Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Why I'm Happy Osama was Killed.

I think it would have been preferable if Osama had been brought to the ICC to be held accountable for his crimes, and summarily executed. However, I'm still happy Osama is dead.

I won't pretend that being happy at Osama's death is a particularly Christian emotion, but I'm not going to waste too much time trying to sympathize with Osama and his family. He knew what he was putting his family through when he chose to kill thousands of innocents and ignite this cycle of hatred and fear (which admittedly the US hasn't always done the utmost to abate). Be angry at Osama for treating his family with so little regard, not Barack.

Especially, when there are people at work and church that I'm struggling to understand, it's not worth feeling sorry for Osama. (Although, he'd probably hate having a hedonistic Westerner like me petty him, so it might be worth it just to anger him a little in the next life.)

Besides, why pity him? He accomplished everything he wanted and lived an extremely self-satisfied existence. Furthermore, he died an epic death. We all die; however, I would be so lucky to have my death featured on every news station in the entire planet. Honestly, I envy Osama that level of epic hyper-being.

Furthermore, empathy doesn't preclude consequences. Even if I perfectly understood Osama, I still might find it appropriate for him to be killed and might even be happy about it.

Osama was the founder, primary financial source and spokesman for Al-Queda. Al-Queda was behind the September 11th attacks. Therefore, even if he never participated in a single planning meeting (which I doubt), he is still culpable for the actions of his organization. A friend of mine recently argued that there is no proof that Osama instigated the September 11th attacks. However, saying he's not responsible just because there is no paper trail is like saying Reagan isn't responsible for the Nicaraguan atrocities of the 1980's. Like Osama, Reagan also denied knowledge or involvement of the affairs of his organization, the CIA. They caused thousand of deaths and wreaked havoc in Nicaragua that to this day the country hasn't fully recovered. Both Osama and Reagan are culpable. Both deserved death sentences (Preferably at the order of the ICC) although only one received it.

(That example is for my fellow leftists. I don't know why Reagan lovers would even read this blog.)

Again, however, I still think we can be happy about Osama being killed. For like 20 minutes the nation was unified in emotional catharsis as the man who (absent lunatic conspiracy theory) caused a great deal of pain to the people of this country. That kind of unity is something I can feel good being happy about.

What I felt when Osama was killed was a sudden release of tension. It was a step towards freeing our nation from the "terror" regime that has taken shape over the last ten years. Osama is dead. The boogey-man is no more. We can finally let go of the unnatural fear that has gripped us and guided us into horrible policy decisions like the Iraq War and Patriot Act. Was there anything real for us to fear to begin with? Maybe No. But it doesn't change the fact that this is a breath of fresh air for a lot of people, including me. September 11th was the most pivotal national Event of my life. I feel that this most recent event, the death of Osama, has indeed brought a great deal of closure to the story of 9/11. We can definitively close the book on that chapter of our national history and start striving for a new vision of the future. (It seems lexicographically significant that this new epoch is dominated by the symbolic force of Obama, rather than Osama. Even if, as a leftist, you often are disappointed in the President, you have to admit the symbolic importance of the election of a black man named Obama - this in itself signals hope for the future of the country.)

Like I said, Osama has succeeded in seriously damaging the US (and we played right into his hands): I don't think we'd have two wars crippling our budget and the Patriot Act to limit our freedom absent Osama. (And screw-you-very-much leaders and voters of 2001 for that kind of overreaction, by the way.)

Anyways, I'm happy Osama was killed.

1 comment:

  1. Just a thought: I can't help but wonder how many progressive liberals would be up-in-arms had the Osama Bin Laden assassination been orchestrated by the Bush Administration. After listening to many so-called "leftists" express outrage over the waterboarding of KSM, I was surprised by the rather their passive response concerning the news of OBL's assassination.