My immediate reaction when I heard the news this morning was relief. Good. Good riddance. And I still believe that. But I didn't, and don't, feel like celebrating. Within about fifteen seconds my mind had turned to thoughts of, "Hmm, I wonder where the terrorists will strike next?" Because they will. We destroyed the figurehead of an insidious movement, but we have not destroyed the movement. And all the gloating, all the flag-waving, will do nothing but further incite people who are bent on hating and destroying us.
Just a different viewpoint. The 3,000 people killed in the 9/11 attacks are still just as dead. I am no fan of Osama bin Laden. He was an evil man. It's good that he's dead. But I do question the whole "justice" angle, both on arithmetical and moral grounds. From a justice standpoint, the death of one man in no way makes up for the deaths of 3,000 civilians on 9/11, or the deaths of 1,000+ Coalition troops and contractors killed in Afghanistan, or the 1,100+ U.S. Soldiers killed in Afghanistan, or the 15,000+ Afghan troops and civilians killed, or the $400,000,000,000+ and counting spent in an ongoing war. This is not justice in any sense of the word I understand.
I can think of no better Al Qaida recruitment videos than the gloating scenes the news networks have been feeding us all day. Violence begets violence. I think that might even be a biblical concept. What we have taught the world in the past 24 hours is that it's okay to assassinate political leaders with whom we disagree. And that philosophy has a way of rebounding on peoples' (and leaders') heads. We never learn. We were already in deep shit. And it just got a lot deeper. Justice? Where is justice here? The world just got a lot less safe, and "freedom" marches on. God bless America.
Before the mods descend on us here, I'll just say politically I'm in agreement with you Andy... at least regarding the unwinnable, FUBAR nature of these conflicts.
The only "war" that ever seemed to have universal approval amongst free people was the direct one against Al Qaeda and it's leader(s). Yesterday seemed for a brief moment, like a return to that original, idealized mission (perhaps too little too late). I guess the main question appropriate for this forum is whether Christians ought to cheer, lift a pint or dance a jig when such men are violently deposed of. I think such a reflex is not only appropriate, but likely innate. The response today from friends on my Facebook newsfeed is fairly unanimous and filled with scripture references and MLK quotes-- even from my atheist and humanist peeps-- and being the eternal contrarian, I find such collective preachiness a tad bit conformist and uncomfortable.
I posted some of those MLK and biblical quotes on Facebook today not because I wanted to be preachy and santimonious, but because I actually believe them. I think Jesus' teaching about these issues is fairly clear, and I try to take those teachings seriously. I certainly understand that there is a lot of room for differing views here, but what I don't understand is how Christians can condone and celebrate a spirit of vengeance, and how they can justify and gloat about the use of, for example, waterboarding, which apparently led to some of the information that resulted in bin Laden's demise. I guess the ends really do justify the means. I'm not sure where I read that, but I don't think it was the Bible.
There is much that I find dispiriting, unseemly, and distasteful about the events of the past 24 hours. Celebration is fairly far from my mind. So good riddance. But let's not pretend that there's anything remotely Christian about these proceedings. I know, it's a fallen world, and idealism gets kicked in the crotch every time. But don't ask me to cheer the kick in the crotch.