Americans exuberant over bin Laden death

It’s all over the news, guys! You’re having a collective orgasm over the death of bin Laden. The best news, of course, is that Gary Weddle, a guy you don’t give a shit about, will finally be able to shave off his beard. We did it!

Seriously though, I’m not an American (despite what some of you may think), so the events of September 11th admittedly didn’t have the same impact on me. While I deplore the deaths of all those innocent people, they are no different to me than the hoards being massacred each day because of sectarian conflict. Americans were exposed to a reality much of the world faces: the grim specter of planned mass killings.

So the jubilation of the folks down south doesn’t surprise me too much. I imagine there are a lot of families that felt a certain degree of closure, but once the adrenaline rush was over, they probably felt sad just thinking about their loved ones again.

For my part, that auspicious day got me to reflect on the fact that 9/11 did in some way change my world. If those 11 hijackers hadn’t murdered 3000 Americans by the strength of their ideological world view, I suppose I wouldn’t have taken such an interest in atheism in the first place. It was a pretty harsh wake-up call that the superstitious nonsense of religion has no place in the modern world.

Comments (14)

  • avatar

    Aridawn

    I’m an American. I was against going to war. I had just started my senior year of high school when we were attacked. I lived in super-duper red(neck), bass-ackward Idaho, and the incident actually forced my liberalism and atheism out of the closet just to defend myself in government class, science class and the hallways. It was an important time in my life when I learned exactly what I believed and why…and part of those beliefs included the idea that while at times it is important to fight back, matching hate for hate often just leads down an abyss that is hard to pull yourself out of.

    I am intolerant of ideas, but not people. I hate the religious dogmas that have led these people to believe horrible things…but I think hating them back, and rallying about us being a “Christian nation” as opposed to all them “Moslims” (and then actually celebrating the death of a living human being…way to love your enemy, bitches)…we just end up looking like a mindless mob. It’s pretty…embarrassing, really.

    I’ve gotten into it with a lot of theists and repubs since the news broke. A lot of people claim that we are better than the muslim people who rejoiced when america was attacked (they can say that until they are blue in the face, but until they tell me HOW we are better…I’m just going to ignore them).

    Meanwhile I’m just sticking by Penn Gillette’s 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.”

  • avatar

    Michael Beares

    As an American I did not celebrate when i learned the news, I simply stated neat and about time. But that was due to the fact of it being 10 years since the original attacks. Personally I did not celebrate and actually feel as if it has no impact, whether we took him alive or dead there will still be retaliation. It just seems they took the easier way, and not costing America or any other Country any more money as it would pertain to a trial. I do however understand the people, who actually lost someone in those attacks, celebrating. I do however call BULLSHIT on the people who say we are better, because at the end of the day we are just human beings, we are all the same and different at the same time. Celebrations have always happened when the head or a leader of the opposing force has been killed, its just what we do as a collective. Also with that being said i want to say FUCK OFF to those who state those celebrating are ignorant and stupid, because we are human and shit like this happens everywhere.

    Also Aridawn, that quote isn’t Penn Jillette’s

    “I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy.”
    — Jessica Dovey
    “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.”
    — Martin Luther King Jr.

    Its actually a combination of a girl on facebook and MLK, its been going around on the net being fully attributed to MLK but he only said the latter. Just thought I would let you know.

  • avatar

    Michael Beares

    BTW Penn did tweet:

    “I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy.” – Martin Luther King, Jr

    which again was wrongly attributed to MLK.

  • avatar

    Aridawn

    Ok…yeah…I shouldn’t attributed, considering there have been so many different people telling me what is what…so thank you for the clarification.

  • avatar

    Eddie

    Also from the point of view from another U.S. citizen.
    I understand that I shouldn’t feel, well, “happy”, about the death of another person, no matter how despicable they are.

    If I had to go out on a limb and put a finger on what the celebration is, it’s somewhat difficult.

    I don’t think it’s really the “death of Bin Laden” that is the celebration. I think that it’s more “the deliverance of justice”, and a promise fulfilled (kind of) from our leaders that we have been waiting for, for almost ten goddam years. After being dicked around with “Bush the Second” for two terms, I don’t think that anybody expected that this would ever happen.

    The naive part of me says that it feels like we’re finally getting closure on a terrible part of our history. The man that started “The War On Terror” is finally gone. We won. We can go back to the way things were (if you can even remember them).

    In reality, all of our problems are still here. All of the damage done to our civil liberties will be there tomorrow and the day after. While we did “get him”, at what cost? He was actually kind of a has-been, and others have taken his place in the whole nutter-butter terrorism world. What about the new breed of crazies?

    Personally speaking though, that skidmark fucked up a lot of things for a lot of people (putting things mildly), and, in a way, I’m glad that he’s gone.

  • avatar

    Michael Beares

    @Aridawn no problem I had actually seen that quote earlier in the night and decided to look it up.

    I’ve just been lucky to have been off since that first night and stayed home, except for yesterday traded in two games at gamestop to take advantage of a save $50ish dollars on L.A. Noire.

  • avatar

    I evolved from an ape, whats your excuse?

    I was very surprised to hear that Bin Laden was buried at sea? Isn’t that a weird way to send off a man who was responsible for all of those deaths? Also there is now no way to know if he’s actually dead. I’m not trying to start a conspiracy theory or anything but, look at how Sadam Hussein was treated after capture. Just seems odd that we all of a sudden we hear about Bin Laden’s death and then boom he’s already supposedly at the bottom of the sea. Can’t exhume that grave and make sure he’s dead now can we.

  • avatar

    Kyle

    It’s not just Americans celebrating. I don’t think there have been any parties in the streets here in Canada, but I’ve already gotten into plenty of arguments over the issue.

    Here’s a letter to the Editor from yesterday’s Winnipeg Sun:

    “What happened in Pakistan Sunday night was more than the victory of our allies and the defeat of our enemies. It was the triumph of freedom over oppression, courage over fear, justice over murder, and the rule of law over the rule of terror. This was nothing less than the victory of good over evil.

    “Let us stand beside our American brothers and sisters and let the world know we answer poverty with aid, hunger with food, ignorance with education, and we answer sickness with medicine. But make no mistake, we answer terror and the slaughter of innocent lives from the barrels of our guns.”

    – John Albiston

    I bet that sort of sentiment is a lot of comfort to the families of Pakistani civilians being hit by drone strikes.

    Yes, Osama Bin Laden was a vile piece of shit, but at best his death changes nothing. At worst, he’s not a martyr for other religiously motivated people with an iron age morality to look to as an example and teach their children to praise.

  • avatar

    xochitl

    Actually i dont think the rest of the world gives a rats ass about Osama’s death. I know i dont ,then again its fun to argue about it.

  • avatar

    BlueIndependent

    As an American who appreciates not only the country he lives in, but the help provided by our allies be they Canada, the UK, etc., who were also threatened or directly attacked, I am generally pleased we got him.

    Will it stop terrorism? Of course not.
    Do terrorists need his death as an excuse to attack? Of course not.

    I do think getting OBL means something more than the cadre of “Number 2s” that have met their fate. At the very least it means we are able to find the perpetrators, regardless of how well hidden they are, and now that perhaps the world’s smartest terrorist is gone, the less expert ones will fall over that much more easily. A part of me thinks OBL was terrorism’s equivalent of an historically bad dictator, the sort of high watermark of evil for the given capacity. And now that intelligence forces are more keen to 21st century terrorism’s game, another OBL is less likely to spring up and be as prolific a murderer.

    Now, surely someone will come along and fill OBL’s vacuum, but I hope it will be a long time…well, I hope it will be never, but I’m not betting my devalued house on that. Things will roll on and we will keep doing what we can to end terrorism’s destruction. And yes, atheism is a necessary condition for individual enlightenment, if not sufficient, as is said.

  • avatar

    Goldenarms

    we got Osama, but now we need to get the guys behind the 9/11 attacks. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. It’s no coincidence that Cheney’s personal wealth increased by $50 million b/c of the war.

  • avatar

    Aridawn

    Someone…I forget who…made a great point about Osama being buried at sea. Now, despite him maybe being a martyr for the people on his side, they don’t exactly have a place for people to come and pray. Religious people seem very invested in having the body buried somewhere…and although Osama wanted to be buried at sea, I’m sure there would have been a specific place and ceremony for that burial. What the heck are WE going to do with the body? I think it’s for the better…

  • avatar

    Kyle

    Did he want to be buried at sea? I’d thought the entire point was to keep followers from setting up a shrine or place of pilgramage at his grave site.

    I suppose one of the possible benefits of respecting his wishes is also that his wealthy and influential family — regardless of their public disavowing of Osama — might appreciate it.

  • avatar

    Brandon

    I had to come out of the woodworks and say that the comment by goldenarms really is a good indicator of his sanity. I hope you are kidding. You are kidding, right?

    Who would have thought that someone like GoldenArms is a truther.

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