Everyone has probably heard by now that there has been confirmation regarding the death of Osama bin Laden, known terrorist leader who has been in hiding for nearly a decade. I'm following the crowd in posting about it, but whatevs. It's on my mind, so why not write about it.
I don't like how everyone is so celebratory. It makes me feel sick to see all of the posts and comments, saying things like "**** you, Osama!" and "It's about time!", among others. Even as I read President Obama's speech, in which he said that bin Laden has finally been "brought to justice", I felt sick inside. To think that so much joy and in-your-face attitude can come from this...it's odd to me.
Don't get me wrong, I am no terrorist sympathizer. I think what they stand for and what they do is horrible. Taking life for any reason, especially to use fear to drive your cause, is wrong. Racial and religious purity and power, destruction of democracy, elimination of those who think and believe differently than you do, I don't stand for those things.
I believe in America. I believe in freedom and liberty and equality. I believe in safety and security for everyone. I believe in democracy, in the freedom to choose, in the freedom to believe as you wish, in the freedom to act as you wish as long as your actions do not infringe upon the rights of others. I believe that peace is the ultimate goal, and that war is a last resort, to defend life and liberty and to promote happiness for others who are suffering and who are oppressed.
I do not believe in celebrating the end of life, no matter what a person or group has done. I can see that with Osama bin Laden's death comes many things: he can no longer do any harm. He can't plan anything. He can't lead anyone. He can't spread ideas to the illiterate who know nothing else. This event also ends things for many people, for people who lost family and friends in the fighting. But truly, is justice served with death? A life for a life, or a life for thousands of lives. Does that make things right? Does that make it okay to jump and shout in the streets, proclaiming things like, "I bet my son is escorting him to hell" or "Take THAT, [insert obscenities]!" or "Oh yeah, JUSTICE, baby! Get where you belong!"
Do people remember that there was celebrating in the Middle East on the day the towers fell ten years ago? Do people remember? I remember. It sickened me then, and I was only in fourth grade. Now, in my own country, people celebrate death. It sickens me. To see such thirst for blood and revenge...
I know that this isn't everyone. Not everyone feels this way. It's just what I've personally seen, read, and heard tonight while I have been with my family and friends.
I recognize that for many, there are reasons to celebrate. People can point these reasons out to me, and I will acknowledge them. I accept those reasons because I can see the point, but I won't celebrate. There will be no drinks for me tonight, and not just because I don't drink.