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Monday, May 02, 2011

More middle east drama

Holy crow, after the hullabaloo Sunday morning, I was just getting ready for bed when Larry got home and asked me if I'd heard the news.  Like probably most people, I was quite taken aback to hear that Osama Bin Laden was killed by American soldiers in Pakistan.

Of course we turned on CNN right away and watched the President's speech and some of the reporting.  I must admit that I thought the celebrating, while understandable, was rather unseemly.  It's certainly a human impulse, but not a very civilized one.

While there were many of the standard comments by my friends on Facebook that night and the next day(like "proud to be an American today" and "ding dong the witch is dead" and even "yes we can motherfucker"), I was pleased to read a number of comments that closely expressed my own thoughts:

Here's my local friend Donna (whose daughter was killed on 9-11 and who has been active in an organization called 9-11 Families for a Peaceful Tomorrow) ~

"How many were killed because of this man and for what was made of 9/11? Ten years of tragedy across the globe. I am not celebrating this death anymore than I would celebrate any death. I trust that too much will be claimed. I pray that there is some reason to the response. May we all put down our hate."

Here's my friend Angela, from Philadelphia ~

"Feeling really disillusioned right now... First, I think celebrating the "death" of Bin Laden, is a waste of energy and a media construct that will falsely give some American's a feeling of "safety" and victory. There is no victory, as terrorism does not exist within the confines of Osama Bin Laden alone. Doesn't anyone understand what happens when you cut off one head of the Hydra?  I'm just always amazed at how easily some Americans compartmentalize certain news. Do yourselves a favor and don't read comments on CNN. Also, I'm not looking forward to the partisan shitstorm over why President Obama does or doesn't get "credit" for this that will no doubt occur."

And this from a friend in Arizona, Michael ~

"How does this change anything? 10 years and how many lives lost to get him? Just doesn't make sense to me.  Just let me know when I can wear shoes and bring my toothpaste on an airplane again."

And this great quote, posted by another Arizona friend, Marty~

"I've never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure.” - Clarence Darrow

After the celebrating had gone on for about 48 hours, several friends posted this quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. ~

"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."

I was getting pretty disgusted with all the chest beating and flag waving.  During a discussion on Diane Rehm's show on NPR, a caller said, "Americans need to grow up.  We're acting like we just won the crosstown football game." I thought that was a very apt description of the atmosphere.
Angela posted this analysis, which I think is better than most ~

Mark Kimmit, Military Analyst/US Army Brigadier said, "This is not the end of the movement, this is not the end of the terrorism but this is the end of the chapter Capturing or killing bin Laden has more iconic... value. It will have symbolic value, because it has been a number of years since bin Laden has exercised day to day control over operations. We still have an al-Qaeda threat out there and that will be there for a number of years. This organization (al-Qaeda) is more than bin Laden, it may be symbolized by bin Laden, but it definitely is more than him."


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