The talk, of course, has all been Bin Laden following Sunday night’s announcement by President Obama that America’s most wanted man had been killed in a raid by a US Navy Seal team.
Now, I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to the news, but it was kind of hard to miss this one?
Of course, Sunday’s action managed to stir up the political fighting that we deal with far too much already.
From all the bitching from the right, you'd think President Obama went on TV and told the world he'd just single-handedly got off a plane in Islamabad, took a leisurely stroll through town, knocked on the front door, beat to death the poor bastard that opened the door and then everyone else in the house with his bare hands, then shot Bin Laden himself.
How about shut the fuck up and congratulate the armed forces? And the Seals who got the job done, in particular?
What's abundantly clear to me, from my online travels, is that people who are ideologically opposed to the current administration will bitch, whine, lie, attempt character assassination and never hand out any kudos for anything that may be accomplished while President Obama is in office- including Sunday’s action against Bin Laden.
Of course, by the same token, opponents of the previous administration were just as guilty of vilifying President Bush and denying any kudos to his administration. You can go ahead and kid yourself that you weren't, but you're full of shit.
And, frankly, the amount of hate speech from both sides that's directed at people who dare disagree with them is appalling.
For better or worse, both Presidents (all Presidents, in fact) are saddled with an incredible burden. And their supporters give them far too much credit, while their detractors place far too much blame.
Monday morning I saw a humorous analogy on Yahoo that I though was a apt description of the situation, likening it to a box score of a baseball game:
“WP- G.W. Bush [1-0] LP- O. Bin Laden [0-1] S- B. Obama ”
And to that, I’d add: HR- U.S.N. Seals (1).
Yes, it's far too simplistic, omits the thousands of casualties (on both sides), and makes light of death and war- but I still chuckled.
Then again, I think we all know there's something wrong with me. But, if I focus on death and war, I'll go more nuts than I already am.
And there were plenty of people who posted a supposed quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. In reality, King was only responsible from half the quote, which reads as follows:
“I will mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. ‘Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.’ MLK Jr.”
According to Atlantic blogger Megan McArdle, the first half of the quote comes from Jessica Dovey, who posted it as her Facebook status. Somewhere along the way, the quotation marks were removed and people began to attribute the whole thing to King.
Still, it’s a nice sentiment, no matter who‘s responsible.
Reactions varied widely amongst my friends. I was surprised at some the responses to Allison's posts on Facebook. I mean- c’mon people, this is still a free country, and the right to speak our minds is at the heart of the First amendment for a reason.
Nick from San Diego posted this one: “Down goes Bin Laden!! Down goes Bin Laden!!!” (Inappropriate? Sure. Funny? Fuck yeah- especially when you read that with Howard Cosell’s voice in your head.)
Charles from Piedmont, Alabama was more introspective: “It seems barbaric to *celebrate* something which is essentially a very long, complex tragedy.”
I’m not really celebrating. Despite my gruff exterior- that’s not how I’m wired. But I’m certainly not going to mourn the guy, either. Justice, in this case, was done.
That, of course, is from the point of view of an American who happens to think that criminals should pay the appropriate price for their crimes. And conspiracy to commit homicide on such a mass scale certainly warranted a bullet to the forehead.
Then again, nothing was solved by that bullet. Bin Laden’s death merely assures that the “war” will go on by inspiring his followers to continue fighting.
They regard “us” as the enemy, just as we view “them” the same way. It’s neither right nor wrong- it’s just how it is.