Gregory C. Dixon
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By Gregory C. Dixon:
The death of Osama bin Laden at the hands of U.S. forces in Pakistan has more symbolic value than practical implications.
Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, bin Laden has been the most wanted man in the world and the personification of evil in the minds of many.
While it’s a big deal, it will have fairly minimal impact on what al-Qaida is doing around the world.
In the short run, there may be an uptick in al-Qaida activity in terms of revenge: with them trying to counter the symbolism of his death and with them saying “we are not going away.”
A lot of Americans are very happy to say “We got him.” In the Muslim world a lot of people have not supported him and are probably glad to see him go.
As a lover of democracy and human liberty, I have great hopes for the future of democratic Egypt. As a political scientist and a scholar of geopolitics, these hopes are clouded by some rather dark fears. For all the euphoria over the people power revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia, the cold and terrible truth is that what has come so far is the easy part. The hard part comes in the next few years as these countries struggle to establish and entrench free and open government.
The sad fact is that most revolutions eat their young.