I am not all that timely in bringing my thoughts together – it can take a while for how I want to say things to coalesce.
I have been struggling with how to organize my thoughts on this – more like a series of gut reactions. I didn’t really have an initial emotional reaction to his death – I just don’t do initial emotional reactions. To big things, anyway. But then I started seeing “Rot in hell!” and the like on Facebook, and my reaction was “How ugly!” I get that he’s an awful person, and we have a vested interest in seeing him dead, but it just seems so awful and hateful to take pleasure in someone’s violent death. Regardless of how much that person would have celebrated OUR violent death.
Then I start to see things like “hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that” or some such. Invariably the people that are posting these things are coming across as self-righteous and holier-than-thou. My reaction: “how snotty!”
Long after we got the news and my husband and I drank our celebratory beers, I think I have finally figured out what my reaction is. I’m glad. Very glad. If I had the time, I would be dancing in the street, waving a flag, and chanting “USA! USA!” along with the rest of ‘em. It’s not that I relish the thought of Osama’s violent death – as much as 9/11 felt like a punch in the stomach, I don’t feel any anger or hatred for him. After a couple of awful exes, I have had much practice in moving forward emotionally, and there isn’t anything that I can’t forgive and move past. Not forget, mind you, just move past it emotionally. So since I feel so neutral, why am I happy at the news? Well, I’ll tell you:
1) We have neutralized a security threat
2) We have sent a strong message to anyone thinking about attacking us: If you do, we will hunt you down and kill you. See exhibit A: Osama bin Laden.
3) We have the military and intelligence capability to successfully execute #1 and #2All of that is reason enough to celebrate, so why get all caught up in revenge? He can’t hurt anyone ever again, and that’s all I need to know. There is plenty to be happy about without crossing the line and getting excited over someone’s death, and frankly it’s really snooty to assume that everyone who is celebrating is caught up in bloodlust and revenge. That’s why the holier-than-thou posts rub me the wrong way so hard – they are assuming that because someone is celebrating, they are hating. Nowhere close to true.