Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Bin Laden Dead, American's Overjoyed

As the image of the President announcing the death of America’s top enemy danced across our television screen, emotions were mixed.

There was a sense of relief. Finally, our powerful military aided by a revamped system of intelligence gatherers eliminated with extreme prejudice the most famous terrorist in the world.

For me at least, there’s a strange feeling when American’s join one another in celebration over the death of a human being, no matter how justified that death may be.

I’ve heard people rationalize our exuberance over Bin Laden’s death by pointing out that he isn’t really human because he murdered thousands of people in his lifetime.

True to a point. He most certainly devised methods and ordered others to kills thousands, but in that respect he shares a great deal with a vast majority of United States Presidents, does he not?

Don’t mistake my moral reservations as sympathy for the deceased mind you. While the whole “war on terror” has largely been marred by questionable motives and dangerous passions, it has had two successes; killing Sadaam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden.

There is enough gray area in between to blot out a thousand cloudless skies, but two seriously bad gentlemen no longer inflame an already volatile region, nor do they pose a threat to the already tenuous balance of global politics.

That being said, there should be at least a modicum of respect for the dead. Otherwise, the vengeance we’ve sought and celebrated bears a disturbing resemblance to the rejoicing over dead American soldiers in foreign terrorist camps and the streets of middle-eastern cities most Americans will never know the names of.

The whole idea that Bin Laden’s death can somehow provide a measure of healing to those affected (literally everyone worldwide) by the September 11th, 2011 terrorist attacks strikes me as phony as well.

This doesn’t really change anything. The world isn’t automatically safer.

Al Qaeda, while seriously weakened still exists and is likely in the process of bumping their No. 2 terrorist up a notch and continuing business largely as usual.
Then there’s this feeling of accomplishment American’s are basking in.

The idea of “justice” when dealing with tragedy on such a massive and unprecedented scale is in my opinion a false idol.

The entire “war on terror” like the “war on drugs” or the “war on poverty” all lack a definable enemy, therefore rendering these conflicts unwinnable by their very definition.

Osama Bin Laden is gone, but there will always be terrorists just as there will always be illegal drugs and impoverished citizens in every country of the world.

And so, after the better part of a decade, multiple wars, untold dead and wounded along with loads of controversy, we are once again left with the prospect of a faceless enemy.

Of course, celebrate as you see fit.

As a nation, we hardly need an excuse to indulge the unsavory appetites of the human condition, but dead terrorists are high on the list of justifiable party causes just above “Tuesday” and “new episodes of Jersey Shore”.

Party on Wayne. Party on Garth.

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