I’m not really sure how to communicate what is going on inside my about the death of Osama Bin Laden. As a former soldier, I’m thankful. The face of the enemy is now dead. I understand that for so many families there is at least some sense of justice fulfilled…and by killing this man, there are countless future lives that have been saved. As a soldier, I understand what many service men and women are experiencing – satisfaction of a job done, a duty accomplished.
But I’m also ashamed of how most of my country has acted the past few days over the death of this man.
Hear me clearly, I have no sorrow or sense of loss over his death. He deserved to die. Any man that arrogant and destructive, the world is better without him. But to celebrate his death – does it not make us more like him? Does celebrating the death of another human makes us guilty of being exactly who he was? A horrific man that took pleasure in the killing of others under the banner of “justice” and religion?
There should be no apology in the pursuit of this man or the eventual execution of him. His deeds were clear to see and deserving of death. But to celebrate in the streets tastes more like revenge than justice.
And it’s nothing like Hitler in World War 2. While it is true that both men were symbols, icons of terror and horror, Bin Laden’s death doesn’t end anything. Terrorism is not going away. It will not solve the thousand year old hate between Islam and the West.
It will not bring back sons and daughters who have died since 9/11. It will not in any significant way change our role or our timetable for our involvement in the Middle East.
It may be a salve for our wounded today…but real healing?
So I’m conflicted and confused. I’m thankful and ashamed. I’m happy and remorseful. I’m hopeful and cynical.
And I don’t really have much more clarity than that.