My first reaction to the assassination of Osama bin Laden was sadness and disgust. I first found out about his killing this morning when I opened the Washington Post and saw the headlines " U.S. forces kill Osama bin Laden: Obama: "Justice has been done." Below was a picture of a crowd of mostly young people celebrating in front of the White House, some with clenched fists raised, others with the familiar "we're #1" raised finger. On an NPR radio newscast, I also heard a crowd at Times Square chanting "We're #1." I was disgusted not so much over the death of bin Laden - he probably got what he deserved and certainly got what he wanted martyrdom -- but by the reactions of the crowd.
Yes, "We're #1" alright. The U.S. is the "Number One" nation for killing and waging war, the number one at resolving conflict through extreme violence. In that regard, Osama bin Laden has nothing on the U.S. Sure bin Laden is evil and al-Qaeda has been responsible for killing tens-of-thousands of innocent men, women and children. But that is nothing compared to the number of innocents that have been killed since 9-11 by the U.S. military and its mercenaries in the so-called "War on Terrorism." The deaths of over 3,000 people on 9-11 was tragic and sad but the hundreds of thousands of people killed by the U.S. response is even more deplorable.
I am disgusted by a nation that celebrates -- just like we just won the big game - yet more deaths in the spiral of violence that was unleashed after 9-11. Its not like V-J Day, the War on Terrorism is not over -- the killing is not over -- and it won't be. Yes, Osama bin Laden was an evil, violent person but it is truly pathetic that so many people don't even realize that many of our highest leaders are behind the killing of innocent people. Even more reprehensible is that the U.S. wars of terrorism are not going to end because too many people are making too much money off of them. That is what truly disgusts me. At least bin Laden killed because of some twisted religious morality and not as the U.S. does for money. It is a moral abomination to kill hundreds of thousands of innocent people just to maintain the power and profits of multinational corporations.
I am also saddened by what America has become since 9-11. Obama talks about "justice" but our country no longer knows what that even means. What happened on on 9-11 was wrong but what the U.S. has done and become since then is more than wrong. Sadly, Amerika's violent response to Osama bin Laden has destroyed any hope of real justice. The U.S. War of Terrorism has given us and the world more and more violence, more and more dead innocents -- but it can never gives us true justice -- only revenge.
What is really pathetic is all the people "cheering" the great U.S. victory. They don't even realize that they are celebrating Osama bin Laden's triumph. Now that he is a martyr his victory is complete. The cheering Amerikans have become just like him and his followers mindless, soulless fundamentalists driven by ignorance, fear and loathing. Like bin Laden, Amerika has become a nation and people that know nothing other than killing. All of those who have promoted violence over nonviolent conflict resolution have in the end become bin Laden's greatest enablers and supporters. In the end, they have turned Amerika into all that we abhorred in Osama bin Laden.