Of course, at such an emotion-packed historic moment as this, one encounters a lot of foolishness, from the behavior of those drunken college kids outside the White House last night to people who will actually say (and this I find stunning), OK, we got him, let’s leave Afghanistan…
I thought Hillary Clinton’s remarks this morning addressed that rather nicely:
Here at the State Department, we have worked to forge a worldwide anti-terror network. We have drawn together the effort and energy of friends, partners, and allies on every continent. Our partnerships, including our close cooperation with Pakistan, have helped put unprecedented pressure on al-Qaida and its leadership. Continued cooperation will be just as important in the days ahead, because even as we mark this milestone, we should not forget that the battle to stop al-Qaida and its syndicate of terror will not end with the death of bin Ladin. Indeed, we must take this opportunity to renew our resolve and redouble our efforts.
In Afghanistan, we will continue taking the fight to al-Qaida and their Taliban allies, while working to support the Afghan people as they build a stronger government and begin to take responsibility for their own security. We are implementing the strategy for transition approved by NATO at the summit in Lisbon, and we supporting an Afghan-led political process that seeks to isolate al-Qaida and end the insurgency. Our message to the Taliban remains the same, but today it may have even greater resonance: You cannot wait us out. You cannot defeat us. But you can make the choice to abandon al-Qaida and participate in a peaceful political process….
Indeed, to the extent that the death of bin Laden sends a useful message to the world — to our friends and enemies — is that we will NOT give up. It’s about continuity and persistence. And it’s a powerful message. This is a time for following up the advantage provided by demoralization among the Taliban and al Qaeda at this moment, a moment created by the death of that movement’s chief symbol. Secretary Clinton explains it well.