Last night we received the breaking news story that Osama bin Laden had been killed and his body is in US custody.
Immediately, Facebook (and I’m sure Twitter, too, but I don’t tweet) was flooded with status comments regarding this story. Some as simple as “Osama’s dead!”, to others rejoicing in the news. This morning, at least my home wall of recent feeds is flooded (among the mundane) with people angry at America’s rejoicing, taking to the streets, and celebrating the news that “we got ‘im!” Some are disgusted that we’ll reprimand others for rejoicing in the death of an American, but yet we’ll turn around and do the same thing when we kill someone we’ve targeted as an enemy. Granted, the difference is that THIS man was a global terrorist, and had his minions kill thousands, in the name of his beliefs.
Although, writing that, and thinking about it, if you take the emotional investment out of the equation…
Anyhoo, you get what I mean. Killing is killing is killing. We just prescribe reasons to legitimize our actions.
I’m not sure where I sit on this issue…to rejoice, or just consider it another death in this war I wish would end. Because his death does NOT mean it’s over, our troops are coming home. Oh lordy, no. The political extremists are still fighting within their countries, and fighting our presence. [I’ll keep my own political agenda out of this.] There’s still Civil Wars and a World War to contend with.
But people are in the mindset that Osama bin Laden WAS an enemy. He was a massive political, cultural, physical threat. America is still hurt over the attacks of September 11, 2001. Almost 10 years later, the events are still fresh for many people, especially those who lost loved ones, either on the planes, in the Towers, or at the Pentagon. (I wonder, how long did it take Americans to “move on” from the attacks of Pearl Harbor? Something to think about…) So, when we hear that the man behind those attacks has been killed, how can people NOT be happy? You have to understand, people need that closure – he was out there, for almost 10 years after those attacks, and we’ve been battling with him for much longer. And, supposedly, we could have killed him at least a couple of times before now. And even though, if you look at things from the other side of the world (“of the fence”), those we have declared as our enemies consider us their enemies, as well. And they will rejoice when they take one of us out at a time… We hurt over it, because it’s US, our side, who was killed…they rejoice because they have killed an enemy, and believe themselves to be doing their God’s work. We all take it personally…us; them. That’s why we do what we do, we have our own personal, political, religious agendas to fulfill.
And let us not forget how much sensationalism is in the news now a-days. We see a clip of people rejoicing (for any occasion, not just his one), and we’re lead to presume it’s EVERYONE, when it really could just be a group of 15 people…the camera man just happened to be in the group, got the right angles, and the reporter made it sound like it’s the entire state that’s present. Just saying. You can’t believe EVERYTHING you hear in the news (read between the lines), and don’t base your opinion ON an opinion…get the naked facts, first. The news is too pushy, too full of details, propaganda, uses words that are guaranteed to grab your attention, uses logical fallacies, they appeal to your emotions (biased) and USE words and phrases that will make you feel something (unless you’re a robot, one unlike HAL).
Can you tell I don’t like “the news”? I’ll read headlines, some stories (between the lines mostly, unless I can find a write-up that isn’t emotionally loaded), to keep myself up-to-date on the events, but I don’t watch the news stories on TV. I feel they can’t just report, but have to tell you what the think of the situation, too, instead of letting you come up with your own belief.
We’re people, we feel, we react. Osama bin Laden is dead. Admittedly, there HAS to be SOME sense of joy in every American’s heart over this – he was an evil man. To chastise anyone for having an honest emotion, I think is unfair. Now, whether it was right or appropriate to take to the streets and party in the name of Osama’s death…I can’t say. But the simple fact of the matter is that our presence in the Middle East is not over, so while we have accomplished one mission, we still have loose ends to tie up before our troops can come home. Our hearts and minds should still be with our men and women serving, for their job is not over, and if anything, I fear may get tougher with the wake of Osama’s followers looking to get revenge on his death. WE are THEIR enemy, let us not forget. Just because we may think we’re in the right, but we are their opponent.