Miscellaneous thoughts upon the death of Osama bin Laden:
• I feel pride and a national sense of accomplishment, because finally, we got him. Good job, U.S. intelligence, U.S. military, and President Obama.
• I feel happy that justice has been done. Yes, it’s a human kind of justice — a guy who killed lots of people has himself been killed — but it’s the only kind of justice we’ve got and I think it’s OK to find some joy in it.
• While I can find joy in justice, I feel less happy about celebrating the death of a person. Even a person we all view as evil. Because the reason we view him as evil is the fact that he killed without guilt, and he found joy in the killing. Yes, I realize there’s a difference between killing innocents (from bin Laden’s side) and killing the guilty (from our side), but death is death and it’s hard for me to find happiness in it. “Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice…” (Proverbs 24:17)
• Part of me is uncomfortable with the street reveling following the news. I understand the need for community and certainly can get behind the patriotism and relief that fuels it. But I also know how angry I got at the scenes of street celebrations in other countries following the terrorist acts. As my friend Matt wrote on his Facebook page, “Come on, America. This isn’t the first murderous terrorist we’ve killed. Act like you’ve been here before.” Might restraint be a better response?
• And another part of me is saying, “What if you’d lost someone in the 9/11 attacks? You have no idea how you’d respond, and you have no right to judge how anyone else responds in Washington or New York, so shut up.”
• (Except for the obviously drunk frat guys waving flags around. We can be annoyed at them.)
• I love that it was a team of Navy SEALS that did it. I love that it wasn’t a missile, but an on-the-ground, Jack-Bauer-style raid. I love that it was an event that had been in the planning stages for months.
• I love that President Obama has quietly been planning this event while detractors have still been hung up on stupid things like his U.S. citizenship. Had I been president, I wouldn’t have been able to keep from telling them to shut up because I was busy, you know, finding Osama bin Laden.
• I love that, when I told my kids about it this morning on the way to school, my daughter’s first question was “Did anybody else die? Other than him?” I told her that no Americans had been killed in the raid. “But what about the other people in the house?” Yes, they were killed, I told her. “They were bad guys?” Yes, I think so. But it makes me proud that her first thoughts were on who had died, and how many. Death is serious.
What are/were your thoughts?