Murder is murder — a life being taken away by someone who had no right to do so, regardless of the victim. There is nothing to celebrate. I’m scared. Freaking scared. Shitting-enough-bricks-to-repave-our-tiny-red-Academy-utopia-several-times-over scared.
I am not trying to step on any feet, but I feel it is my responsibility as a citizen to express a dissenting point of view on Sunday night’s events. The only thing I can think of that is more American than a dangerous appreciation for semi-misguided mob psychology is the freedom to express opinions.
Is America as a nation so desensitized to war and death that we as a people can detach completely from the true meaning of Osama Bin Laden’s death and parade around calling ourselves victorious? Forgive me, but I don’t see any victory in this. A man is dead. Another will be dead tomorrow, and the next day and the day after that, because we are fighting a dead-end war. Nothing has changed by taking one more life; if anything the situation has been aggravated further.
The death toll of this “war on terror” is far greater than the numbers estimate when one looks at the toll that these deaths take on others. These victims include those who have lost loved ones, and safety and security, both physical and mental. Most importantly, they includes those who have forfeited pieces of themselves to the monotonous brutality of war.
Osama Bin Laden was a horrible person who did horrible things. I am not condoning terrorism or trying to belittle the pain and suffering of those who have been affected by Bin Laden and Al Qaeda’s actions. I admit that my vantage point would be exceptionally altered if I could say that I have been directly affected by this war, but I have only my own experiences from which to form my opinions. I apologize to anyone who takes offense to my views — that was not my intention in the least.
Everything Bin Laden stood for, made his life’s mission, and ultimately died for was rooted in and perpetuated by his supreme belief in the use of violence as a method of achieving goals. Shooting Bin Laden in the head feels like an action too close to that of his own battle strategy to be considered a victory.
Anyone who was on Facebook Sunday night witnessed the slew of excessively patriotic statuses praising the USA and condemning Bin Laden.
“GOD BLESS AMERICA AND GOD BLESS WHOEVER KILLED OSAMA BIN LADEN.” “I hope a few Marines are ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’-ing the shit out of Osama’s corpse right now.” “Keep your head up, Osama. LMAO!”
These are just a few examples (complements of Twitter) that I found particularly shocking. I would go so far as to say that these blatantly disrespectful statements are borderline anti-American and achieve a goal far from that of their authors intentions. America is already seen as the belligerent and negligent youth of the worlds nations, and these proclamations of proud ignorance do nothing to alter this image.
How much does one give of him or herself in the act of taking another human’s life? I think Americans undermine the level of responsibility that comes with killing a person, and THAT is what scares me to no end. How much longer are we going to ask American citizens to sacrifice themselves to an unrecognizable cause?
America has lost a generation to unwarranted violence. I admit, with little hope for the future, that I am a part of this generation of youth who find convoluted happiness in this specific act of violence, but I refuse to join in any celebration.
To reiterate my main point: I am scared. I do not mean to hate or sound anti-American, but at this moment I believe the term “proud American” is the last descriptor I would use to define myself.