The news came this evening: Osama bin Laden was killed today in Pakistan in a U.S. special ops raid. And while the media are going bonkers and crowds are cheering outside the White House, I’m sitting here not feeling much of anything one way or the other.
It’s been almost 10 years since 9/11. I’d given up hoping we’d ever catch bin Laden, and it had ceased to be strategically important that we do so. I don’t feel any need to crow about or celebrate the killing. It seems rather inconsequential, actually, and it won’t change anything. Al Qaeda is still out there, scattered across the Middle East and elsewhere. We might have salvaged a bit of honor by doggedly pursuing and killing the man, but he was only one man. Does anyone really think his death will change anyone’s mind about this country?
So we got him. Good. But I don’t feel like celebrating. In fact, I find it sad that so many people in Washington and New York are in the streets celebrating a deliberate killing.
13 thoughts on “Bin Laden is dead and lots of people are happy”
Right again, Ms Type – you’re on a roll.
It won’t change a thing – except we’ve created a new martyr.
His death or capture is why we went to Afghanistan, but we aren’t leaving there.
We aren’t leaving Iraq or Libya either.
I doubt we’ll repeal the Patriot Act, dismantle Homeland Security or eliminate the TSA either. But I can dream.
Yep, bright and early tomorrow, our troops will head out to kill or be killed in three different foreign wars, just like they did yesterday. Except now the enemy will be really pissed. And here at home we’ll still be subject to warrantless wiretaps and invasive searches at the airport, and likely even tighter security for a while. Nope, nothing there to celebrate.
“If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.” — Thomas Paine
You, Tom, and me — such dreamers. And where has it gotten us?
All I could think was, good, about time. But then, of course, I thought, how is Pakistan going to react to this? And then, this morning, I heard he was sitting next to a Pakistani military base – their equivalent of West Point. And the building he was in seemed to be constructed to keep a political prisoner – you know the type – the kind of political prisoner they want to keep comfortable, but don’t want to let leave.
Did the Pakistani government know he was there? Of COURSE they did. And do they have weapons nearby that could have shot our helicopters down? Of course they did. So… what do you think really happened here? Why did they finally decide to give him up? Who was paid off? Oh, I don’t think this story is anywhere near over, but it may take a considerable amount of time before we learn the details.
I agree. The Pakistanis knew where he was. How could they not know? A conspicuously large, comfy, well defended compound … and all this time they were supposedly looking for him and not finding him. Yeah, right.
Well, for one thing he was the guy with all the money. Even terrorists need money to operate. Who do you think has been funding these guys. While he may not have been the only one, his millions have certainly helped to prop these guys up. At least there is that. And I disagree (big surprise, right?) it does change things. It provides some closure for the families of the 9/11 victims, improves the morale of our troops, and demoralizes the enemy. You may not see any value in that but I do.
Now that you mention the money … he probably bought off the Pakistani government. Or paid a hefty rent for that compound.
I hope this does bring some closure for a lot of people. I really do. But as long as our troops are dying overseas because of what bin Laden did, it isn’t over for me.
As for demoralizing the enemy, they must first believe bin Laden is dead. Without his body, will they believe it? And if they do believe it, then they have a new martyr for inspiration.
Rudy Giuliani has said he feels “satisfaction, not elation.” That’s a good description of how I feel.
The Hatfields sat in a darkened room squinting at the daylight on the other side of the slits in their shuttered house while they allowed themselves a degree of satisfaction at having avenged brother Bob’s family for having fallen victim to Jonah McCoy’s excessive retribution for nothing more than his umbrage at Horatio Hatfield’s taking a few buckets of water from the McCoy’s well. They all knew that old Andrew McCoy was a determined and hateful SOB with the patience of Job and a crack shot. As they counted their ammunition and reflected on the dwindling contents of their purse, the Hatfields grimaced at the fact that Andrew has 4 sons, 6 grandsons and that those damned McCoy’s breed like rabbits.
Once again, you’ve managed to concisely put into words the chaotic mess of feelings I’ve been having on this issue. I admit that the whole revenge thing does provide a certain satisfaction, but a celebration here seems about as appropriate as one would be after the execution of a death row inmate. And of course the madness will continue, just as you said. I feel asleep with my TV on one of the cable news channels. When I woke up, there was a reporter trying to manipulate some Pakistani official into admitting that the U.S. had stomped all over their sovereignty in this action. And when I checked my email I had three new ones from something called “Brasscheck TV” (I can’t remember why I subscribed) claiming that Bin Laden has been dead for years and that this current action was just another twist in an ongoing CIA plot to overthrow the Pakastani government. Good grief!
“Execution of a death row inmate.” Good analogy. That just about nails how I feel. As for the Pakistani government … don’t get me started.