OGDEN -- Scholars, politicians and pundits can debate the implications of the Obama administration's decision to kill terrorist leader Osama bin Laden as much as they like.
When Omar M. Kader heard news of bin Laden's killing, Kader knew it was exactly the right thing for America to do.
"Whenever national security is breached, a nation's power gets eroded," said Kader, a Utah native and international politics expert who travels to Ogden to teach political workshops at Weber State University.
"Anytime a nation is perceived as not powerful, it is bad for every person in that nation."
Kader, who lives and works near Washington, D.C., and travels frequently to the Middle East, said bin Laden was happy to take responsibility for the 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City's Twin Towers and on the Pentagon.
Nearly 3,000 people died on American soil after 19 terrorists without guns made it through U.S. security.
"Bin Laden bragged to the world he had humiliated America, and every chance he could, he made us look weak," Kader said. "People believed him and joined al-Qaeda by the thousands.
"The purpose of a country is to protect its citizens, and we failed. What we did to bin Laden was not payback or revenge. It was justice, which is a high principle.
"It was to show the world you cannot without impunity attack our citizens without some form of retaliation."
Bin Laden worked hard to destroy the perception of America as a powerful nation, Kader said. The U.S. military killed bin Laden and reclaimed America's power.
"The perception of power is important," Kader said. "It can save you from going to war."
Kader believes bin Laden's hasty burial at sea was also psychologically motivated and had nothing to do with respecting Muslim custom.
"They had no intention of capturing bin Laden," Kader said. "It was a search-and-kill mission. It was meant to say, 'We know where you are now, and you are not even good enough for due process.'
"They shot him in the head, took DNA evidence and threw his body into the sea with an anchor. It was meant to say, 'They will never find your grave or your body. They will never celebrate you or build a memorial to you.' I believe that is the message they wanted to send."
William Furlong, Utah State University political science professor, believes the strike against bin Laden may create many more problems for the nation.
"It's a great day for America, but does it change anything? Terrorist activities are being planned all the time, and who knows whether this could trigger a more rapid sequence of events?"
Furlong also worries that, with bin Laden out of the way, any number of smaller al-Qaeda splinter groups could see his death as a chance to advance to a lead position in world politics.
Furlong pointed out that, when leaders of the major Mexican drug cartels were taken out of the picture, a multitude of smaller cartels sprang up to take their place.
"That complicates the war on terrorism," he said. "I hate to be a downer on this day of celebration, but that is my fear. I hope I am wrong."
Nancy Haanstad, Weber State University political science department chairwoman, said bin Laden was more of a symbolic leader than an operational one.
"Many versions of al-Qaeda have cropped up, not only in the Islamic world, but in the West," she said.
"Some may be inspired, so to speak, to strike out at Americans or the American Embassy. The Hamas is saying bin Laden was a 'holy warrior' and his death is symbolic of a noble struggle."
Haanstad also noted that Ayman al-Zawahiri, said to be bin Laden's second in command, is still alive, as far as anyone knows, to take over for bin Laden.
Kader agrees that many al-Qaeda splinter groups are more active than bin Laden's organization.
"But as of today, the message is out to all terrorists," Kader said.
"It took us 10 years to get bin Laden, but America didn't forget. We could have saved millions of dollars, but we had to go after him.
"It was just a matter of time before we got him, and a matter of time before we get the others who try to hurt America."