COLUMNIST: Perhaps we too should be so decisive

Sunday night Barak Obama certainly knocked questions of the authenticity of his birth certificate right off the radar. He also knocked the wind out of the sails of The Comb-Over and Shotgun Sarah.

Sunday night Barak Obama certainly knocked questions of the authenticity of his birth certificate right off the radar. He also knocked the wind out of the sails of The Comb-Over and Shotgun Sarah.

Obama’s comment that he had contacted former President George W. Bush to let him know Osama bin Laden was dead also brought a smile to my face, imagining the conversation to begin with something like “Hi Dubya, we got him and you didn’t  . . . Na, Na, Na, Na!”

And on the day of what may become Canada’s most important election, not a word of it on the front pages of our daily newspapers, completely consumed with the death of bin Laden, followed by snippets of Will and Kate’s nuptials.

Just shows you where Steve, Iggy and Jack rank in our consciousness on this national day of reckoning. Interestingly, while Osama’s swan song was sung in Abbottabad, Harper was delivering his last campaign hurrah in Abbotsford … the Conservatives hoping, I’m sure, for a considerably different end-result of those two meetings in similar sounding towns on opposite sides of the world.

But the tale is being told as I write this, and by the time you read today’s newspaper, Canadians will have, for better or worse, richer or poorer as they said in London last week, determined our national future – probably only for the time being, if past history is an indication.

What is more secure, after the dispatching of bin Laden, is Obama’s presidency that up until now seemed to be tottering on the same brink as a majority government for Stephen Harper. I have to wonder what political crisis it was that triggered Sunday’s firefight, considering that the Americans have known where the al-Qaida leader has been ensconced for the past nine months. Surely it couldn’t have been the above-mentioned birth certificate, though that appears to have been the only questionable, and challengeable, piece of news raised by the Republicans in recent days.

Regardless, Obama is now a hero and by implication George W. is the goat, and the royal wedding is no longer top of mind for American wanna-be monarchists whose only real flirtation with Camelot was the long-past Kennedy years.

At least in this 10th anniversary year of the terrible and tragic attack on the World Trade Center there is some kind of closure, a feeling that in a small way the loss of those thousands of innocent lives has been avenged.

What continues to worry, and is cause to consider that this may have been expected, was the commitment a week ago by extremist Muslims that should bin Laden be killed, a nuclear device hidden somewhere in Europe would be detonated.

Extremism and the terrorists it spawns has no place in religion, or anywhere else, and it is shameful that the clerics of the world do not unite in condemnation of it.

Until they do, we will continually face the prospect of sombre commemorations of the deaths at the World Trade Centre or, as we also remember on this 25th anniversary year of the worst act of terrorism developed on Canadian soil – the bombing of Air India Flight 182. Three hundred and twenty-nine men, women and children, almost all Canadian citizens, died in that tragedy when Sikh extremists from right here in British Columbia blew them out of the sky over Ireland.

Unlike Sunday’s killing of bin Laden, the victims of our homegrown terrorist act still have no closure.

Maybe we, like the Americans, need to take our politics and the ability to act with relentless conviction a little more seriously.

markrushton@abbynews.com