Sunday, May 1, 2011

I'm so confused...

Ironically, I was at one of the most standard of American places, a diner, when I heard that US military operations succeeded in killing Osama Bin Laden. I have mixed feelings on how you celebrate a persons death. I don't feel relieved, I don't feel pleased, and I don't feel sad. For some reason my heart is racing and I feel anxious.

I received a text from a friend who serves in the military, when I asked him how he felt about it, I got a text back that said "I have never before rejoiced in someones death, and I hope I never have to again." That's some pretty heavy stuff to ponder over waffle fries and rye toast. But like I said, I don't know how to feel, and I'm having a difficult time garnering a sense of patriotism through this.

Trust me, Bin Laden was a terrifying and ice cold person in my eyes. Along with many people whose soul dedication on earth is positioning themselves for what is coming in their next life. Therefore negating any interest in a healthy, peaceful and natural life for anyone not consistent with their beliefs.

Sadly, the main purpose for his life was the protection of Islam under the belief that it was being attacked by the "West" in a crusade-like manner. And the concept that killing Americans and people with pro-western views was not only positive by their religious views, but necessary to be a faithful servant to God. It's an incredibly dangerous concept, one that has robbed thousands of innocents their lives over the last half century of conflict. I think it's most likely a load of crap, and a disgusting injustice that each one of those people have been robbed of their singular hopes and dreams due to such dreck.

My problem is, as a believer in human psychology and what you can do to a human brain if you start manipulating it early enough, is that in some way, like with everything really, these terrorists were once normal little kids with an empty palette for a brain that was colored in with bullshit. Because of this, my thoughts get grayer. I don't agree with it, but I can understand how a person succumbs to such a perception. In reality, if you're smart, you can essentially steal a persons free will by getting to them young enough. The same reason that I was raised with tolerance, education and non-violence as my mantras. And wow, big surprise, it's what I still believe in as an adult today.

I guess it goes beyond in the belief of a concept, and more in my diminishing belief in human beings ability to unite worldwide in some idea of collective harmony. (An idea, as a kid, I was certain was the only way) So when I hear about his death, I'm not relieved, I feel like we just took one step closer to the wrong thing for some reason. I can only hope it's a catalyst for something positive. Revenge just isn't doing it for me.

8 comments:

  1. A friend of mine and I had a similar conversation...no matter how much wrong a person does..its just weird to celebrate someone's death.

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  2. I don't know what to make of bin Laden's death, either. I can't stop thinking about the sheer excitement in some of my friends' voices when the news got out. Not sure I feel right celebrating death, either.

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  3. The only positive feeling I have about his death is that it gives some kind of comfort or sense of closure to some of those who suffered loss at his hands. So I am happy for them. But personally, I felt unsettled when I saw the celebrations in NYC and DC because it brought to mind all those overseas American flag burning rallies we're shown on the evening news. I never thought of it being a catalyst for something positive though until I read what you wrote. Hopefully that's how this plays out.

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  4. I've listened to NPR in the car here and there since the news broke. When I was listening to reports, there were a few things I kept thinking. One thought was that media keeps saying the "death of Osama bin Laden." He didn't just die; we murdered him. I thought this selective word choice was interesting.

    I find myself having an internal argument about this killing. Sure, I think he deserved to be brought to justice for his crimes against humanity; however, I kept feeling angry when reports would come on about people celebrating, rejoicing his death. I can sympathize with people being relieved that he can no longer directly harm others, but it just feels wrong to rejoice in his murder.

    Sometimes other people are able to say much more eloquently what I am feeling. I think this sums it up best for me personally:

    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral,
    begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.
    Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.
    Through violence you may murder the liar,
    but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth.
    Through violence you may murder the hater,
    but you do not murder hate.
    In fact, violence merely increases hate.
    So it goes.
    Returning violence for violence multiplies violence,
    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.

    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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  5. Finally an american who's not screaming "USA, USA"!!!
    I'm not sad, that he's dead.. but I totally agree with you that it's not the proper way to celebrate someone's death like that.. especially since nothing's going to be good now! Do americans really believe, that now that Bin Laden is dead, no other Terrorist is going to perform a terrorist attack anymore?? Seriously?? Don't they know that Islamists believe in revenge??
    I hope one day we can end terrorism, but this certainly wasn't the way to deal with it.

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  6. Jessica, I think that's an interesting point about the use of terminology. It sounds like it was certainly meant to diminish the savage nature of it.

    I did notice that the bulk of people on television celebrating seemed to be young, college aged for the most part. Besides for a few Tea Partiers wearing American flag bandanas and shit. But that made me think about the psychology of a kid who was 8-9 during the WTC attacks and spent the bulk of their formative years with their country at war, coupled with the "see something, say something" fear technique.

    I remember being terrified during the first gulf war, thinking every plane that went overhead was Sadaam in a jet about to drop a bomb on my head. All I'm saying is maybe they see things a little differently. Not giving them the right, but it's a possible explanation.

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  7. They simply should have arrested him, it would have been better for everyone. If a person who a lot of muslim extremists look up to has to sit in court and listen to what other people have to say about him, they will all see he's just a human like anyone else. His personality will shrink, it makes him powerless. All they did now was piss off a group of people you really don't want to piss off.

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  8. ”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.”

    Martin Luther King Jr

    I have mixed feelings as well,however I do feel we are putting too much power in one man's death.It will not end the conflict in the mid east.Thats for sure....

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