David Sirota:

There is ample reason to feel relief that Osama bin Laden is no longer a threat to the world, and I say that not just because I was among the many congressional staffers told to flee the U.S. Capitol on 9/11. I say that because he was clearly an evil person who celebrated violence against all who he deemed “enemies” — and the world needs less of such zealotry, not more.

However, somber relief was not the dominant emotion presented to America when bin Laden’s death was announced. Instead, the Washington press corps — helped by a wild-eyed throng outside the White House — insisted that unbridled euphoria is the appropriate response. And in this we see bin Laden’s more enduring victory — a victory that will unfortunately last far beyond his passing.

For decades, we have held in contempt those who actively celebrate death. When we’ve seen video footage of foreigners cheering terrorist attacks against America, we have ignored their insistence that they are celebrating merely because we have occupied their nations and killed their people. Instead, we have been rightly disgusted — not only because they are lauding the death of our innocents, but because, more fundamentally, they are celebrating death itself. That latter part had been anathema to a nation built on the presumption that life is an “unalienable right.”

But in the years since 9/11, we have begun vaguely mimicking those we say we despise, sometimes celebrating bloodshed against those we see as Bad Guys just as vigorously as our enemies celebrate bloodshed against innocent Americans they (wrongly) deem as Bad Guys. Indeed, an America that once carefully refrained from flaunting gruesome pictures of our victims for fear of engaging in ugly death euphoria now ogles pictures of Uday and Qusay’s corpses, rejoices over images of Saddam Hussein’s hanging and throws a party at news that bin Laden was shot in the head.

5 thoughts on “Yep

  1. There is no less evil in the world today than yesterday. By killing this man, we create a dozen more. His relatives, his followers, the relatives of his two wives we killed (what did they do to us?), and all the other nameless people killed and wounded in this illegal assault and murder.

    That we have an AP story with a headline about the joy and jubilation following this event only shows the depth of our own sickness.

  2. {{gag me}}
    yes, the euphoria is unwarranted. I don’t feel anything. He was a bad guy. He’s dead. Was justice served? I dunno. I didn’t witness the death or “burial at sea”.
    But I also don’t have my knickers in a twist over the way he died. I would have preferred we capture him and make him look impotent, driving some learned helplessness into his supporters. But the fact that he might have been shot in the head (again, we will have to take their word for it) does not bother me in the least. I was never going to get all kumbaya with OBL. The guy was never going to experience sophrosyne sitting in a western jail and regret his horrible actions. Killing him or not killing him? As if we could adequately punish him. It’s his legacy I’m worried about and for that reason alone, we should have tried him and made him disappear to show that he was just a mortal human being after all and subject to the authority of a greater power than himself.
    Al Qaeda would have hated that.

  3. It is really rather barbaric – kinda’ like Vlad Dracula, of George AWOL Bush, impaling his detractors. Not surprising though, these are afterall ‘christians’, of a cult that worships bloodshed and death.

  4. this illegal assault and murder.

    You’ve got to be kidding me P-R. Bin Laden deserved everything he got and it’s unfortunate that anyone else was killed or wounded but they had to know that it was a possibility if they intended to be around him. He was a vile terrorist and I’m glad he’s dead. That said, Sirota is right that people should not be celebrating his death. It’s pointless and classless behavior that we’ve spent decades deriding when it’s done by others. Killing Bin Laden was a small but significant accomplishment and now it’s time to move on.

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