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Osama is Dead. Am I Supposed to Be Happy?

I’ve been thinking all day about Osama being dead, and all the people cheering in the streets.  I also feel like I need to say something publicly, since this is the religion and culture story of the decade.

I don’t think I’m happy that Osama is dead.  Not in the cheering, “fuck you, you son-of-a-bitch, we got you” sort of way.  I am glad that the ordeal is over, but I’m not happy.

I am sad that three-thousand-ish Americans died because of Osama and his religio-political crusade.  I’m sad that innocent Iraqis died to sate our collective bloodlust for revenge.  I’m sad that Bush twisted the story after it became obvious that he couldn’t catch Osama.  I’m sad that more Americans died in prolonged wars.  I’m sad for the families.  I’m sad for the instability in the Middle East which has only gotten worse in the last decade.  I’m sad that I seem to be the only person who’s actually sad about this.

To me, this isn’t a victory.  It’s closing a disgusting chapter in the book of the 21st century.  It’s something I never want to think about again, except to figure out how to never have it happen again.

Osama killed a lot of people, and he deserved to die for it.  My sense of justice is sated, but there is no joy in the closure.  Just a sense of melancholy and a sinking feeling of despair that we humans will never learn from the past, only repeat it with bigger and more powerful weapons and new, more virulent and hateful religions.

In the end, though, I guess I’m happy that he’s dead and not alive.  But that’s about it.

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Discussion

4 thoughts on “Osama is Dead. Am I Supposed to Be Happy?

  1. You aren’t the only person who felt sadness about this news.

    I thought about Bin Laden’s tragic misconception that he was doing good things for the world, and that he encouraged so much hatred. He was clearly an effective leader. How much good could he have done if he had had a realistic idea of what would actually benefit people?

    I felt no inclination to celebrate his death. It’s a symbolic victory, but I doubt that it will make a major difference in the amount of terrorism that goes on.

    To me, his death was primarily a reminder of how much suffering he caused. Sad indeed.

    Posted by Joel Justiss | May 2, 2011, 10:11 pm
  2. you are definitely not the only one… and this part put into words better than I could how I felt all day:
    “Osama killed a lot of people, and he deserved to die for it. My sense of justice is sated, but there is no joy in the closure. Just a sense of melancholy and a sinking feeling of despair that we humans will never learn from the past, only repeat it with bigger and more powerful weapons and new, more virulent and hateful religions.”

    Posted by - Heidi | May 2, 2011, 11:09 pm
  3. I couldn’t agree more.

    Posted by Heather McIntosh | May 3, 2011, 6:10 pm
  4. You and the Catholic Church agree on something:

    “The Roman Catholic Church responded to the news of bin Laden’s death with this statement: ‘Faced with the death of a man, a Christian never rejoices, but reflects on the serious responsibility of everyone before God and man, and hopes and pledges that every event is not an opportunity for a further growth of hatred, but of peace.”

    From:
    http://www.npr.org/2011/05/03/135927693/is-it-wrong-to-celebrate-bin-ladens-death

    Posted by Fey Wyndom | May 3, 2011, 11:41 pm

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