This post has been edited to amend the quote that appears at the end, which I was sent on facebook and pasted in, having vaguely remembered the words attributed to MLK Jr. I should have done more research: http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/05/anatomy-of-a-fake-quotation/238257/
I was feeling melancholy today, as I listened to the stories on NPR about how they had found Bin Laden and shot him dead and buried him at sea. How the only casualties had been sustained by members of Bin Laden's family (or supporters or guards or soldiers or whatever their role was) at the compound he was holed up in. How they had taken only Bin Laden's body away with them after the gun fight, and left the others behind. How the woman who had been killed was used as a human shield - voluntarily or not, no one could say. How there had been children there. Children who may have just seen their parents killed, and were now left with their dead bodies, still warm with the life that had sustained those very children until that moment.
There is no doubt in my mind that Bin Laden was a man with a sick and twisted mind. One who's belief system was skewed. One who had brought death and destruction and panic and tragedy to cities all over the world. And I have nothing but respect for the soldiers who have spent the last 10 years trying to stop him, trying to find him, trying to keep at least one step ahead of his orders, to stem the tide of violence that he unnleashed in the name of God. Bin Laden is the Hitler of our generation, in a way.
But while I am relieved he is out of the picture, that the team sent in to find him did not sustain any casualties, that he's just dead, and not in a prison plotting his escape, or recruiting more foot soldiers for future acts of terrorism......I don't feel like celebrating.
It's another death. But it doesn't make anything better. Our soldiers are still mired in that godforsaken land of mountains and caves where they risk their lives every day. The people who have perished in the acts of terrorism, and in the subsequent fighting, are still gone. Those children at that compound in Pakistan still have to live with what they witnessed and experienced that day when life as they knew it ended.
I feel none of the enthusiasm that seems contagious at Ground Zero and in front of the White House. In fact, the voices chanting and cheering make me feel uncomfortable. Make me concerned for where we will go next. What will tomorrow bring? I know one thing - it won't bring anyone back.
"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."
Martin Luther King, Jr.
1 hour ago