Party Like it’s . . . May 5, 2011Posted 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.