I’m supposed to be studying right now, but this thought wouldn’t leave me alone. So I figured I’d just write this out and then go back to reading about the Dirty Wars.
This morning while looking at a collage of newspaper front pages dealing with the death of bin Laden on HuffingtonPost.com, I was struck by how coarse the headlines were.
There were the typical ones: Bin Laden killed by U.S. forces, Bin Laden dead, U.S. Forces kill Osama, Al-Qaeda leader dead, etc.
But then there were some that made me raise an eyebrow:
ROT IN HELL! screamed the New York Daily News.
GOT HIM! Vengeance at last! US nails the bastard! the New York Daily Post roared.
We got the bastard! the Philadelphia Daily News exclaimed.
The Jamaican Gleaner stated ‘Obama gets Bin Laden!’
We got him! the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says
Many papers just said DEAD. Short and effective.
As a former Journalism student I understand the need for outrageous headlines—especially when every single paper has the exact. same. cover. story. But is this really necessary? I mean yes, bin Laden is dead. But the Al-Qaeda movement is still working; there’s a second-in-command who will probably rise up. We can’t just think we won the war. I hope the US doesn’t get lured into a false sense of security.
Plus as a Christian, it makes me sick to hear of rejoicing at death. There are quotes throughout the Bible speaking against this, most notable the second greatest commandment “Love your enemies as yourself.” I think we should be praying for bin Laden’s soul. Also—all sins are equal, so really I’m just as bad as bin Laden is.
I think your reaction to his death is a great indicator of psychology. If you are from New York or Washington DC, you are probably more affected because it is closer to home. You are more likely to have lost a friend or a family member than someone from Texas.
As a Libertarian, I bristled when I saw the Gleaner’s headline—I don’t think Obama “got” bin Laden. I think the armed forces were the most responsible, and Bush 43 and Obama both get credit. But it once again shows a difference—an American feels stronger about bin Laden’s death than a non-American. A Republican feels differently than a Democrat. It’s just human nature I think.
Because I live in Texas, a lot of the statuses on my Facebook wall last night had to do with “God Bless the USA”, “GWB helped too”, and “Justice has been done!” But I also have a lot of Christian friends (because I am a Christian and participate in a lot of Christian activities) and their statuses were consists of things like “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls”, “Love your enemy”, and “Pray for OBL’s soul”
I find the difference between those people who are country-first vs. God-first to be fascinating. Such a contrast. I watched those people yelling in front of the White House on the news and I thought, “I would never do that. I would never feel that strong about it.” I am sad for the loss of those 3000 people that died on 9/11 and I do feel “glad” that OBL is dead just because he can’t hurt people anymore. But I would never say “Rot in Hell!” or call OBL a bastard. That is just not me.
Have I ever said on Facebook that in March 2001 I went to NYC over Spring Break and I went up the 1st Tower? I stood on top of the Twin Towers. And now no current 10-year-old will ever be do that again. It is the end of an era indeed. Do I feel like my childhood has ended because of OBL’s death? No. Honestly I think the end of Harry Potter in July signifies the end more than this.
When my Dad told me the Twin Towers fell that day in September 2001, the first thing I remember thinking is “I hope no visitors were on top.” I still remember standing up there so tall and proud. For a shortie 10-year-old it was a big moment.
I know none of these thoughts are new, but I needed to get them off my chest. Now I need to travel back in time to Argentina and concentrate on the Dirty War.