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Why Does Osama Bin Laden’s Death Matter?

By: David Cote

I think Osama bin Laden’s death matters. It seems obvious, doesn’t it? How could it not?

But just days after his death, news agencies, political analysts, terrorist experts and all number of well qualified people have said it might not matter as much as we, as Americans, all want it to. They say that bin Laden had lost his central role as leader of al-Qaida. They say his money will move on without him. They say that there are any number of people to take his place, and he was already struggling with health problems due to an enlarged heart anyway. All of these things might be true, but there are still reasons to disagree with the experts.

For 10 years, the United States has been fighting in Afghanistan. Unlike previous wars, this war doesn’t have a very tangible enemy. There aren’t Nazis, Vietcong, or North Koreans. There is al-Qaida, yes, but when Hitler died in World War II, it essentially ended the war in Europe. Bin Laden’s death won’t win us the War in Afghanistan. In fact, we could probably remain in Afghanistan another 20 years without “winning” the war. So why are we there?

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Justice Has Been Done

By: David Cote

“Justice has been done,” announced President Barack Obama Sunday night. During a raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan, United States Navy SEAL(s) killed long-sought al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, ending the near 10-year manhunt that began after the attacks of Sept. 11.

The raid took place at about 1 a.m. local time. Four Chinook and Blackhawk helicopters landed 24 soldiers on the compound, with a total of 40 men involved in the assault. The terrorist leader was killed by a bullet to the head. There were no American casualties during the raid.

Though there have been numerous leads about bin Laden’s whereabouts since the worldwide manhunt began almost 10 years ago, he was able to escape several times. Reports say he was wounded by shrapnel during an attack by U.S. and coalition forces at Tora Bora, Afghanistan in 2001. Amid rumors of health problems, bin Laden was said to have fled to Pakistan.

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MOB STORMS CAMPUS

By: Adriana Mariella, David Cote, Elise Taylor, & Brennan Carley

On Sept. 17, 2001, U.S. former president George W. Bush made a bold statement: “I want justice. There’s an old poster out West, as I recall, that said ‘Wanted: Dead or Alive.'” Last night, nearly 10 years later, President Barack Obama finally announced the achievement of that justice.

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Conference Addresses Cuba

By: David Cote

Despite the decidedly negative foreign interaction between the United States and Cuba over the past 50 years, cultural ties between the two nations have never been stronger. This past weekend, the Boston College Cuban-American Student Association (CASA) hosted 100 students from universities worldwide for the eighth Annual Roots of Hope National Youth Leadership Conference on Cuba.

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GOP Hopes To Cut $4 Trillion

By: David Cote

Republicans proposed a budget this week that would cut more than $4 trillion in government spending over the next 10 years. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, spearheaded the effort to reshape long standing federal programs like Medicare in order to cut the United States’ debt.

“We are going to put out a plan that gets our debt on a downward trajectory and gets us to a point of giving our next generation a debt-free nation,” Ryan told reporters after releasing the budget.

Much controversy has come from the proposal, as a budget plan is necessary by Friday in order to keep the government running. The current budget ends Saturday, effectively ending financing for the government if a new budget is not passed.

President Barack Obama met with House Speaker John Boehner yesterday in order to avoid a government shutdown. The president and many Democrats argue that the Republicans are using a time of budget crisis to force a social agenda which cuts spending to programs which Republicans have been attempting to defund for many years, like Planned Parenthood.

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QSLC Offers Discount for Online ‘Times’

By: David Cote

Starting this past Monday, March 28, The New York Times has begun charging online users who read more than 20 articles per month for digital access to the newspaper. Because of the on-campus readership system arranged with the Times by the Quality of Student Life Committee (QSLC), Boston College faculty, students and administrators are eligible to receive a 50 percent discount off individual online subscriptions. Individual print subscribers will still have unlimited access to online content.

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Missiles To Libya Foolish And Illegal

By: David Cote

Over the last week, the United States has participated in a United Nations sanctioned enforcement of a no-fly zone over the Libyan mainland in order to prevent civilian casualties during the rebellion. While at first glance the motives used to justify this action appear to be admirable and well-intentioned, the involvement of the U.S. military in yet another foreign conflict is really both foolish and unconstitutional.

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BC Trustee Investigated by SEC

By: David Cote

University Trustee Richard Syron, BC ’66, recently received a Wells notice from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for his involvement in the Freddie Mac controversy, a possible indication that an enforcement action from the organization is forthcoming.  

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Patriotism Lacking In Modern US Society

By: David Cote

Over break, I watched the HBO World War II miniseries Band of Brothers. Every time I watch the series, the patriotism of American society during that time in our history astounds me to a greater degree. How was a war of such a large scale so widely supported and how did that support continue despite heavy casualties on both fronts? In comparing this patriotic fervor of World War II with our nation’s current conflicts in the Middle East, it seems at times that the patriotism evidenced during the the 1940s is seriously lacking from today’s American society. World War II was supported and aided by civilians throughout, while the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been repeatedly called into question throughout recent years, despite remarkably similar beginnings. This apathy and condemnation of the War on Terror by the public makes recent calls for American troops in Libya seem preposterous.

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