrate its intent to pursue "justice for all" by exercising righteous leadership instead of an economic and foreign policy perceived to be dominated by self-interest.
Will America support democratic change in the Islamic countries of the Middle East or side with authoritarian regimes that maintain a status quo favoring U.S. economic interests? Will America be a neutral broker in the Middle East peace process by demanding tough concessions from both sides? Will the United States get its fiscal house in order and live within its means instead of relying on foreign creditors to fund its fiscal irresponsibility?
With America's inheritance of the material blessings promised to Abraham comes the responsibility to set an example of righteousness for the world to follow. "When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him" (Proverbs 16:7).
Consistent, uncompromising righteous leadership would eventually mean an end to El Kaida and any future potential Bin Ladens. Leadership of any other kind will not promote "justice for all."