I woke up ridiculously early Monday morning, around 3:50 a.m., and just could not get back to sleep, so I went to the computer. Ah, Bin Laden’s dead. Hmm. Where’s my fist pump? Maybe I’m still too tired.
I came across Kevin Marshall’s piece, which was entitled “No closure from Osama bin Laden’s death”, and even before I read the actual piece, I realized that he was on the right track. Key half-sentence: “I became confused as to why I didn’t feel that level of joy that everyone else seemed to be expressing.” It reminded me of what I wrote about the execution of Tim McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber.
Then I went to Reader Wil’s page. She said, “…People are glad that this cruel man is dead. Isn’t it terrible that we should be glad that somebody is killed, even if he deserved it? It asks for revenge and hatred. The death of any tyrant is cause for satisfaction for one group and cause for fury, anger, and revenge for his friends.” Sounds about right.
The next stop was Mark Evanier’s post: “Boy, it’s nice to see America so happy. This country has been in bad need of a hug for a long time and the killing of Osama Bin Laden seems to be it, at least in some quarters.” Yeah, I saw the celebrations in New York and DC and elsewhere, but is AMERICA happy? And if America’s so happy, why aren’t I?
After finally going to sleep and too soon getting up again, I started reading more responses. Newsmax echoed Evanier’s point: “Bin Laden Death Gives US Reason to Cheer,” to get us out our “surly” state over “rising gas prices, stubbornly high unemployment and nasty partisan politics”. Wow – now I can ignore the $4.159 per gallon gasoline, up six cents just this week, at the local station.
So I watch the Today show and read more stories and find the samo samo. While some Republicans congratulated Obama, others praised GW Bush for using Gitmo as an intelligence source, while pointedly ignoring Obama’s role. Meanwhile, someone was blathering about the liberals and the Ground Zero site, and I tuned out. And speaking of nasty partisan politics…
Let me be clear: I’ll shed no tears for Osama bin Ladin. But this paragraph in David Sirota’s article in Salon rings too true: “This is bin Laden’s lamentable victory: He has changed America’s psyche from one that saw violence as a regrettable-if-sometimes-necessary act into one that finds orgasmic euphoria in the news of bloodshed. In other words, he’s helped drag us down into his sick nihilism by making us like too many other bellicose societies in history — the ones that aggressively cheer on killing, as long as it is the Bad Guy that is being killed.” I also noticed Jack Bauer, the fictional character from the TV show 24, was tracking on Twitter, and I knew for sure that this one death is no cure-all.
Steve Bissette’s rant, Part 1 and Part 2. And on a lighter note, how the former Kate Middleton helped to do in Usama.