Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Big F$#@ing Deal...

So, Bin Laden is dead. There will be constant reporting about the raid and it's aftermath over the next few months at least as the CIA is now going through all of the hard drives and flash drives found at the complex - more raids imminent, I'm sure.

Anyway, like many of my friends, I'm not really sure how I feel about it. I suppose "thoughtful" would be the best word - and an optimistic one. We all hope to be thoughtful at times like this.

I guess I just wanted to say a word in general about the extreme exclamations of joy - from the streets of New York City to the teleprompters of John Stewart and Steven Colbert. People seem positively jubilant. I understand why, though I wanted to say that the drunken chanting in the streets somehow doesn't sit 100% well with me. I just can't get there. The man's death is a significant thing, but it isn't everything, and for me - when I heard the news, I kind of just needed to sit down and think for a while - not an easy thing to do in my middle school environment.

That all being said, though I admit my own discomfort with the nature of some of the celebration, I also don't begrudge anyone for it. How can I? Would I, if I were there, walk up to a proud man waving the Stars & Stripes at Ground Zero and suggest that his response is inappropriate?

Here we all are, being human, and exposing all of our faults.


Douglas said...

Yea, I woke up early for class and flipped open my laptop, and boom, there it was. Granted, it didn't shake me as much as michael jackson's death, but it made me pause and reflect regardless. The guy was a jerk and his passing prevents him from procreating any further.

As for the cheering on the streets, that's a good example of unreflected naivety.

Anonymous said...

As a fan of the HBO series "The Wire" no lesson is more evident in my mind than this one: you knock out one kingpin, and another one takes his place.

The killing of Bin Laden was essential for US National Pride - had he died of natural causes, we would have completely lost faith in our military. Hitler shot himself, and Stalin died of a stroke - that's why US citizens still bitch about communists and Nazis.

Bin Laden's death is a cathartic moment for a lot of people, but I don't think anyone here sees this as being finished. Even in New York, people are cautiously jubilant. They only seem "positively jubilant" because those are the snippets that thought-devoid news programs think people want to see.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the next few months, but I think every US citizen would be happy to see troops come home, so long as potential threats are neutralized. I know the middle east would love it. That's the gray area in which nobody can find a satisfactory definition of "threat." It's hard to tell when exactly we can get out of the middle east, but killing Bin Laden is a crucial factor in anyone's plan. For that reason, though I admire your caution, I would say that this man's death is reason for optimism.

By the way, what ever happened to the nuclear reactor situation in Japan?

George Bailey Sees The World! said...

Good points about Hitler and Stalin. While in Cambodia, I saw a short documentary on the Pol Pot regime. He too died before he could really be brought to justice. His body was cremated by his hanger-on, somewhere in the jungle with a couple of tires and pieces of particle board.

I know that the majority of "real America" is repsonding differently from the drunken masses who are excited to get out of their two finals the next day, but I just wanted to offer my two cents about how I reacted to the images.

It's unsettling. I don't want to view the celebrations from on high and say that I wouldn't be capable of such elation, because I don't know. It's like having a strong opinion on the death penalty but admitting that your feelings could change if ever such an issue hit closer to home.

But as for Bin Laden. The news just made me sad. Yes, he's dead. Yes, it means healing. But then when people sober-up, I can't help but think that it's going to mean a more weighty sadness - 10 years, so much lost, and not little gained in the "fight on terror".

Glad he's gone and all, but didn't we put him there in the first place? Like 9/11 itself, this feels like an opportunity for reflection, and I hope that it's not a lost opportunity as 9/11 turned out to be.

Anonymous said...

Well it looks like I may have to eat my words. I found out recently that Bin Laden was unarmed when he was killed. Seriously, not even an expedited trial for this guy? That whole thing seems to cross several lines that we're pretty quick to point at here in the US.