Today I am conflicted. There has been so much news about the death of Osama Bin Laden at the hands of our military this morning that, as an American, I can’t deny a feeling of vindication. The man spearheaded one of the worst hate crimes ever on our soil and so to FINALLY see the book close on him brings a sigh of relief. What I am torn about, however, is our reaction to it. As Americans we stand united and so whatever it took to bring this man in to pay for his crimes, I stand by 100%. In the latest on CNN.com, “there was no indication bin Laden was going to surrender when the U.S. launched its operation (in Pakistan).” So if he wasn’t going to surrender, I guess our military had no other option but to take him out. But there is a part of me that WANTED to see this man go to trial for his crimes and then we could discuss the idea of the death penalty. But that’s an entirely different topic. For now…I just want to see the guy pay for his crimes. Of course, this probably wouldn’t sit well by many of my fellow citizens simply because why should we pay to keep such a villainous man alive? Right?
Good question. And I can’t deny that I would rather NOT spend anything to keep him alive for very long.
What I would do is this…leave him alone in his jail cell with a some water, crank up some Britney Spears to a deafening roar and fire up a flashing strobe light and leave a loaded gun in the cell and lets see how long he lasts. I’m not saying what happened in Pakistan was wrong. At all. I’m just saying I wanted to see the guy get his just rewards before dying a much easier death.
According to reports, the U.S. Navy Seals shot him in the head. CNN states, “A U.S. official disputed reports that bin Laden had altered his appearance to avoid recognition. A visual ID was made, there were photo comparisons and other facial recognition used to identify him. A second official said that in addition to DNA there was full biometric analysis of facial and body features.” Uh…okay? I guess I can accept that. I want to believe the guy is gone, but I think it’s important that we get to SEE it so we all know. Not that I like seeing dead bodies but still…it would bring me peace of mind. But apparently his body has already been put out to sea, floating around to be washed up on some Pacific coast island during beach season? Why? What purpose does THAT serve? Apparently it was done “in accordance with Islamic practice and tradition.” Ooookay…? I’m pretty sure in this particular case the accordances of Islamic practice & tradition can take a back seat to millions of Americans seeing the facts. And the fact is…I’ve seen a photo of someone they SAY is the dead bin Laden. But is it really him? If he had altered his appearance, it sure bears a pretty uncanny resemblance to all the photos I have seen of him in the past 10 years. So that makes me a bit uneasy.
Also something I’d like to point out is that although I’m glad we finally found bin Laden, I can’t bring myself to cheer and celebrate for a couple of reasons…
First…it took us WAY too long to catch the guy. It’s scary that he was able to hide from all of our technology and military for almost a decade. That scares me maybe more than the idea of him hiding in an underground desert cave somewhere.
Secondly…I remember when the World Trade Center Towers came down and seeing video of radical Islamists cheering and celebrating in the streets of Afghan cities. Not really understanding the thinking that is behind such strong religious convictions, I remember feeling angry and confused to why anyone would want to celebrate the deaths of so many like that. How could so many be so hateful? Why would they actually be cheering such a horrific event? So it is with some confusion that I see us doing the same thing and I don’t know what to think. Do I feel better knowing that the threat of one man is gone? Yes. But I can’t celebrate the fact that he’s dead. If I did that, I wouldn’t be any better than those that were celebrating the fact that so many of our citizens died. Is it unfair of me to judge? Yes. Everyone deals with tragedy in their own way. So I can understand why there were so many celebrations all over the country. People outside the White House, at Ground Zero and I’m sure many other places were waving flags and cheering and I get it. But I can’t join in. If I do, I feel it makes me the same as them and I want to be above that. The fact is…Osama bin Laden killed over 2,700 Americans in the attack on the World Trade Centers, the Pentagon and Flight 93. He is gone and I am thankful. I applaud the Navy Seal team that found him and brought him down in accordance to the orders that they were given. Yet I have to believe that until we can all sleep at night knowing that our country will never be attacked in such a way again, it’s not over yet. And that troubles me.
Today I celebrate the fact that Osama bin Laden is gone. The terror he created in our country has never been matched and so he now can spend the rest of eternity in a special place created for people like himself. I’m sure Hitler can use the company. As for me, I believe I am going to agree with my friend Lori and post a passage by Martin Luther King, Jr…
”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.”
I believe there is truth in those words. It is our time to be bigger than those who wish to destroy us. I pray that we can be. And I pray for the men & women in our military who remain overseas. Be safe, be strong and come home soon. God bless America and God bless us all.
But I still think the Britney Spears torture idea would work.