I have been seeing a considerable amount of hand-wringing and outright scowling about the widespread celebration of the fact that my country just killed a man and dumped his filthy corpse into the middle of the ocean.
You will not find me doing either of these things. I am very happy that Bin Laden is dead and have no guilt for cheering when I heard the news. In fact, since it was a Navy SEAL that killed him, I will be buying a beer for the next sailor I see.
There is nothing wrong with feeling that way. A monster has been slain and it is good news for all of humanity.
There is no question that Bin Laden was directly responsible for murder on a massive scale. I would have preferred that he be locked in a cage to wither and die as his deranged followers watched in embarrassment, but I have no problem with his being killed instead.
If you don’t agree, that is fine and perfectly understandable. If you feel the need to express your disapproval of the celebration of his death, please try to maintain some intellectual honesty about it at least. Most of the disapproval I have seen so far has most certainly not done this.
I see people comparing cheering crowds of Americans to the Palestinians who danced in the streets at the news of the 9/11 attacks. I’ll cut people some slack and assume they don’t realize how intellectually dishonest they are being with this comparison. The same thought occurred to me as well, even if only briefly.
On 9/11, we were hearing horrifying numbers, such as that there might be 50,000 or more people in the World Trade Center towers at 9:00AM on a typical Tuesday morning. For a long, terrible moment, we thought there might be that many people who had died.
Fifty thousand; that’s only a little less than the number of troops we lost fighting the entire Vietnam War. The real number, thankfully, turned out to be far, far less.
On 9/11, Palestinians were dancing in the street at the possibility that as many as 50,000 random, innocent people had just been murdered, live on television. It was a disgusting spectacle. Those people didn’t do anything to Bin Laden or to Palestinians. I know Palestinians have very legitimate grievances but, I will never forget that image. Even now, ten years later, it still negatively influences my opinion of them.
Last night, Americans were dancing in the street over the death of a man who proudly and openly orchestrated the mass murder of random people around the world. A man who provoked America and her allies into two bloody, misguided wars that have claimed millions of victims. A man who served as the catalyst for the slow, continuing demise of constitutional, civil and human rights in what we used to call “The Free West.”
Pretending that the celebration last night and today is the same as the street party in East Jerusalem ten years ago is not just intellectually dishonest, it is downright stupid.
I don’t believe in the devil. I do believe in evil. Osama bin Laden will forever serve as a perfect example what the word evil means.
You’re damned right I cheered. No regrets.