Tuesday, May 3, 2011

the end of an era

As we all know by now, Osama (Usama) bin Ladin was killed on sunday.
I am feeling very conflicted about the whole thing. As was expressed in an article in the NYT, most of the American who are most excited are my contemporaries. September 11, 2001 was the very beginning of 6th grade for me, a month after my 11th birthday. I remember the principle coming into the lunch room while only the middle school was there, rationalizing that we were the oldest students in the school and only we the leaders could handle the shocking and emotional news. In reality, since we were in Worcester, MA many of us didnt know what the World Trade Centers were. The concept "twin towers" meant nothing to us. But as the article describes, bin Laden was the enemy of our generation. Its like hearing that Spider Man has killed the Green Goblin (?) and the world is now safe. But as is apparent from a poll on the NYT, readers have mixed emotion. There are responses that quote MLK Jr., all the way to those chanting "USA! USA!"
If you visit the Op-ed page of the website, the confusion continues. People dont know if its ok to be relieve or if we should be more scared now that we dont know who will take his place. Who will now be #1 on the top 10 most wanted?
It feels like a good thing, but if we are really Americans that believe in democracy, why was he killed on the spot, why was he not given a trial. If bin Laden were put on the stand, i'm confident it would be the biggest thing since the Nuremberg Trails post-WWII. If Americans are elated with this news, how much more so to hear the judge rule "guilty" after a long and grueling trial?
Also, just an op ed from yesterday (may 3, 2011) titled Bin Laden and Eichman i think it supports my point.

1 comment:

  1. yes, but how frustrating would it be to have to pay for that long and grueling trial on top of the billions of dollars we have already poured into the Afghanistan and Iraq wars?

    Also, while the death of bin Laden may not mean the destruction of the entire terrorist cell of Al-Qaeda, his death represents a much needed success (and possibly morale-boost) for America. The media coverage of his death and the America's celebratory response may make that morale-boost even more widespread...a possible sign that the terror caused by Al Qaeda is slowly dissipating.

    On the other hand, it might give us a false sense of success. Hopefully the media will switch from coverage of bin Laden's assisantion to coverage of what this actually means for America.