Monday, May 02, 2011

why are we celebrating?

That was certainly quite the announcement from President Obama that Osama bin Laden had been found and killed in a raid in Abbottabad, Paskitstan. On a level, I had always thought this was inevitable. (In hindsight, the cave fortress idea does seem a bit ridiculous.)

I understand the joy and sense of relief that this brings to many people, but the open celebrations are mildly dissappointing. This is especially so when you consider what we have traded in this pursuit and search for one man. At best, the celebrations are driven by a sense of relief and are only slightly awkward. At worst, they give the impression to the rest of the world that we have been driven by bloodlust for nearly ten years and that we are waging a much deeper war than we say we are. I think very few Americans understand that there is a large portion of the world that either believes 9/11 never happened, was orchestrated by the U.S. government, or somehow both of those things at the same time.

Yes, the death of OBL is a victory and should be acknowledged as one, but it is very small when considering what we say we are trying to accomplish. We are attempting to wage war on a tactic, not an entitiy. This amorphous war on terror has no desireable end game. The only end-game against terror is totalitarianism and that is absolutely not a price worth paying.

As a side note, a quote has appeared that is being attributed to Mark Twain. It was not spoken by Mark Twain, but istead by Clarence Darrow. That quote is about the most positive I can feel about the discovery and death of OBL.

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