I guess I should be leaping around singing the song, but to be honest Osama bin Laden’s death is a bit of a non-event for me. Liv called me to her room last night during a potluck I was having with a couple of friends.
“Osama bin Laden is dead! And everyone is celebrating. It’s so weird!” She said. “I know he did bad things, but a man is dead. I don’t see why they should be celebrating.”
“Wow,” I said, feeling slightly wobbly. “OK. I guess it is weird that they’re celebrating.”
I went downstairs and told my girlfriends. I would have been happy for us all to say “good” and get on with dinner. In my mind bin Laden’s death changes nothing. Arron is still dead. Al-Qaeda will continue without him. Surely he was just a figure-head after all these years of living in a cave or a bunker. A Ronald McDonald figurehead with a warped sense of the world.
In my book I wrote that bin Laden was like the villainous, metal policeman in the Terminator movies. He gets shot at and shatters into a million pieces, only to have those tiny pieces all re-merge together again and form themselves back into a very whole villain. The fact that bin Laden is gone changes nothing about the organization â€“ al-Qaeda will not cease to be.
Still, psychologically, I can see how his death could be seen as a symbolic turning point for the families, soldiers in Afganistan, the politicians, the nation as a whole, the world as a whole. Osama represented the dirty, unfair fight, at least in this part of the world. We’ve slain the dragon and now we are all safe again. Except I don’t really believe that we are.
I add my worries to those of many who wonder what the repercussions might be to bin Laden’s death. What nest of vengeful thinking have we stirred now? Is an eye for an eye paid for with yet another eye? It gets us nowhere unless this death can somehow end the cycle of anger and vengeance and more death, which I serious doubt.
And I do have to wonder about the sketchier parts of the story. Buried at sea? Seriously? What’s that about? I assumed there would be pictures of his pale, dead face splashed across newspapers worldwide. And now he’s already been buried at sea less than 24 hours since his death? After all that effort? And what about that bunker? Was not one neighbor just a little suspicious when a massive million dollar cement monstrosity was built next door? Did it really take 10 years for our government to think of watching the courier’s movements? I don’t know, but it feels like there is more to this story that we aren’t being told. That makes me nervous.I think we haven’t heard the last of bin Laden yet.
I wish Osama bin Laden’s death could change things for me, but it doesn’t. Vengeance is a bitter pill that does little to cure any lack of justice.