I’m usually late to the game. I’m not uber-political and I don’t like to dwell on war news, despite the fact that my husband is rather closely involved in the machinations that make ongoing conflict possible, at least from a “sustainment of the F-18” perspective. That being said, it’d be impossible not to find oneself in a reflective state of mind after hearing the news of Osama bin Laden’s death.
I’m reading a lot of celebratory news pieces, many of which quote US officials declaring this to be a major victory for our country. And it’s all falling a bit flat for me. I guess I can admit that I felt a hatred for this man as strong as any other American’s. I was living in NYC when the World Trade Center was destroyed, and it sure felt personal then. I am now feeling slightly unAmerican or unPatriotic for not wanting to celebrate this man’s death. Don’t get me wrong — I don’t feel remorseful or sad for him, or even for his family. Anyone who believed with such vehemence in the need to kill as many Westerners as possible has my vote for being taken out. I feel much the same way about anyone who expresses their religious beliefs with guns and bombs rather than words. But I do feel like this was a symbolic victory if anything, and am very doubtful that the elimination of one very connected and insidiously powerful man might actually change the course of the wars we are fighting. It also occurs to me that in the last 10 years, this man has had to exist completely in hiding, which I think must’ve limited his sphere of influence to some degree. How much pull did he really have in recent events, given the fact that he was unable to speak publicly, use standard means of communication or even walk down the street in his own neighborhood?
I’m glad he’s gone, but I am not sure it makes me feel much better about the course of these conflicts, and it doesn’t make me feel one lick better about what happened in New York in 2001.