What Makes a Victory?

2 May

Today, Osama bin Laden is dead.

I found out about it last night while channel surfing on Andy Cohen’s “What What Happens Live,” I went to bed oddly uncomfortable with Cohen’s response.

All over Facebook, there are jokes about Obama timing this news to coincide with the season finale of “Celebrity Apprentice,” also asking whether or not Trump will demand a “long-form death certificate.”

In circles I thankfully travel much less, there are people making jokes about how close Obama and Osama are in spelling, finding meaning in the names sounding like each other.

And bin Laden is already “buried” at sea, because they feared no other country would want his body, bin Laden now, more than ever, seems human.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a part of me that wants to celebrate. But what would I be celebrating at this point? How many people have died, including the last few who bin Laden supposedly used as human shields? The effect of war does not go away with one final kill-shot.

Will his death end this war? It’s yet to be seen, though I’m not sure it could. As some articles have said, more than anything, this is a psychological victory. But what is the psychological effect of knowing that this one man, who has come to stand for all of terrorism, is dead, while there are others already taking his place?

I’m not trying to be a pessimist. Hell, I don’t usually write about politics at all. I know I’m under-educated in this area, and often it’s by choice. But what I want to say is that while some can finally feel like justice has been served, there is still more justice to be had.

There are soldiers to be brought home, there are many who have already lost their lives, and there are still as many of those who will put their lives at risk in the months to come.

I just hope that we can turn a page, to stop focusing on hate and focus on peace.

Many people are comparing bin Laden to Hitler and maybe that’s the difference in my mind. Hitler did evil and in the same way had become a kind of enigmatic monster. But Hitler killed himself and, in some ways, that worked to preserve the mystery.

To know we have killed someone, just never makes me happy. In some ways, the mystery is broken and we can see that once we found him, he was no longer the icon of evil, he was mortal. Alive, he stood as some demonic force but now, I can only see him as dead. And I’m not sure whether or not that’s an occasion to celebrate.

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One Response to “What Makes a Victory?”

  1. nikki May 3, 2011 at 12:21 am #

    The perfect post!

    He is dead, that chapter is closed. Now we have to wonder who has already taken his place and who will protect him while he attacks us.

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