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An Unpopular Opinion

Note: The original version of this entry was lost due to a syncing problem with the Blogger Android app. Apologizes for an errors or comments that were lost.

Most of the world rejoiced yesterday, after news spread that Osama Bin Laden had been killed. Americans revelled in what was being touted as "our victory". Many saw it as the final vindication of the various occupations we had (have) in the Middle East and the justification For September 11th. Many called it proof of American core values, our pride, our strength and our commitment to liberty. Many others called it "justice". The citizens of the world poured out into the streets to celebrate evil's defeat. But I could not celebrate. To be honest, I initially made jokes, as I do. Humor is my way of processing everything, especially things that live in the greys of the spectrum of morality and confront me with complicated emotions. Immediately following my more immature (however necessary) reaction, I felt distressed. The world united not to celebrate peace or life or love - but death. Public Enemy #1 wasn't brought into custody, given a trial, made to look into the eyes of the families of his victims, made to pay for his crimes. He was executed. And we cheered.

And we cheered.

I'm not saying that Bin Laden wasn't a wicked man, or even that he didn't deserve it. But I am forced to ask what our reaction says about us. What that says to our children. I know that vengeance feels right. In the right light, revenge and justice can almost look the same. I did not lose a friend or family member on September 11th. While I'm grateful for this fact and empathize with those who had, I'd like to think that I would feel the same way regardless. However, it's likely not true. I would like to also believe that civilization is founded on reason and logic, which are sound and solid, and not emotion, which is frail, pliable and easy to manipulate, I figure this is also not likely true. Though that is how it should be. I feel about this, just as I do about capital punishment.  If the families of victims had a license to kill, would the families of their future victims have the same right? "An eye for an eye, leaves the whole world blind." Justice based on retaliation has no end. Speaking of which...

We have not killed the boogeyman, my friends. The death of Bin Laden doesn't end hate or terrorism. It will, after proper gestation, more likely give it rebirth. We taken an evil, conniving, vicious man - and turned him into a martyr, a hero, for his followers. If our deployed troops have represented the fury and grief of mourning US citizens, what do you think the fury and grief of those mourning the face of terror will resemble? If you, for even a second think that a dead leader will make dedicated disciples, who have already pledges themselves willing to die for their cause, cower in fear then you're naive. If you think war and violence and terror and carnage will wash away with the blood of one man, then you're a fool.

I am glad if the citizens of the USA and allies slept well on Sunday night. I sure didn't.

(And not to get all conspiracy theory on everyone, but please turn this over in your head: Obama's approval has been at and all time low. On the 26th, the oft-mocked Terror Alert color coded system was deemed no longer necessary. On May 1st, May Day, terrorism's poster boy was announced dead... and buried at sea.)
Read more: http://www.blogdoctor.me/2007/02/expandable-post-summaries.html#ixzz1Ygp5vxLJ


  1. I agree with you almost entirely -- the exceptions being that I slept like a baby (minus the screaming and pooping) and that I'm not doing the conspiracy-theory thing.

    However, I did lose an immediate family member on 9/11, and I think it's important for me to point out that We, Too, are often ambivalent, grey-area'd, not vengeful. Killing Osama ain't bringing Kevin back. The rest of my family might be cheering in a mild way, but, ya know?, it's not black-and-white for any of us.

    Thanks for your post -- well-spoken.

  2. I didn't mean to imply that those who did lose someone are more likely to be vengeful, any less open minded, etc. I simply meant that I can understand how that level of shock and grief might make someone feel that way.

    I'm not really creating a conspiracy theory, just acknowledging that governments often do conspire and this would be an amazing way to gain favor before or after some major shit storm.

    Glad you enjoyed this, even if not entirely. :)

  3. your probably the first person i see write about it and disagree with peoples reaction but not speak down about it.
    Someone earlier posted something about "tards chanting usa in the streets." While I hate usa chants in general (dont know why, I think it makes your country sound like its no better then your favorite baseball team) I see why people did it after thinking about it.
    His death is a symbol the same way he was a symbol of hate and murder and "triumph of the aq to attack us soil" alive. His death is the first symbol of closure in a way. I mean its been almost decade and there has been little to no closure. The site is still a scare and the memorial is becoming more about fonts and who gets what plaque for donating what money then getting something up. So that will never really help any one. Its a concrete slab with beams an escalator after 10 years.
    No one could be put on trial, they committed suicide. OK City got to see Timothy Mcvey pay. The original bomber is bouncing around in courts but is in custody. They didn't really get away with it.
    But with OBL loose there was a feeling of helplessness. I think hearing that some one paid for their pain erupted in kind of a primal celebration that while unclassy was unavoidable. What would you do if you had all that pent up aggression and never really the reason to le
    t it go. IT builds up and erupts eventually. I don't know if any of that made sense but I get why people reacted the way they did, not my way to act but hey, and get why people are happy. I think its more the idea of accountability and closure. The people who actually felt hurt that day and not the frat guys yelling "Pakistan your next" at cameras i think feel a little closer to getting over and getting past.
    I do agree though. this will only lead to more security warnings and threats and such.And really killing him only is a symbol. The patriot act wont be repealed. I still will be harassed for camera equipment in the subway and ill still get felt up at an aiport. Those rights were taken and even though "we won" it wont be given back. Cause we didnt win. We took out a person. Not the ideas