Monday, May 2, 2011

Bin Laden

It was so odd last night, hearing that news about Bin Laden. It had been such a lovely day, a wonderful weekend, and right before we went to bed, Jessie got a text message about it and we turned on the TV right before our president spoke.
I don't know how I feel these days when I hear that any human has been killed. It is complex. And I certainly don't know if I feel any safer. I thought the president gave a fine speech and did it well, speaking calmly and intelligently, as he does. There was no bragging. I love that about him.
What upset me to no end were the crowds of people outside the White House, cheering and screaming about how great the USA is.
Honestly. It took us ten years and how many deaths to find and kill one man?
I don't know. I am not privy to the information that presidents and governments have.
But it is done and one has to wonder if another head will arise to take the place of the one just cut off from that snake.
The older I get, the less I believe that killing leads to less killing and intuitively, I've never really believed it at all from a very young age.
I don't know.
I just don't know.


  1. I'm with you. Deeply disturbed --

  2. Something to remember about those crowds by the White House: they were mostly college kids. They were in the mood to party anyway, because it's the end of the semester. And bin Laden has been "the enemy" for 10 years now - half of those kids' lifespans. I'm not going to go out and set off fireworks, but I sort of understand how that happened.

  3. My feelings are also very complicated and conflicted concerning this. I keep them to myself mostly. I've never been a jubilant celebrater. If that tells you anything.

    I think Hank is right in his theory. I think of how I felt about Russia growing up... It makes a lot of sense but it still didn't seem very nice.

  4. I get what Hank is saying. For the college kids, it was an excuse to gather. But i know what you're saying, too. Taking a life is never to be celebrated. I too, was troubled by the crowds outside the WH and in Times Square.

  5. I agree too. I heard the news with a strange mixture of relief and dread. Our celebrating in the streets seems dangerous or demeaning in some way I can't articulate. It's not an endpoint in this scary game, just another check on a list, and I worry about retribution, retalliation, all those scary things crazy people do. No, I did not celebrate, I wondered who else died in collateral damage and what the fallout will be from this symbolic event. It may change nothing. I just don't know.
    Sorry your third party ended on such a reality jolt! I have very much enjoyed living vicariously through your posts this weekend, thanks so much, Jessie, for being born, for graduating, to the whole clan for being so awesome and sharing it with everyone.

  6. We've been talking here at work and have come the same conclusion that Hank had about the college kids. But, I don't think that was all of it - for me at least, the news brought a small measure of relief. I immediately thought the other things too - now what will happen?, was anyone else killed?, etc. But really, for me at least, this news last night brought me back to 9/11 and reminded me of the emotions and sense of connect and hopelessness that I felt. I am not thrilled that someone died, but I do feel like something in my heart healed.

  7. In Greek mythology there is this dragon named Hydra. When one of his heads was cut off, two grew in its place.

    Osama Bin Laden's death worries me greatly. And saddens me a bit. The celebrations embarrass me. (I just blogged a bit about it)

  8. I said not long ago, "I don't know how I feel about this ... "

    I can't label any feelings. I just don't know.

    I'm with you! (As usual.)

  9. DTG is spot on -as usual =) GW University is just a few blocks away and they hyped up and headed down to scream for awhile. My first thought was, thank god its not intern season yet or that crowd of 22 year olds would have quadrupled.

    I have mixed emotions as well.

  10. I felt disturbed by the party like atmosphere and celebration. I blogged about it as well. I would rather celebrate the living and just let the dead go with some solemness. He was a bad man, but that does not mean that one has to jump and dance. It just seemed wrong to me.

  11. Try to indulge the celebrators some positive regard. There hasn't been A lot to cheer about, and besides, fuck that guy.

  12. I thank DTG for that assessment---I've been noticing if not jubilation at least a different level of engagement in the status updates of my younger friends. I keep thinking of "The Mercy Seat" by Nick Cave---and also of Napoleon and Snowball from Animal Farm (which is strange, because I don't think it is entirely apt by any means)--I wish it could have been possible to capture him alive. O confusion!

  13. I'm a bit distressed by my cousin celebrating this, and his friend expressing hope they kneecapped him first. I don't see how martyring one man will do anything but bring more harm.

    It also shows the same vengeful blood lust that we think of as terrifying and alien in the Arab races as well.

  14. I don't know either. But it felt weird for me, too.

  15. I'm surprised at how happy I am that he's dead... not just dead, but killed by us. Where is this love of vengeance coming from? I'm not dancing in the street, but I feel like cheering. And I'm supposedly a peace activist?

    surprising emotions

  16. It troubles a lot of us, myself included. Our world is a troubling one. I am a Quaker and a pacifist and this still troubles me. I don't know either. I don't think anyone does. The problem is the people that make the loudest noise are the people that hate and want to fight. Maybe there will be a time when the rest of us that are troubled will make a louder noise.

  17. I guess patriotism has brainwashed some more that others.

  18. oh, ms. moon! from what i can surmise, there is so much missing in the response to today's news. i count myself blessed that i look to a news source that is alternative to helps me to feel that i am not crazy, and not alone.

    i cannot say what is in the heart of another; i won't say that the man killed was evil, as it is not my judgement to make.

    i can say that i am disturbed by the impossibility of a trial, even considering that the possibility of a fair trial would be improbable.

    i can also say that bin laden denied responsibility in the world trade center attacks. later a video was aired by a brittish source in which he claimed responsibility. the next day the same source posted photos of bin laden's corpse, which were then proven to be photoshopped.

    i feel no sense of justice, let alone celebration today.

    i'm looking forward to a promised post from michelle.

  19. I felt like being very quiet about, like going into my file closet and thinking about how I felt when the towers fell, and wondering if "they" have won when some of us jazzed citizens gather in full party mode and scream about how we got him. I kept thinking, "How do these children know? Most of them were about 8 or 9 when 9-11-2001 happened. What's really going on here?" Not that UBL wasn't vile and still dangerous as hell. But, still...I don't know either.

  20. Elizabeth- And your post was perfect. Thank you for it.

    DTG- You are so right. So wise. I love you.

    Ms. Trouble- I know.

    Angella- With age comes less confidence in knowing what is right, what is wrong.

    Mel- Life just keeps on going, no matter what. The incredibly good and the incredibly mysterious. What can we do?

    Jill- I wish I could know that feeling. I do not have it. I'm sure that many do, though.

    Rebecca- I think it's on all our minds.

    NOLA- It's too complex for simple answers.

    SJ- There you are. Right in the middle of it. Wow.

    Juancho- That is certainly a way to view it. Thanks for the perspective.

    x-rayiris- Many questions left unanswered. Yes.

    Jo- Exactly.

    gradydoctor- I take comfort in your mixed emotions.

    Terena- I don't know but feel what you feel. Knowing you, it's all genuine.

    Birdie- I think we who think most deeply are least apt to voice our opinions, knowing we don't have a lock on truth.

    Angie M- And I don't have that gene.

    adrienne- I'm looking forward to that too. I'm still picking my way through the minefield.

    Beth- We who are older, hold our counsel.

  21. I felt JUST LIKE THAT last night. I mentioned it to someone this morning, and moments later saw this post. How bizarre. I'd had the most amazing sunny day learning about birth with some amazing women, cooked myself a great dinner, enjoyed a glass of wine, and sat down to my computer JUST as the news was breaking. I felt like it ruined my blissful state.

  22. You said very well here what I have been feeling about the situation but have been unable, or unwilling, to put into words.

  23. I agree with you. I don't necessarily think it's a good thing as there's bound to be revenge attacks. Just because they've killed Obama doesn't mean the Taliban stops, he was a figurehead but that's it. We're on highest alert in London.

    I wonder when they'll release the pictures? xx

  24. I'm with you there. I just don't know. I won't be mourning Osama, obviously, but once you start killing other people...


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