Two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ died for the sins of those who eventually came to believe in Him. Ever since, Christians have paid the highest respect and reverence to a man who was murdered on the authority of a dictator. Moreover, this same man was brutally crucified as an example to all those who propagated their heretic beliefs against a powerful oppressor. Thousands of years later, due in no small part to Jesus' martyrdom, around two billion people believe in Christianity or some derivative thereof. Given the terrorist situation of today, it is not an overstatement to say that there are certain striking similarities in the current situation, only the players are very different.
Today, we have a "terrorist mastermind" whose message of destruction is very different from that of Jesus'. But like Jesus, if Dubya-led Americans successfully complete any kind of action against Osama bin Laden, he will become a martyr, creating several more generations of America-hating terrorists whose sentiments may catch on more easily than some might think. There is no one to blame for this but Bush. Since the attacks, nothing but awkward nominal blunders have come from this man. For example, consider the insensitive use of the word "crusade," potentially framing the war against terrorism as a Christian crusade against non-Christian infidels. Remember the campaign's ill-fated title Operation Infinite Justice? The awkward name was dropped within a single day.
However, Bush's worst blunder of all was the declaration that bin Laden would be hunted down dead or alive, complete with references to the wild West. One can't help but wonder if such language was used to describe Jesus. These are not words of justice or democratic presupmtions of innocence. These are the words of authoritative vengeance and dictatorial vigilantism.
The executive order further entrenches the U.S. in a position from which it cannot act in any capacity against bin Laden for fear of perpetual terrorist reprisals. Whether bin Laden is assassinated, captured, put on trial or harmed in any significant way, it is now impossible to believe that no greater backlash will occur. Bin Laden would be proclaimed a martyr just as Jesus was. Terrorists would forever maintain their calculated zeal for American blood and the cycle of death would continue, much as it has throughout all of human history.
Perhaps the only option left for the U.S. now is to make bin Laden quietly disappear. The terrorists of the world would have little to rally by if it was not widely known what happened to him. The American government would have all the ammunition it would require for a war against terrorism, allowing them powers they never dreamed of pre-September 11. Can you imagine how different the world might be had Jesus not been crucified?
If our most revered example of victory in martyrdom started with Jesus Christ, there are undoubtedly terrorists out there whose war against America began on September 11. What the Bush administration and Dubya himself must realize is the situation is only aggravated when words of justice are twisted into those of revenge. Bounty postings calling for the head of bin Laden serve no purpose but to further the terrorist cause in the calculating and intelligent minds of the terrorists themselves.