I admit I’m not sure what I should feel about it all. I want to be happy that Osama bin Laden is dead, and I am. It is a strange thing, however, to be happy that someone is dead. It gives me, perhaps, a very small sense of what it felt like to be alive in the US during World War II and the subsequent years. Still, there are ugly things that float in that stream of vengeance, things I don’t want to have in my psyche.
On the other hand, I saw a Mark Twain quote tweeted a bit ago that read “I’ve never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure.” This I get.
Sure, there will be someone to carry on for Osama bin Laden. Of course the “War on Terror” is still a false war, one that can never be declared over. This is not relevant to the issue. You don’t for example, let a child cheat on a test merely because you know that stopping one cheater is meaningless, that another will just grow in his place. We don’t let weeds grow in our yards merely because we know that removing them leaves room for another. Removing Hitler from Germany in 1938 would not have changed the environment that created and fostered him–who is to say that WW II wasn’t inevitable? And yet, I think it would be unusual to find a knowledgeable person who wouldn’t agree to give it a go without Hitler if they could go back in time and make it so.
There will always be conflict among humans, and as long as there is conflict there will be environments for terrorists and rebel freedom-fighters and whatever.
Today I’ve looked at video of celebrations, and I’ve heard the chants at games “USA, USA, USA!” and I’ve been filled with many emotions. Mostly I remember the events of that morning of September 11, and the aftermath. And in the end I think this is good. Yes. This is very good.