Comfort In An Odd Sort Of Way

bob schieffer CBS

Well, we finally saw the Osama bin Laden tape this week, and watching it was not easy.

But for me, it was comforting in an odd sort of way, because it reconfirmed that thugs, be they purse-snatchers or mass murderers, are still all the same. They have to brag to somebody, which usually does them in.

So there was Osama, feigning modesty at first, but when a sycophant slurped on a little flattery, he just couldn't help himself. He had to brag. He even laughed about killing all those people. He couldn't hold back a small chuckle about how some of the hijackers hadn't been told they were on a suicide mission. I had to wonder what his agents around the world thought about that one.

Whatever bin Laden's reasons, watching that tape drove home to me just how futile his efforts are destined to be, because a few hours later, I watched a group of firemen recover yet another body of another victim at Ground Zero.

It will take a while to rid the world of bin Laden and his ilk, but when you listen to him hard against pictures of those firemen at ground zero, it is not so hard to understand which value system will eventually prevail.

Will it be a system that considers individuals so dispensable its leaders can chuckle about tricking young people into committing suicide? Or will it be a system that considers each individual so important that it spends months and months and millions of dollars searching out the bodies of innocent victims just so they can be given a decent burial?

No, we're not going to lose this one, and the reasons why are right there on the tape.


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  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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