Tuesday, May 3, 2011
“I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. 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.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
A blog friend of my from Australia opened his blog with that quote. The citizens of the United States took a lot of flack yesterday for what the rest of the world sees and vengeance. This blog is a response to that.
The news media (and not just ours here in the states) has blown the "celebration" of Bin Laden's death all out of proportion. From what I can determine it was the drunken young emptying the bars and dancing into the streets in New York City. It was their city which was forever scarred. And 9/11 was the first bump in charmed lives of that generation. He was their boogie man and he was dead. Still his body was not hung from the portico of a hotel for days like Mussolini's at the end of WWII.That done by his own people.
Most American citizens behaved quite quietly upon hearing that Bin Laden was dead. For us the report of his death was closure. Not unlike hearing the pronouncement of Ted Bundy's successful execution whether you believe in capital punishment or not. And for many of us it was a subtle proof that former President GW Bush didn't try to get him. In the frontier days of the United States it was believed if you killed the chief of the tribe the fighting stopped. Perhaps on some level we still believe that. We don't want the wars we are currently fighting. We don't want wars. And we would like to hope that killing the chief of this war on terror would bring peace.
And I certainly do not believe (even though I do go along with some conspiracy theories) we faked this. I understand the burial at sea was in keeping with the Muslim tradition of burial within 24 hours and that at sea his body would not risk being dug up and mutilated. No doubt our Navy Seals got the proof the wicked witch is dead.
As for the eye for an eye bit that seems to pervade several major religions in the world, Bin Laden argued that 9/11 was an atonement for sins of the American people. GW called our invasion of Iraq a holy war. But that we could have put both on a gallows and hung both at the same time. The leaders that create war, and not the innocent among their populations should be the ones that wage it and pay the ultimate price for it.