Monday, May 2, 2011


I thought an appropriate return from my blogging hiatus would be to talk about the death of Osama bin Laden while I am still processing it and hopefully before our readers get to sick of hearing about it.

First off, I think that his death leaves the world better off than it was before. I think most of the world agrees that his death is a good thing and I feel compelled to agree. When I first heard the news, I was excited, much more excited than I thought I would be. I mean, I figured it had to happen eventually, but it still felt like a surprise. I also felt good for President Obama, who I think has had a very difficult time holding firm in Pakistan and Afghanistan, a lot harder time than President Bush did going in. I feel this. I also felt good for America, that feeling of, we did what we set out to do, even though there are plenty of terrorists left and I don't expect us to ever kill them all. What this does is show the middle east that we are able to carry through. Most people over there would rather not have Osama around and I think most of them accepted that we would send troops to try to get rid of him and his followers. It shows that we weren't just there to occupy their land. And I think, at a basic level, bin Laden was actively doing things to threaten US citizens in a very serious way and removing that threat makes us all that much safer. Addition: I do feel compelled to say that we do have some responsibility for creating this threat, both in having espoused an overly aggressive military policy in the Middle East for a long time and specifically in funding the early incarnations of Al Qaeda to fight the Soviets. Funding the Mujahedeen, even if it made sense at the time, has really come back to hurt us. We should be very careful about which freedom fighters we support. End Addition So overall, very good thing.

I do however, feel bad about having been so celebratory over the death of any other human being, even one as evil as Osama. I know it might sound trite, but I think it is something serious to consider: would Jesus be out in front of the white house chanting "USA" because we killed one of our brothers? I think the war in Afghanistan has been necessary, but I think any death should be treated with more remorse. I don't really fault anyone, though, because I understand the sentiment, for sure. I just feel bad that I couldn't have behaved better myself in those first moments of excitement.


Edit: One of the most compelling contrarion articles. Osama knew he would probably die for attacking the US, and had some things to gain before that happened. He got a lot of them.


  1. I agree that being joyous in the loss of life is something to think hard about. Jesus feels pain for his death even if he is a murderer. But the bigger thing, I think, to feel bad about is the fact that he took this path in the first place. Whatever consequences that holds for his soul.

  2. I've been thinking about this, too. I hope that particular hysteria is over but I don't really feel any safer than before, there's tons of people out there still willing to pick up where he left off. And while I don't feel too bad that he's dead, I do feel sad about the attitude of the people celebrating it, especially because it's not like he dropped dead of his own accord, it took lots of other deaths to get there. To me it's a somber event and an abrupt conclusion to a long, violent ordeal that leaves me with a feeling of now what?

  3. You seemed less glad that he was dead, and more glad that Barack Obama did something very memorable and properly-executed to secure his election in 2012. That's an OK thing to be happy about...