Why Don’t I Feel Like Celebrating?

Osama Bin Laden is dead. Reports say he was killed one week ago, by a U.S. missile, and that we have the body. His identity has been confirmed by DNA, which is why they waited a week to announce it.

This is good, of course, but why don’t I feel like celebrating? Bin Laden has done and said some of the most vicious things in world history, so you’d think I’d be busting out the champagne. I guess it could be because I have an exam to write this evening. But I don’t think it’s that. Rather I think it’s because (1) this news is loooong overdue, and (2) this war really is like a game of “whack a mole,” in which it doesn’t matter how many you’ve hit down, there is always another ready to pop up and take its place.

Nearly ten years ago, we thought this call to action might actually be heeded. Now we’ve learned that, unless there is a fundamental change in the culture, it never will be.

UPDATE: They have corrected the initial reports. He was shot during some sort of firefight, not hit by a missile. (Also, he was killed Sunday evening, not a week earlier. It will still take time for the DNA evidence to come back.) This makes me think of one good aspect of this: I bet that Obama would have preferred that Bin Laden be captured alive and allowed to stand trial. Our soldiers did not let that happen. Good for them!

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Why Don’t I Feel Like Celebrating?

  1. M. Stern

    This is good, of course, but why don’t I feel like celebrating?</i.

    Because the Afghanistan and Iraq wars are dismal failures; both the products of self-sacrificial ethics. Watch how Obama will milk this for all its worth and how mainstream conservatives will laud this as proof of their democracy spreading campaign.

    And the price of gas keeps rising every day. The death of Bin Laden is insignificant next to the fact that America is inching closer every day to economic catastrophe.

  2. I bet the guy who pulled the trigger never has to buy a drink again.

  3. John Shepard

    “Telling kids about Bin Laden’s death” By Sasha Emmons, May 2, 2011

    “Since last night’s unexpected announcement that terrorist Osama bin Laden had been killed, many parents are grappling with how to talk to their kids about this huge news story.

    Young children, most born after the horrible events of September 11, may hear bits and pieces at school even if parents took care to keep the morning news turned off. How do you explain the contradiction that it’s wrong to hurt someone, but in this case the president said it was justified?” [bold mine]

    “Bin Laden’s Gone, But We Still Have Obama” by Michael J. Hurd, Ph.D

    “Some insipid interviewer on Fox News asked the father of a victim of the World Trade Center what he thought and felt in the wake of bin Laden’s death. The interviewer commented that it might be considered “sick” to be glad over his death. The father promptly replied that it was not sick, and he was indeed glad to learn of bin Laden’s death.

    The father is right, of course. But the comment of the interviewer represents the kind of attitude and psychology that is bringing this country down — on a “conservative” and supposedly more hawkish network, no less. The attitude is that it’s somehow wrong to hate your killers, and to hate the actions of your killers. If this is true, then by what right did we authorize our military and CIA to kill bin Laden in the first place?”

  4. John Shepard

    Dr. Drew Pinsky reacts to the death of bin Laden

    Excellent analysis of the significance of the killing of bin Laden and joyous reactions; interview with Charles Wold whose wife was in the WTC and killed on 9/11; and interview on the Navy Seal’s mission and the global reaction with Kaj Larson.

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