Monday, May 2, 2011

I Wouldn't Say I'm Happy

Unless you were in a complete electronic blackout last night, you heard the news that Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. Forces sometime last week. It spread like wildfire across the ether...from facebook to gaming sites to the nightly news. The president made a live speech confirming the news was everywhere...

As the rumor spread, the news cameras showed us jubilant crowds first in front of the White House and later in Times Square. I was dismayed. I went to bed last night wondering what I would awaken to. It came as no surprise, then, to see a huge photo of the crowd at the White House accompanying the headline on the front page of our local newspaper. I was pleased to read that the crowds really never gained momentum. The high-fives, the celebrations of a job finally done, stayed private. I think that is how they should be.

Over the years we have seen exultant mobs burning the U.S. Flag, dancing jubilantly at the news of the death of U.S. Soldiers, burning pictures and other representations of our president in effigy and it has sickened me. I don't want us to be those people...I think we are better than that.

Am I glad that our Special Forces carried out their mission? Absolutely. Do I agree with our president who said this confirms that the U.S. will do what it takes to protect this nation and it's citizens? Again, absolutely. Osama bin Laden was the head of a group that has been targeting America and it's allies for 20 years...he was called a terrorist mastermind and he was a threat that needed to be removed. After almost ten years, it finally was. Our military did the job with no more loss of life on our side.

I guess I just don't see how we can be "happy" about this. It doesn't undo the World Trade Center, it doesn't undo the USS Cole, or any of the other things he instigated with such devastating effectiveness. Osama bin Laden brought terrorism to us in a way his death won't eliminate. Sleeper cells, suitcase bombs, bio-terrorism, and alert levels have all become terms we're familiar with because of his concerted efforts. He was so successful that he changed the landscape of our lives forever. My children are growing up in an America that is completely different from the one I grew up in. His death hasn't changed, no, I guess I can't say I'm happy.

To our Special Forces, I say "Job well done" and to the rest of us, I say the job has just begun.


jen@odbt said...

I am glad OBL is gone however I am now on high alert myself and wondering when something is going to happen next and that makes me sad. I know my kids don't know any different but it's just sad. You're so right - the job has only begun.

Cindy@OldTimePickers said...


Erin said...

Thanks for chiming in...I wonder if it is a generational thing that has me thinking this way...

Beth in NC said...

I posted about this today as well. When I heard about Osama Bin Laden's death, my thoughts immediately went to his soul -- in hell, burning for eternity. That is pitiful, no matter who it is.

Such a waste of a God-given life.

pam said...

Thank you Erin. How is it that you almost always write and share the exact thoughts that are going through my own head.

I was horrified at the images I saw of the jubilant revelers - and my thoughts echoed yours.

I don't think it is a generational thing, Erin. I think it is a decent human thing.

Like everyone, I am grateful he is gone, but I do worry about the possible consequences. Would have been much better if we had managed to capture or dispose of him ten years ago before, as one woman stated on the news, the organization metastasized.

However, like most people on this earth, I am glad for any comfort his passing brings to those who lost loved ones ten years ago.