I read a really, really interesting article this week, Why Bin Laden Lost, in Bloomberg Businessweek and a similar article in The Economist, Now Kill His Dream. (If you can’t read these without a subscription and still have a valid Clemson login, you should be able to access them via Academic Search Premier database on the Clemson Libraries website.) While both made claims that the Middle East no longer wants the kind of jihad that Bin Laden wanted, I think the Businessweek article summed it up so nicely:

As they got to spend some time with him, Muslims discovered they didn’t like him very much. They were looking for something else, something that didn’t show up in the polling data.

It showed up this spring. “All those people on the street,” says an activist who asked that we withhold her name and location for fear of government reprisal, “they don’t want democracy, they want to live, to live with dignity. They want something tangible, not an idea.” Mohamed Bouazizi, the Tunisian who set himself on fire after repeated run-ins with local authorities, wanted to support his family with a fruit stand.

Bouazizi’s dream lacked the grandeur of a caliphate. He asked no one to die but himself. “In Egypt,” says the activist, “the tangible dream is to walk on the street without being harassed by a policeman. In Bahrain, it’s to live your life without being discriminated against. In Tunisia, the dream was to work.”

This part of the article was the part that truly got me. Bin Laden has long been dead among the less-fanatic Muslim people because they  were never looking for a jihadist war, but a way to just live their lives like citizens in the US. They may not like our actions, but they respect and desire what we have – a way for our citizens to live without fear, to make a living and to live their lives peacefully without family. Bin Laden could not promise this; in that way, they cared less about him than we did.

I recommend reading both, but especially the Businessweek article – it’s a great piece explaining not only the Arab Spring but Bin Laden’s flaws, too, and why now, his death does not even matter to anyone but us.

And… for a couple more interesting current event articles I’ve found interesting:

Somali pirates – why and how the trade is flourishing

The new Tech Bubble – this one is interesting as I keep reading articles on Facebook, Twitter and Google, especially how Google may be too big to sustain.

Treating and preventing AIDS – Researchers found that the sooner you treat and educate HIV infected people, the sooner it can stop the disease from spreading. This is wonderful news!