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: 18-20 November, Arlington, Virginia
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Note: I have TWO (2) open seats available at my table. If anyone wants to join me, let me know!
So, the word on the street is that on 0333011M3, an elite strike force teleported over to Pakistan and cast 'Boom! Headshot!' on Osama bin Laden
quite possibly the most reviled man on the planet since Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin.
I heard about the event in brief passing while playing Guild Wars, but I didn't pay any attention as most chat stuff in game is filled with a lot of noise and general BS.
mentioned it later that night while corresponding about a commission, and I got further details on the whole thing the day after.
As someone who went to war, was sent to another country with the intent of killing people because of this guy, I think that I should feel a little more about the whole thing than just 'meh'. Granted, my experiences towards the whole thing is absolutely nothing compared to what those who were killed and their families as well as those who were on site
but I noticed a strong sense of 'meh' on my side of things and a notable sense of revulsion towards those who were happily dancing, cheering, singing and generally celebrating.
I am writing about this now primarily because I wanted to get some more information, think about things for a bit and analyze why I feel the way I do, and now I'm ready to toss my spare change at the great silent wall that is the Internet.
First and foremost, Osama bin Laden was a monster. A real monster. To say that he was one of the most reviled men on the face of the planet is not a stretch of the imagination. The Western community's feelings is very apparent on the matter, but the Middle Eastern feelings are, quite understandably, the same (with some exceptions of course, after all, there were (and still are) people who loved Hitler and Stalin despite the atrocities they committed). I learned that while bin Laden's machinations over the years has killed several thousand Westerners, he used similar machinations to kill millions of his own (Arabs and Muslims). Many heads of the Islamic faith have plainly stated over the years that bin Laden was not a true follower of Islam and constantly twisted the words in that book to suit his own ends and legitimize his actions. Some have went so far to say that only took the word of the Quran at face value without any attempt at all to consider the meanings or take into account of the fact that that book was written during a time that is vastly different than today, putting him out there on of the farthest fringes. The fact that he killed Muslims, women and children (all three are taboo) and considered anyone who did not agree specifically with him as being someone to be shunned or killed did not earn him many friends.
So why do I feel nothing at the death of this monster and revulsion for those who are celebrating his death? After thinking about it for a bit and reading a handful of articles and blogs I realized that while he was a horrible person and did, in fact, deserve death, I think celebrating it is wrong. I recall seeing on the news the celebration in the streets by [insert enemy of the US in the Middle East here] on 9/11 as well as during just about any action that saw the US or our allies get a bloody nose and I recall how upset I was. I recalled how I felt that those celebrating were juvenile, ignorant savages and how I wanted to go give them a bloody face. With a chainsaw. Thinking on this, I think that it is wrong to gloat about this victory
any victory for that matter. Yes, we got the bad guy, high-fives and ass-slaps for everyone, a few fist pumps and a cheer of relief at the success and then move onto the next mission.
A quote that has been attributed to Martin Luther King, jr. has been circulating around the web, and I think that it is most fitting: "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." As someone also stated in regards to this: "I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy."
I see no reason to rejoice or celebrate. I see no reason to spread further hate or even imply that spread by taking pleasure in the death of someone else
even if they deserved it.
Bin Laden is gone now, to celebrate and rejoice over his passing implies that he had power over us, and he doesn't. He never did.
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