He's dead. He's finally fucking dead. We started 2+ wars, murdered numberless civilians, thousands of American and Allied soldiers, the Mid East is more unstable than ever, we created contracts for mercenaries and corporations to reap all the profits with no oversight, used up more of our oil just to secure their oil, bankrupted the USA, and burned bridges with former allies. And we are still fighting. And this whole time they wanted us to think he was rotting in a cave somewhere? He was in a fortified compound 50 km from Islamabad, Pakistan.
While I have to admit I'm initially relieved he's gone, an undeniable knee-jerk-reaction type of blood lust post 9/11, I have a hard time justifying murder of anything or anyone, let alone the countless killed and the survivors of wars in the name of defeating terrorism or assassinating one horrible terrorist in Pakistan? What about the conflicted soldiers fighting unjust wars in the name of patriotism, and the families they left behind? Was it worth it? Will it be worth it in the long term?
It leaves me with more questions than relief or any sense of justice. Just because he's dead and buried at sea doesn't mean IT is over. Though this has created relief for many within the US, and given closure to the families and victims of the 9/11 attacks, we will not magically pull out of foreign occupations. Our troops will still be in harm's way. We cannot undo the trauma to their people going from regimes to military imperialism. How many more people have to die? Is execution without trial the democratic, ethical response? How will this help in the long term goal of peace- if that's even a goal of our elected officials and their military branches at this point? Will this trigger far worse retaliation or will this finally heal our country? Can Americans finally stop being xenophobic and anti Islamic? Can we get our troops home before retaliation happens instead of rebuilding? Can we all admit that invading two countries and having a military operation in a third was not about revenge, it's been about resources and who controls them. Will they justify new excuses to avoid the independent rule and economic autonomy of these countries? I hope that all those that celebrated his execution with machismo-American posturing sober up and reflect on what it is to celebrate the death of thine enemy and think of the continued suffering of innocents at our hands abroad. I plea for peace.
Tim Wise: Killing One Monster, Unleashing Another: Reflections on Revenge and Revelry
Truth Dig: On Osama Bin Laden’s Death
Huffington Post: Cenk Uyngur- Bin Laden Dead -- War Was Not the Answer
Huffington Post: Osama's Legacy- American Drift
Grist: Now that we’ve killed Osama bin Laden, let’s kill oil
The Guardian: Osama bin Laden is dead – but not al-Qaida or its cause
Colorlines: The Ability to Kill Osama Bin Laden Does Not Make America Great
TED Talks: 9/11 mothers of victim and terrorist heal through friendship
The Interdependence Project: On Killing Our Enemy
Partial Objects: Osama bin Laden is dead. Now what?