When I first heard the news of the demise of bin Laden, I was... well... pleased. Yeah. Pleased would sum it up. I was not elated. I wasn't giddy. My first thought was literally "Oh!?! OK then. That's great. What will I do for breakfast tomorrow, I wonder?"
Don't get me wrong. I'm immensely impressed with everyone involved in that mission, from President Obama making the call to send them in, to the men who went in and accomplished the mission. Immensely impressed. I could go on for pages about the mission and all involved. I have been avidly keeping up with what happened on the mission, because it IS an historical event. Akin to the death of Hitler, or of Caesar. It will be in the history books. But as a major history buff, that's about the extent of my interest.
And I am pleased that the religious zealot that started this whole mess is dead and gone. But there are others who will keep the fires of hatred for us burning brightly. The wars won't end because he is gone. I worry about the next attack that is done in his name. Hatred just breeds more hatred. Just look at our own countries white supremacists.
Which brings me to the biggest stomach turner of them all for me. The footage of so many Americans dancing in the streets and celebrating and acting as if their team had just won the world cup, or some other random championship that doesn't really matter in the scheme of things. I saw the coverage of that and was taken back to 9/11. The pictures of Palestinians dancing in the street and celebrating the destruction of the towers. Those scenes made me sick. How could people celebrate at a time like that? The whole world knew that a war was beginning. Untold numbers would be killed and maimed. Lives would be thrown to the wind like chaff. And these people had the nerve to celebrate? I remember the fury with which many Americans reacted.
I'm guessing a great many of those same Americans were dancing in the streets at the death of bin Laden. Was he a terrible, horrid excuse for a human being? Yes. Did he deserve the end he brought upon himself? Without question. Do we lower and debase ourselves by reacting the same way as those revelers did on 9/11? Indeed. Our obvious hatred of the man and his cause will only serve to inspire those that hate us to continue to do so. It is foolish and naive to believe otherwise. No matter how badass the SEAL's were that took him out, no matter how amazing the warriors are in Afghanistan and Iraq who fight day to day for us back here, no matter how persistent we are at hunting them down and exterminating them, they will not suddenly shrink in fear at our might. They will hate us more for it. And the violence will continue. Probably past the time when my own children are old enough to serve should they choose to do so.
And if my son or daughter gets killed over there, a bit of that blame will go to those who danced in front of the White House. A bit more to those who partied in Times Square like it was the New Year. Nobody wins because bin Laden is dead. Hatred breeds hatred. It is time we start to learn to bury the hatchet and learn to live with each other, the whole stinking planet. Because if we don't, there will always be an Us vs. Them fight. I don't believe that is worth the price of my son or daughter.
So Bye bye, bin Laden. You will not be missed over here. I pray that the hatred of those we don't agree with died with you, in your people and in mine, and that there can one day be peace. Oh, and thanks for feeding the fish.