From Jose Maria Aznar, the Wall Street Journal: The military operation that ended Osama bin Laden’s criminal career shows that perseverance pays —and the only way that free and open societies can overcome the threat of global jihadist terrorism is to persevere in the fight as long as necessary.
The death of bin Laden also shows that al Qaeda, like any other terrorist organization, is not invulnerable. It is possible, necessary and correct to confront and defeat all terrorist organizations. U.S. President Barack Obama as commander in chief knew that the operation he was ordering was a just act of war. Before him, President George W. Bush chose to confront a hard reality: That a declaration of war against a nation cannot be ignored and must be opposed with all necessary force and all the legitimacy that democracy confers. . . .
Terrorists do not need excuses to commit their crimes. Therefore we should be prepared for more attacks, and also for the terrorists to attempt to use our own actions to justify their atrocities. The reaction of some to the death of bin Laden is telling in this regard. It is a cause of concern that Hamas’s leader has condemned "the assassination of a holy warrior." And the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has also condemned bin Laden’s killing. . . .
The best tribute we can pay to the many victims of Osama bin Laden world-wide is not only to end the threat he embodied, but to defeat everything he sought. Defeating terrorism would be a triumph of human dignity, freedom and justice—which, ultimately, would mean the victory of civilization.
Mr. Aznar is the former prime minister of Spain (1996-2004). (photo: Getty)