Monday, May 2, 2011

A 'victory' that is bittersweet, at best.

Having had roughly 24 hours to reflect on the revelations of last night, namely that U.S. special forces had finally captured and killed Osama Bin Laden I gotta say, I have some mixed emotions.  It might be fair to say I'm a little numb.

In no particular order, my thoughts:

I'm happy and relieved for the people who lost friends, family and co-workers in 9/11 who will hopefully find some sort of closure from this news.

I'm afraid of Bin Laden's martydom being catalyst for more aggression against North America.

I'm conflicted because I don't usually believe that justice for taking life should involve taking more life, especially without due process, but in this case, a big part of me is willing to give it a pass, just this time.

I'm irritated with people screaming 'America, Fuck Yeah' and 'Hooray for the good guys!' like we've won some kind of pissing contest.  It's not the Olympics.  It's not the bloody Stanley Cup Playoffs.  It's life and death.   It's not just about one man, it's about the memories of thousands lost, on both sides of the fence.  Let's show a little decorum so we can at least hold ourselves to a higher standard than those people who celebrated and rioted in the streets when the World Trade Center fell.

I'm apathetic because I know this is merely a symbolic victory.  Bin Laden's capture and subsequent death won't end terrorism, it won't end the blood spilt over conflicting ideologies.  This is a continuation of an ongoing cycle of violence with no end in site.

I'm still more than a little amused with the fact that Barack Obama's address cut into the end of Celebrity Apprentice.  Suck it, Trump.

Yeah, so all in all.. don't know how I feel.  There have been a few choice things I've read around the interwebs that addressed it nicely:
Yes, bin Laden the man is dead. But he achieved all he set out to achieve, and a hell of a lot more. He forever changed who we are as a country, and for the worse. Mostly because we let him. That isn’t something a special ops team can fix - The Stay-At-Home Feminist Mom
Osama Bin Laden is dead.  Couldn’t have happened to a more deserving guy. - Jill at Feministe
The world breathes a sigh of relief that the foremost terrorist leader has been eliminated, and rightly so, but let's not lose sight of temperance and grace. This is far from over and the actions we take and the words we speak today will color what happens in the future. - Everything I like Causes Cancer
ten years ago, i may have felt different.
ten years ago, i may have felt a bit of righteous and well deserved retribution.
ten years ago, i may have felt that good triumphed over evil...
ten years ago, i would have felt that we struck a huge blow to the terrorists.

i may have felt that we knew where they were and were coming for them.

not yesterday.
not today.
not tomorrow.

revenge is a dish that is best not served.
it is a dish that is best a lost recipe.

today this feels
like a lie.
a ruse.
a spin.
a hide the weenie.
a slight of hand. - Bruce's Evil Twin at Stupid Stuff I See and Hear
and this which has been going around Facebook:
I have never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure - Mark Twain


  1. I totally agree with you.
    He deserved to be caught, but I find all the celebrations a bit disturbing.

  2. The Mark Twain one is a great one.

  3. I know... when Obama said "justice has been done" I didn't quite agree.

    Yes Bin Laden symbolized a lot, and spearheaded awful acts, but killing him isn't going to solve terrorism or stop the senseless killing.

    He was one of many.

    How you feelin' about this Conservative majority? Me - not so good...

  4. I agree with the bittersweet sentiment. I'm taking the ferry from Staten Island to Manhattan and all I can focus on are the glowing lights on the Freedom Tower...

  5. For what it's worth...

    "Why should we love our enemies? The first reason is fairly obvious. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction." - Martin Luther King, Jr. Strength to Love, 1963, pg. 52–53

    "Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles." - Proverbs 24:17

  6. great post and

    thank you for the tribute!

    i am glad that somewhere in the world, there are others that are not drinking the kool-aid...

  7. I'm not sad he's dead. I just don't know that body paint and raucous cheering are a fitting tribute to those who died, you know?

  8. Agreed. Not sad he's dead, just that it took this long and with this many casualties.

    It seems like it should be more a time of quiet reflection rather than pep rallies.


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