Monday, May 2, 2011
Why I Can't Rejoice over Osama's Death
With news last night of Osama Bin Laden being killed I couldn't help but notice just how happy people seemed to be about it. Happy enough to go to the White House and sing the National Anthem. Happy as if another man's death is something to rejoice about. I'm aware of the history of terroristic acts, the bombings, etc. but something inside me won't allow me to be as happy about all this as people seem to be. The only thing that I feel a little positive about is the symbolism of his death. The death of Osama is not going to bring back all the people that died during the 9/11 attacks or any other attacks that he was involved in. I won't for a second act as if I can understand the pain of someone that lost a loved one during any of those attacks. The level of tragedy and the magnitude of those attacks can never be over-stated. But I wonder how many of those rejoicing were those who lost loved ones in attacks by Bin Laden and out of those, how they'll feel tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year. Because no matter how much "happiness" you felt last night, the people we all lost during those attacks will not be brought back because Bin Laden is dead. I guess justice was served but at the same time, what will happen next?
Learning of his death and listening to our President's remarks made me think of the movie, The Kingdom. First off, it's a great film. Second, the film is about terrorism in the middle east. But one of the most poignant moments/scenes in the film is when an older middle eastern man forces a young child (presumably his son or grandson) to watch a bombing of innocent people that the older man apparently coordinated. At the end of the film, this same older man (identified as a terrorist) was killed by American Special Forces but there was a cut-away to the son/grandson from the scene prior that showed the vigor and desire in his eyes to carry-on what his father/grandfather had forced him to watch. The pain and anguish he felt because his father/grandfather was killed only served to light a fire inside him to carry-on what he was taught. I was left thinking, "now that kid is going to want to continue the terroristic acts the older gentleman forced him to watch." And I think that's what we're dealing with when we talk about Bin Laden's death. The 48 Laws Of Power (specifically, the 42nd) do not apply. There will be some sheep that scatter but the death of the shepherd will serve to invigorate others that agree with his (Osama's) thinking and principles.
This is one of the main reasons that I can't be happy about Osama's death. Regardless of whether the body is shown on TV or he was executed for the world to see like Saddam Hussein or we never see the body at all, he will be a martyr to many. And the thought of that should be scary enough for the same people rejoicing over his death to think twice about just how happy we should all be.
The one thing I did take away from this as positive is the symbolism in the U.S. and other forces taking 10 years of determined work to find him. It will show others who aspire to perform the type of terroristic acts that they will be pursued relentlessly and with great resolve even if it takes years. Problem is, when one is unafraid to die for what they believe in, how can you truly have any power over them?