Osama bin Laden & "The Big Lie"

I was at the studio on Sunday night with Seth and some friends hanging out when one of them got word on their phone that bin Laden was dead and the president was going to be making a statement.  This was about 10:30PM, and we watched until about 1:30AM.  I then came home and watched until after 3AM.  And I spent the majority of Monday digging through news for all the information that I could get.

I posted on my Facebook, "Other than the feeling you get when you know that you will always remember where you were when something happened, I have no strong emotional response to this news. This, to me, was a terrible necessity, and I feel no great release, and no great catharsis."  It's still true.  Truthfully, I felt somewhat uncomfortable seeing the mass celebratory gatherings over a man's death, especially the fact that a great many of those celebrating at the White House were college students - most of whom were probably too young to comprehend what happened on 9/11.

I then was one of those people who posted the fake Martin Luther King, Jr. quote: "I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. 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." (I even did a Google search before posting it, but I still got duped).  But even thought it's fake, I'm glad that I re-posted it, because it's how I feel.  I might feel differenltly if this were the end of a war, but it's not.  Read Ezra Klein's explanation of bin Laden's end-goal, but then think about this: we're still in Iraq and Afghanistan, and I have been told by a few people in the know that this is a "global" war.  So, it won't end, and the country will continue to hemmorage money.  Rough times still lay ahead.

Shifting gears just slightly, Daily Beast blogger Andrew Sullivan talks about "The Big Lie" that has accompanied the killing of Osama bin Laden - that torture worked and helped.  Definitely worth a read.

Part 1

Part 2

The fact that the U.S. participated in sanctioned torturous actions is depicable and shameful, and it contributed to our weakend stance throughout the world during he last administration.  Many Americans pride ourselves on the inherent goodness of our country - a goodness which is corrupted when we sink to the level of our enemies.  America can only claim the high road when we actually take the high road, and this is also seen in how the body of Osama bin Laden was handled following the raid (i.e. the traditional burial).  As put by a pundit whose name escapes me, it shows to the world that we are different than our enemies - we do not drag the bodies of our enemies through the streets; we do not cut off their heads to send a message or for entertainment.  We are better than that.

Sunday's actions were terrible, sobering, unfortunate...and necessary.  But the torturing of prisoners was not.

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    © STEVE SCHULTZ