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?


T.C. said...

I completely agree...people can do what they will, however, I would argue that the same attitudes that we find distasteful and have a disdain for, we in fact participated looked like I was watching tv from the very countries we seek to inspire (or force) to indoctrinate democracy, we looked like them, like we have no democracy at all...

the double edged sword is that his death was important for the "war on terror" and it does show, as you stated that intelligence and military operations can, when the knowledge is shared, work extremely well together, this is a victory for not only the military arm of this country but the intelligence arm as well

this is not over, this "war" is not over by a long shot...there is a lot more to this in terms of sheep who will no look to be the shepard and the country he was in where we found him...two major issues

we have to, as a country, as a people, as human beings learn to stop being so short sided and understand that there is always much more

Anonymous said...

I thought about your point of us looking like other countries who rejoice when a tyrant falls. I think the difference is that in their countries there have been tyrants controlling their government which is much different than what we have here. We don't have "tyrants" controlling our governments that oppress us to the level that people are oppressed in other countries (it's much more subtle here in most cases). So when they rejoice it's not because they're been terrorized by an outsider, they've been oppressed and terrorized by one of their own.

Osama was the golden goose for terrorist hunters and we were gonna catch him eventually although most of us was like "we ain't never catching that bama". The difference is that we have people so out of touch with humanity and so over-sensationalized by the media that they'll rejoice as if Osama was at their job everyday making their life a living hell. Again, I understand that losing a loved one to one of these terrorist acts had to be extremely difficult and still has to be difficult for lots of people. But at some point you have to forgive and move on. And part of that is being human enough to recognize that every human life, no matter how despicable some of the acts the person performed, has value in some way.