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Have They Really Killed What They Themselves Had Created?
04/05/2011 12:55:00
“The exact contrary of what is generally believed is often the truth.” - Jean de La Bruyere

So let me see if I got this right; the man accused of orchestrating a major attack on US soil, wasn't on the FBI's most wanted list, was supposedly in a cave for 10 years, who the rest of the world has reported dead for years, was finally caught, shot, and killed... no trial, no evidence, no proof, and his body was dumped into the ocean in the middle of the night, within 24 hours. Makes total sense and all State-sponsored.

If the day of the killing were April 1 and not May 2, I could dismiss as an April fool's joke the day’s headline that Osama bin Laden was killed in a firefight in Pakistan and quickly buried at sea.

The death of Osama Bin Laden, while being a setback for al Qaeda, will not result in an end to the extremist violence spawned by fundamentalism. In the name of fighting the al Qaeda, the US devastated Afghanistan and Iraq. Hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives in these wars of aggression.

The US had enlisted Pakistan to fight the Afghanistan government backed by the Soviet Union in the 1980s. The Pentagon and CIA had equipped and financed through the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence), people like Osama, thus fuelling the later day Taliban and Jehadi fundamentalists.

The CIA and al Qaeda were on the same side during the anti-Soviet struggle.

The recent military intervention in Libya and the continuing war in Afghanistan, show that the United States has learnt no lessons from the past. State terrorism and fundamentalist terrorism feed each other.

Unless the United States changes its approach of resorting to military force and state terrorism, the problem of terrorism cannot be tackled successfully.

Human dignity was not served by images of jubilant crowds cheering at the news of the death of Osama bin Laden.

None of the rights’ defenders expressed satisfaction with the theatrically choreographed media event, or its star, President Obama.

To feel excited about somebody’s death is a weird feeling, even when it comes to Osama bin Laden. Under the headline, “Justice!” the New York Post’s editorial summed up the mood: “The son of a bitch is dead. Ding dong.”

There is something deeply wrong with this picture. By celebrating death, even of someone as Bin Laden, we let our worst impulses trump what is called “the better angels of our nature”. We look petty, juvenile, and small. And we should all be worried about that.

Governments all over the world welcomed the news. The President of Peru bizarrely linked the death to the beatification of John Paul II on the same day, declaring that his “first miracle has been to wipe off the face of this earth the demonic incarnation of crime, evil and hate”.

But was Bin Laden’s demise really a victory for “all who believe in peace and human dignity”, as President Obama put it?

Not really. There was something weird about the tooting horns and the fist-pumping. It was jubilation at the death of a human being, just as objectionable as people cheering outside jails after the execution of a murderer.

Maybe Osama bin Laden was a man responsible for horrendous evil. But he was a man, not a character in a video game.

“The public celebrations in the West Bank after the awful events of September 11 that appalled us in the West seem somehow eerily mirrored in the celebrations we are now witnessing at the White House. Pick the difference!”

To me all kinds of crowds are excitable and that college students in Times Square are remarkably like the residents of the slums of the Gaza strip, both excitable and easily swayed by base emotions. They both need to read the wise words of Martin Luther King Jr:

"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 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."

It is absurdly exaggerated to claim, as the US President did in his speech, “today’s achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people”.

But surely isn’t greatness more than nailing a fugitive? Genuine greatness of spirit lies in following up victory with magnanimity and wisdom. Managing this will require the wisdom of Solomon, which is very doubtful if even minutely present in any recent American administration!

As an ethicist, I am always questioning things that seem obviously good or bad. It is natural for me to question the goodness of Bin Laden’s demise, simply because it seems good at face value.

Osama bin Laden may well and truly be dead. He predicted long ago he would die a martyr in a gunfight with US forces. Bin Laden is dead, but Bin-Ladenism lives on and will prosper and spread, enhanced by the image of Osama the martyr, who may be smiling in his watery grave.

Well, could it turn out that, after all, Osama bin Laden would prove to be more dangerous dead than alive?

The death of Osama bin Laden should be an occasion for sober reflection, not for silly celebration. Hopefully the alleged death of Bin Laden symbolises a smouldering end to the seductive appeal of violence amongst humans!

I will quote here one wise man: "Justice may require the death of evil men, but it never requires our joy at their passing"

Joseph M. Cachia
This article has ( 3 ) Comment(s)
Name: demon
Date: 05/04/2011 14:38:05
bravo! sb has to write the obvious!
to selebrate the death is satanism.
Name: Abel
Date: 05/04/2011 15:59:47
Joseph - I have read through a multitude of articles and not a single one summed up my thought process until I found yours. You truly are a diamond in the rough. To see past this fog to be able to put it into context is certainly a gift. It makes me happy as a human being to know that there are like minded individuals out there, seldom as they may be. Bless you.
Name: Bert
Date: 05/05/2011 17:37:50
As soon as they said buried at sea I concluded that Bin Laden is captured alive. A Navy Seal can take an armed man down alive, let alone an unarmed man. He was unconsious when dragged from the compound. It is better to say he is dead, this way he can be tortured and interogated to any extreme his captors desire. No complaining about water boarding, drugs or any other method. No UN involvement, no war crimes tribunals, no NYC trial. He deserves hell torture. Think of those buried alive in the World Trade Center. What a way to die, especially if you have injuries causing extreme pain.
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