I found out about Osama Bin Laden’s death after coming home from a picnic outing with my 2nd and 4th graders on Monday. At that point, the news of his slaying was only just a few hours old, but anyone who was up late that night in the US definitely saw it.
My first reaction was shock. For almost ten years, we had been searching for this man, or RATHER, we sent thousands of troops over to the Middle East to ignite a “War on Terrorism,” which is really a war on winning control of the Middle East, thus gaining control of foreign oil supply. The search for Bin Laden was just a backstory much forgotten amid the reports of troop deaths, civilian deaths, reporter deaths, fallen ally deaths.
No doubt, Bin Laden’s death shocked billions around the world. I saw reports of Americans celebrating in the streets, chanting that ultra-patriotic chant of, “USA! USA!” And at first I was happy to see the coming together of American citizens in joy, as opposed to continuous complaints about the economy, health care, stupid politicians, and how disappointed everyone was in Obama.
But as time passed, I began to realize how messed up everything really is. America is celebrating the death of a human being–yes, a sick, evil-doing human being, but a human being nonetheless. Once upon a time, humans were supposed to be on the same side. Purely coming from my Christian perspective, it was God and man versus Satan. We were all created as God’s children, every single one of us. I celebrate coming a step closer to eliminating terrorism–if that’s what the demise of Bin Laden means–but I will not celebrate his death.
I agree with the idea that a dangerous man is probably better off dead, rather than have him continue to plot the killings of more innocent people. But isn’t it pretty messed up that the elimination of ONE MAN cost us thousands of American soldiers, millions of Muslims, and billions of dollars?
Will this celebration and American pride change the way some Americans think about Muslims? Can we stop discriminating against them for stupid reasons, which we never should have been doing in the first place?
I’d love to say so, but that’s not the case. Osama Bin Laden’s death means next to nothing. People will continue to die, one way or another. Al Qaeda is still out there. Other enemies exist and will arise. The economy is still crap. People still don’t have jobs. We will still have to go to work in the morning.
To celebrate Bin Laden’s death is one thing. I can imagine a feeling of relief for someone who lost loved ones as a result of his evil doings. But then there are the insults, the jokes about him being shot in the eye, the desire to see photos of his body, probably just to get a kick out of seeing him dead rather than to confirm that he really DID die. For that reason I didn’t particularly enjoy watching Monday’s episodes of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. I thought it was pretty classless, but anything for ratings, right? Except I’m pretty sure Stewart and Colbert were on the side of extreme excitement.
On the other side of the fence, I’ll say that cheering when an enemy has fallen is nothing new. Ever played Dynasty Warriors? 😉
I believe the U.S. made the right choice burying Bin Laden’s body at sea, as opposed to going old school by beheading him and bringing the severed head to President Obama, which would be all the proof of his death that we need (but not necessarily want–that’s gross).
All I wish is for people to show some class. Hide your excitement and
show respect for the troops and the Navy SEALs who carried out the
operation. And to the other side, don’t be too hard on those celebrating. Just focus on what you’re doing, and don’t put yourselves on some kind of pedestal just because you’re reacting “the right way.”