May 4, 2011
My sister called me to her apartment. My fiancé and I don’t have cable, and she said Obama was about to announce that Bin Laden was dead. Mary and I rushed to her place and waited until Obama confirmed, without a doubt, that the man responsible for the 9/11 attacks was in fact dead, killed by a precision operation in Pakistan.
Right then and there, I felt two things. First, I was glad that the mass-murdering son of a bitch responsible for pushing us into a pseudo-police state complete with socially acceptable racism and fear that Big Brother is watching us finally got the bullet to the head he deserved.
Secondly… I caught myself for thinking that I was glad Bin Laden got a bullet in the head.
Look, I remember the horror when the Twin Towers were hit. They wouldn’t let us have the news on for the first part of class that day and all I’d seen was the second plane hit live. When they finally turned the news back on, all we saw was a cloud of dust.
“Where are the towers? Where are the towers?”
I must have repeated it for a full minute before my brain finally accepted that they were gone.
I shut myself in my room when I saw that we’d invaded Iraq as one of my “friends” cheered for more bloodshed. I watched video on CNN that reminded me too much of the first Gulf War.
I worked in DC during the ninth anniversary of the attacks and could hear “Amazing Grace” playing from every office in the Cannon Office Building as everyone paused for the memorial at the Pentagon. It was the only sound you could hear through the tall halls of the Cannon House Office Building right by the Rotunda.
And despite having pushed us into a world where air travel is a humiliating experience complete with full body scans, a world where Muslims are still persecuted for the actions of a few radicals, a world where a sizable percentage of my countrymen yearn for war and blood and we seem to be regressing, I don’t think I wanted Bin Laden dead. I wanted him on trial. When the victims are dead, those of us that stay behind must speak for them. I wanted him to spend the rest of his life in a cell plastered with the pictures of the men and women he helped kill and the servicemen and women who were killed or maimed because our leadership started two wars to try and capture him.
But not dead.
Still, I can’t say I didn’t cheer when I heard the news.
Even though this may make things worse, for a moment at least, I feel a sense of relief. Yes, the revenge killings will probably come, but I feel a sense of closure, however bitter it may be. It’s like Bin Laden had this Xanatos Gambit where getting killed would show us to be revenge-drive lunatics like his own bombers and, if he lived, we would appear weak. Someone like him very likely had no intention of being taken alive. Whatever happened, we lost in the end.
Not that I don’t think he deserved what he got, though.
Frankly, a Navy SEAL team shooting him is merciful. I wanted to drop him into the middle of Times Square, shine a spotlight on him and say, “Have at it, folks,” while I handed out hammers and skinning knives to the people of New York City.
But maybe that’s just me.
Well, link time to make everyone feel a little better.
- It turns out that one of the brave Navy SEALS go got Bin Laden is a Mexican American born here from parents who immigrated from my homestate of Guanajuato. Viva Mexico!
- The 501st did a charity drive complete with Slave Leia’s and skimpy Stormtrooper outfits. Nerds, rejoice!
- Looks like the FBI has to update a few things…
- You might be thinking that an $88,000 watch is ridiculous, and you’d be right, but that doesn’t mean that the reviews for this amazingly over-prized watch aren’t hilarious in on themselves. Did you know it’s made of Popes?
- Ladies and gentlemen, the greatest president of all time (cue lame pun).
- The Right is already spinning Bin Laden’s death as everything from a tragedy to proof of corruption. Wow. A hundre4d bucks says that if Bush had given the order, they wouldn’t be complaining.
- And in case anyone says otherwise, we didn’t get the intel from torture.
- I want to be clear on one thing. I have MANY qualms against Obama (his reluctance to embrace gay rights, not closing Guantanamo, bending over for the GOP), but he gets credit for this. Why? Because Bin Laden wasn’t on the planes either. He just, well, ordered the attack.
- The Right Wing, Fox included, are already coming up with all sorts of conspiracy theories. Some don’t think Bin Laden is dead. Some don’t think that DNA evidence is enough to prove it was him. Beck sees this as some sort of chess move in a five-dimensional board only he can see. Oh, yay for the targets of opportunity!
- It turns out Bin Laden was hiding in a really nice house… Less than a mile from Pakistan’s military academy. Please try and convince me the Pakistani government didn’t know about this.
- And finally, want to see a great prank pulled of to ridiculous lengths? Check out this ghost prank from Japan. Frankly, if I were that guy, I would have messed up my pants. See you guys on Friday!