Monday, May 02, 2011

Osama Bin Laden is dead. Terror lives.

I'm not supposed to feel happiness when someone dies, but I'll make an exception this time out. News that 9/11 mastermind and Al-Queida founder and leader Osama Bin was killed in a firefight with U.S. forces on Sunday will doubtless be greeted with endless glee around the world. After all, it's difficult to feel sadness at the loss of someone who devoted his life to killing innocents. He brought untold misery to the world, so his removal from it isn't necessarily a sad occasion.

But let's not fool ourselves. He may have been the grand poobah of the world's highest profile terorist organization. But he was - and always will be - a cockroach. A large one, but still a cockroach. And if you kill one, you've still got countless others just like it skittering every which way.

In announcing the news, President Obama said, "Justice has been done." I'm not entirely sure that's the case. There can never be anything approaching justice for the thousands of innocents slaughtered simply because they chose to go to work on that terrible day almost 10 years ago. This doesn't get them back. But it'll have to do.

We delude ourselves if we think the so-called war on terrorism is over. It isn't, and I doubt it ever will be. Terrorism remains a persistent threat. Humans retain an unfathomable ability to hate. One deranged man's death doesn't change any of this, and there are plenty of others out there perfectly willing to pick up this cretin's baton. At best, we've opened a new chapter in a book none of us ever wanted to read.

Your turn: Thoughts?

15 comments:

Mojo said...

Carmi, you and I had almost exactly the same reaction to this bit of news. And sadly, I think that the death of this one large cockroach is going to spawn one hell of a lot of backlash. I hope I'm wrong. I'd love to be wrong. But recent world events, not just in the Middle East but South Asia, the Pacific Rim, Northern Ireland... everywhere leave me with a hollow feeling about this development. I wonder if the serpent we just beheaded was a serpent or a worm. I'm not sorry to know that the world has one less monumentally evil man in it tonight. But I can't bring myself to pop the metaphorical cork on the bottle either.

Chanel said...

When one jerkface dies, another pops up from his army of minions to take his place. This will likely NEVER be over.

Still...

Can't help but do a little jig. Ding dong the witch is dead and all that.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

I believe you are right.. On the news they were saying that now law enforcement eyes (my words)will be more observant- high alert were the words being used.. I am sure airports, etc. will be on watch... Obama may think that 'justice was served' tho, I think there is a price whenever something devastating happens... Someone seems to always lose.

Greyscale Territory said...

A beautifully expressed post! I couldn't agree more with this well paced reality check!

Ankita (Gg) said...

I'm not sure if I should believe it. If it's true, well, momentary relief, I guess.

The English Teacher said...

True, but let's enjoy the moment today before we heave a deep sigh and go on with the fight, okay?

sage said...

Nicely written. I agree and felt a tinge of guilt with the excitement of yesterday evening. It's always tragic when someone who obviously had great talents used them in such evil ways and although the world is better without him, certainly the war will go on.

Twain12 said...

i'm with you Carmi

Tabor said...

I think that this event has opened some real information treasures with the computers found and location of the event. I do think we have a changing relationship with Pakistan and big shift in how we will proceed. Terrorism will continue, but this killing is a good thing.

lepifera said...

Does not dehumanization of another human being often serve as the justification for violence against the innocents? On the bookshelf of my college professors that sat many books about anti-antisemitism, and how once caricature was used to demonize people with Jewish heritage.

I am not sure by calling people cockroaches over the internet is going to help put an end to terror.

Canadian Mark said...

I think I might be in the minority here, but I can't feel any happiness, glee, retribution, or sense of 'justice' about the death of this man.

If my family along with several thousand others were murdered when some terrorists destroyed some iconic buildings, it would certainly upset me. A lot. And my initial reaction would very likely be one of vengance...to want to kill.

But. Over a decade later and spending billions of dollars on a war and tens of thousands of lives fighting it.... The whole situation saddens me. I don't feel like justice has been served or wrongs have been righted here.

If I feel any emotion here it's not one of celebration or joy, but one of sorrow that as a global society, after thousands of years of terrorism, war, and genocide humans just don't get it.

Sorry, this comment kind of got away on me.

Melissa said...

Well said, Carmi. Well, said.

kcinnova said...

Exactly.

Had President Clinton managed to take him out a dozen or more years ago, perhaps we wouldn't be so deeply involved in a terroristic world... perhaps it would have nipped many terror cells in the bud... but perhaps we would still be where we are, locked in a forever battle against evil.

kcinnova said...

Exactly.

Had President Clinton managed to take him out a dozen or more years ago, perhaps we wouldn't be so deeply involved in a terroristic world... perhaps it would have nipped many terror cells in the bud... but perhaps we would still be where we are, locked in a forever battle against evil.

Michael Manning said...

On balance, I agree with you Carmi. But I feel this was a just action for so many who lost husbands, wives and children to this madman. We must remain vigilant and retain Hope for a better world where mutual understanding gradually prevails. Good post!