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Party Like it’s . . . May 5, 2011

Posted by Toy Lady in Politics.

This week has been a thought-provoking one for me.

I woke up early Monday morning to the same news that most of us did – that America’s The World’s Most Wanted Criminal had been found and killed, taken down by a team of our own Navy Seals.

And I’ll admit – there was a certain feeling of relief – finally!

But it’s not really over, is it?

I mean, yeah, symbolically, this is huge.

As human beings do, we searched for someone to blame for the pain we were enduring after the terrorist attacks of 9-11, and, to be sure, Osama bin Laden was responsible for a great deal of it.

And his escaping justice for nearly a decade sort of increased his image as a demon in our collective minds, I think.

And then we got him.

But. . . at what cost?

Don’t get me wrong.  He needed killing, that’s for sure.

And he certainly deserved to suffer far more than a bullet (or two) in the head.

(An aside:  it does strike me as somewhat – what? – disingenuous for our President to campaign, literally, for years against the detention and questioning of prisoners at Gitmo, then, the minute something of import actually comes of it, to claim complete credit for the whole operation.)

(Another aside:  does it bother anyone else that in less than a week, the “official” account has changed, what? half a dozen times?  Do they not know what happened, or do they not want anyone else to know?)

Yet. . .

Maybe it’s not so much about him as it is about us.

We obtained information about bin Laden’s whereabouts, reportedly, through “enhanced interrogation.”  Now, I’m not saying that I believe waterboarding (and whatever else goes on with “enhancement”) is wrong, but what I am saying is that it’s not something for civilized people to celebrate.

We do what we must, and we take a long, hot shower afterward, I guess is kind of where I am about that.

Ultimately, does the rightful execution of one man – one semi-retired war criminal, a bitter and twisted lunatic – does it call for dancing in the streets?

Has anything really changed?

Did it end the War on Terror?  Has Al Qaeda surrendered yet?  Can we now travel unmolested?

Did it create any more jobs?

Lower the price of gas?

Did it bring back the thousands of civilians killed that one day or the thousands more troops killed in the years since?

Symbolically, this is meaningful, sure.  This was the face of Al Qaeda – the jihadist who mounted an attack on American soil and murdered thousands of civilians.

But at the end of the day, we were merely forced to put down a rabid dog.  No more, no less.

It needed to be done, and there’s a certain amount of relief that this animal, anyway, won’t hurt anyone else, but to celebrate?

I’d like to think that, as a people, we’re better than that.

This doesn’t strike me as a cause for celebration so much as for acceptance and continued resolve.

I’ll celebrate when our troops come home and our country begins to heal itself.



1. mazco - May 5, 2011

By the end of the day we were merely forced to put down a rabid dog.

True, but remember, putting down a rabid dog is also stopping that dog spreading the disease. The Main Point of this being that while the disease is still out there, there’s one less carrier.

Absolutely. But it’s still not cause for jubilance – not yet. The war’s not over.

2. Loy - May 5, 2011

I applaud your well thought out comments here and tend to agree. bin Laden needed to be captured or killed, that’s for sure. I think it remains to be seen how this will affect Al Qaeda and the war. In my area just this past week or so one of our young men lost both his legs and another was killed. The somberness of this news certainly tempers any rejoicing over bin Laden’s death. He is dead! So is a great young Marine who had overcome many obstacles in his life and had unlimited future potential.

I’m with you, celebration is for when the war is over and our young people are once again home.

Thank you – and yes. So many kids (yes, kids!) have been killed or otherwise damaged, that it’s obscene.

3. anne - May 5, 2011

I agree that it’s not a cause for celebration. I would like to think that we are a step above those shown on TV after 9/11, dancing in the streets.

I also question Obama’s assertion that this is bringing us together, like 9/11 did (sorry, I can’t quote him exactly.) But he implied that this has been a great unifying event. Sorry, but most everyone I know said “good” and went on about their day. Few people ran home and hugged their children, pinned flags on their lapels, and sent money to the charity of their choice. The rabid dog has been eliminated, but please, sir, don’t try to equate the event to the national tragedy of 9/11 (while simultaneously taking full credit.)

Exactly, Anne. It’s merely another step along the road – not the beginning, and certainly not the end.

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