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The death of the world’s most wanted man brings out a number of emotions…

May 2, 2011, 11:50 PM

Well, I’ll be. They actually captured Osama bin Laden. I did not expect to see such a thing happen. I always figured that bin Laden would die of natural causes, and we would never find out about it. But they actually managed to capture him, though not alive.

First of all, I think it’s probably a good thing that we did not bring bin Laden in alive. For me, this is not any sort of kill-that-bastard vengeful line of thinking. It’s that we very much need to be able to move on as a country. If we had brought bin Laden in alive, then he would have to stand trial. The question would have been how do we try him, choosing between a civilian court or a military tribunal, and all of the discussion related to that. Then a trial would reopen many painful emotional wounds in too many people. With bin Laden dead and without a trial to reopen all of those 9/11 wounds, perhaps now we can move on as a country. Nothing anyone can do will ever bring back the lives of those who were killed on 9/11, and nothing will erase the pain of losing a loved one, but perhaps bin Laden’s death will help bring closure to some, and help with the healing process.

I am, however, disgusted by the behavior that I’ve seen exhibited by many Americans after bin Laden’s death was announced. First of all, there is no doubt in my mind that Osama bin Laden is the scum of the earth. There is no doubt in my mind that he was instrumental in the commitment of many atrocities against innocent victims. However, for Americans to be dancing in the streets celebrating the death of Osama bin Laden seems a bit barbaric. There are certainly times to dance in the street and celebrate (the overthrow of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak being one), but in this instance, it seemed wrong. I for one don’t feel any joy in bin Laden’s death, just as I don’t feel joy when anyone dies. The problem is that this action by Americans seems to erase any outrage that we might have been able to claim about people who will celebrate publicly when bad things happen to Americans. We just proved that when people we don’t like are killed, we will do the exact same thing. There goes our claim to the moral high ground, since as a country, we just did what we had expressed outrage about when it was done about us. Rick Telfer put it best on the Twitter when he said, “Always the same stupidity. When ‘they’ cheer for death, it’s barbaric. When ‘we’ do, it’s cathartic.” I believe it’s barbaric when either side does it.

And also, another thing is that the death of Osama bin Laden really won’t change anything on our shores. There are still people that hate us out there in the world and wish to do us harm. And security is big business. Realize that “terrorism” is to the modern age what “communism” was during the Cold War. Terrorism is the boogeyman that our government now uses to control its citizens and keep them afraid. No politician wanted to be considered “soft on communism” during the Cold War. Likewise today, no politician wants to be the one who left the door open for terrorists to strike. Photographers are now considered the enemy by too many security personnel and targeted for harrassment. The anti-terrorism “security” industry, much like the military-industrial complex, is a billion-dollar industry, and it is likely going to prove impossible to get that genie back in the bottle. Selling unnecessary scanners that do nothing but confirm people’s fears and keep them scared is helping send someone’s kid to college, and so who are we to say it’s wrong?

So what of the war in Afghanistan? It is time to go. We caught Osama bin Laden. Now it is time to bring all of our soldiers home. Our welcome, if we really ever had it, ran out the moment that bin Laden died. War is hell, and these soldiers are just as much victims of war as those who were not fortunate enough to come back alive, as the experience may mentally scar them, causing lifelong psychological issues when they get back home. I cannot justify sending more people into harm’s way to be mentally scarred for life by the hell of war.

I guess the whole thrust of this entry, far more serious in its tone than most in this space, is that it is time to move on, and that the death of Osama bin Laden may be the catalyst for finally moving away from the “War on Terror” mindset and concentrating on some of the more pressing matters that face our country.

Web site: Sinkers.org cartoon about the killing of Osama bin Laden

Song: Washington City Paper showing the demonstrations at the White House about Osama bin Laden's death. This just seems barbaric, having a huge public celebration about someone's death, no matter how awful the person may be.

Quote: So there you go, I suppose...

Categories: National politics