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I GREATLY ENCOURAGE THIS RIGHT NOW
I have a lot to say about the tremendous news that was dropped on the world last night. If you haven’t yet heard (insert joke about hiding in a cave like someone we once knew), Osama bin Laden was killed during a covert US operation in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where he was found hiding in a mansion.
The first thing I felt was glad. 9/11 was easily one of the biggest and most horrendous events to have occurred in my short life, and bin Laden’s face had beenthe face of terrorism. We had spent 10 years hunting one man down, and the fact that we hadn’t been able to find him was wearing away at our morale not only as people but to our nation, personally, as Americans. The fact that 10 years of work and laying lives on the line to find this man who did a lot to take so much away from us as a country and us as a human race finally came to fruition is certainly nothing to sneeze at.
After this initial positive feeling, the more negative feelings set in. (Here is where I get lynched by the Internet and the US government comes after me, but bear with me.)
In front of the White House and in front of my campus, people celebrated the death of the most wanted terrorist, if not by the United States, then by the world.
Did it not bother any of these people that they were celebrating the death of a human being? I already know the counterarguments: we celebrated when Hitler was dead, wouldn’t you want some closure if you knew one of the victims of the attacks?
Yes, we did. Of course I would.
But does stopping bin Laden make us any safer? Not really. I haven’t really given bin Laden a second thought in the past 5 years. It’s not as though al-Qaeda went into hiding and inactivity with him. If anything, I feel less safe today than I did yesterday, because now there is no longer a face to fixate on. We have one less concrete goal to accomplish. When terrorism become faceless, it is much more difficult to fight this “war on terrorism”. Al-Qaeda reorganized a long time ago. Bin Laden was more a symbol than anything else - a symbol that we wanted something and could not get it. The fact that he no longer represents that is not lost on me, I understand the significance.
The fact that people were rioting and feeling more proud to be Americans really bothers me.
We are celebrating the death of a man who did awful things, yes, but does his death really contribute outside of its symbolic meaning? Are your children any safer? Is our future any more clear?
Also, I’m not sure what it says for me as an American that we deal with our problems by just eliminating them. When the CIA does things like this or the raid on Gaddafi, it just feels a little bit like we’re in the 1960s again, meddling in other people’s business in other people’s countries. Isn’t that the entire reason that we have these faceless enemies to begin with? Because our administration meddled?
I was glad that our efforts finally paid off. Bin Laden’s death means a lot symbolically - that when we set out to do something, we do it, and we will not be stopped.
We are not safer. This war is no longer symbolic, so the significance of this event cannot be blown as it has been. Someone wrote that this was a[n] historic event, and everyone will remember where they were when this happened.
I disagree. September 11 was a flashbulb memory. I was in my classroom in the 5th grade when I learned about that. But this? Will I really remember sitting in my room seeing the news blow up my Facebook news feed? Doubtful.
Do not get swept up in blind patriotism. We accomplished one goal among many larger ones. Don’t let your guard down. If anything, we are less safe than we were yesterday.
(Sorry to sound kind of like a paranoid crazy!)
Why are people calling him “Osama” now?? We never referred to this man by his first name before. Is it because they’re so used to typing out “Obama”? Because I have seen this typo made several times now. It is not a typo you want to make. Bin Laden. His surname is bin Laden. We customarily refer to people by their surnames. We call our friends by their first names. Osama is a first name. I currently have no friends with the first name Osama.