I can honestly say I am glad Osama Bin Laden is dead. In fact, I honestly believe that I could have given the order, putting US soldiers lives at risk, to potentially assassinate him. Could I have looked him in the eye, unarmed, and pulled the trigger myself? I would like to think so. if you can order someone else to do it, you should be able to do it yourself. But I do realize that it is not a trivial thing to take a life, not even a vile fuck like Bin Laden. (If he were armed, all bets are off. There's a big difference taking a life that is actively trying to take yours compared to assassinating someone.) I appreciate the decision Obama made to assassinate Bin Laden; I appreciate more the sacrifice the soldiers have made to carry out that mission.
Now that being said I am disappointed with fellow American citizens who celebrated Bin Laden's assassination. (For those who lost loved ones on 9/11, celebrate away, I would.) I remember when the towers came down, I was scheduled to give a seminar that day. While getting ready I heard that the first tower was hit and thought a pilot royally screwed the pooch (it's happened before). While watching the news the second plane slammed into the second tower, and the world changed. I remember not being able to leave the news for hours trying to figure out what was happening while in the back of my mind I'm thinking about having to give this stupid talk. Did I even want to go to the university? This may have been more poignant for me because I stopped working in NYC June of 2001, every day I took a bus from Union City NJ to the Port Authority Bus Terminal, to catch the A train to 168th St. I did go to work, keeping the news on the radio. Shortly after arriving, I received a call asking if I wanted to cancel my talk. Being the new guy on the block, I said I was ok to go, but was relieved when the decision was made to cancel it and close the university until some shit got figured out.
I was scared, not dramatically, but subtly because I did not know what was happening or why. Mostly though I was angry, I wanted payback. I wanted the perpetrators dead. I wanted answers and I wanted revenge. I remember the dancing and remember hating the woman in glasses. I got more pissed.
Osama Bin Laden is a maggot worthy of death. But why was that woman in glasses happy? Upon seeing that video, I would have ordered her assassination too. But FUCK, why were those kids dancing? I could simply take the viewpoint that these people are inherently evil but that seems stupid. Are those children evil? Maybe assassinating that woman isn't a reasonable response. Maybe these people have a perceived issue with the US and view this as some recompense. Maybe I don't know as much about the world around me as I think I do. Regardless, Bin Laden should be killed, his actions were not justified except in the mind of a madman.
So he is dead. Obama ordered his execution and the mission succeeded. No US soldiers were lost in the mission. It was a great success. So what did we do?