5.06.2011

Osama Dead, Be Happy!

Nearly ten years after the attack on the World Trade Center, Osama Bin Laden is dead, killed by American special forces, summarily executed inside his own bedroom. The killing sparked a number of reactions including utter and complete elation at his demise. Chants of "USA! USA!" filled the air as Americans rejoiced at the news.

The boogey man is dead, never mind that the war is not yet over. It was a collective exhale. People were happy. The party was on. America is caught up in the rapture of a nationwide feel good moment.  Happy and patriotic Americans continue to dance in the streets.

But not everyone is celebrating. Some feel the celebration of the death of another human being was wrong and somehow not Christian or religious or human. As details of the raid filtered out, others took issue with the use of the name Geronimo as code for Bin Laden, stating it was a slap in the face of Native Americans to use the name of so great a chieftain. Yeah, so what else is new?

Those wringing their hands miss the point. The celebrations were not because one man died or due to another great man's name being used without due reverence. Geronimo's name was probably spit out by computer. After all, that is the way they choose those stupid battle names in the first place. What do you do, kill the programmer, because the programming points to the deeply entrenched  racism that permeates America? Bin Laden was more symbol than man. Kill the symbol, take the flag. Win the war. Win the competition. It's the American way. Passion for politics and law?  Find out about  law degrees online.

 With the exception of those two great persecutions and killings of brown Americans, namely the Civil War, and the wars against Native Americans, wars are never fought on American soil. Wars are fought "over there." American civilians don't die in war. Our soldiers do, but then they volunteer to defend the rest of us. The rest of us go on about our daily lives, tying yellow ribbons around tree trunks, voicing outrage when cryptkeeper Fred Phelps and family show up at military funerals, or become a little aggravated by the inconveniences of stepped up security, refusing to dwell on what is being done by our government in other countries in our name. It's like Jack said "we can't handle the truth!" We Americans really don't want to know.  We just want someone else to do it and please don't slow my roll in the process.

 And truth be told, the biggest outrage of September 11th is not that it happened, but that it happened on American soil, in our greatest city.

Bin Laden's boys literally walked into our collective bedroom wrapped in our goodwill and raped our significant other in front of the whole world. He pissed on our award winning roses and then turned around and told us he was coming back for more.

America lives by that old saying "you start it...we'll finish it."  In other words, you can screw my wife, but take her to a hotel...don't you dare have sex with her in my bed or in my house. Doing your dirt on our turf is the ultimate insult. Like the Japanese,  Bin Laden chose to bring war to America. Big mistake. Huge mistake.

Bin Laden's braggadocio set off a worldwide, decade long manhunt and two wars. He became public enemy number one, right up there with Al Capone and the heads of all the big South American drug cartel leaders. The feds put a 25 million dollar price tag on his head. No American was safe while Bin Laden was alive, we were told. He became our excuse for invading other countries, sowing our version of democracy as we traipsed along killing babies, women and children, raining destruction on whole nations. Where was the religious, pseudo-christian outcry then?

Bin Laden didn't hurt America per say, he insulted America. He killed more of his own people, people who shared his belief system, then he did Americans. Taken in perspective, the destruction of the World Trade Center was more  like a solidly landed left hook that may have staggered us, but never even brought us to our knees. The September 11 attack  temporarily hurt our collective self esteem. It stung, showed us we do bleed, all the while acting as a shield enabling the greedy neocons to drink their fill of foreign oil.

If we were truthful with us, we would admit that we are not really a religious world, or a caring people concerned about the death of one man or of a hundred men or even thousands of people. Religious people, true followers of god or higher power don't fight or sanction wars of any kind or in any form, what so ever. They don't look away as thousands of innocents die in the name of regime change or nation building or self defense. To voice concern about the death of one man is disingenuous, more self serving than anything, wrapped around the fear of further repercussion.

Americans danced in the streets this week because, the hunt for and execution of Osama Bin Laden merely reinforced our self perceived superiority in the world. Bin Laden's death was the squelching of the idea that America is volunerable, fat and lazy lacking a counterpunch. Bin Laden's death showcases what some call American exceptionalism. We are simply the best. Bin Laden's death lets us know that it is okay to go shopping again.

Exhale!










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