The World According to Keitho

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Celebrating death

Posted by keithosaunders on May 2, 2011

The idea that there were people in the street celebrating Bin Laden’s death, and behaving as if it was time to party is disgusting to me.  It was reported that after hearing of his death, people spontaneously gathered at Ground Zero and began singing the Na Na Na, Hey Hey Goodbye song.  Is this what things have devolved to —  celebrating a man’s death in the same way you would a Yankees victory? 

I don’t care how many deaths bin Laden is responsible for –  using it as an excuse for a party is like a tacit admission that murder is a moral act, as long as you have the high ground.  I am grateful that he can no longer take lives, but I am not going to party and sing about it.    

The American response to the September 11th attacks, especially the Iraq war, seemed destined to escalate terrorism and to put our country at greater risk.  I felt uncomfortable with the Bush administration’s knee jerk reaction to wage war against a country that had little to do with the catastrophe.  It was as if the only way we were capable of reacting was to begin killing people, regardless of whether they were guilty or not. 

All the celebrating in the world will not bring back the thousands of Americans that died on September 11th.  Nor will it bring back the hundreds of thousands of people who have died since then.  Do you think we can call it even now?


2 Responses to “Celebrating death”

  1. artmodel said

    No, I don’t call it “even”. Not by a long shot. But maybe that’s just me. I have trouble blaming America’s response to 9/11 for any escalation in terrorism, not when a bloodthirsty faction is willing to riot and murder over a cartoon, or shoot a documentary filmmaker in broad daylight on the streets of Amsterdam, or behead journalists or “honor kill” their daughters or train 12 year olds to be suicide bombers. Those things offend me much, much more than the revelers at Ground Zero. And none of them have anything to do with America’s post 9/11 actions.

    My friend Timmy (FDNY) died in the towers that day. He was running up the stairs when the building collapsed. Honestly, he would have gotten a big kick out of the gatherings. He was even the type to join in on that kind of thing! He left a two month old infant daughter who will grow up with no memory of him at all.

    • Claudia, I agree with most everything you said. It was a tragedy beyond imagining, what happened on September 11th. When I hear about honor kills, and murder over a cartoon, I am repulsed and sickened. But that’s just it — I grew up thinking that the U.S. was above that — that we were a moral nation, governed by laws that were just and compassionate. In the wake of all that has happened since that horrible day, I am no longer sure that we have the high ground.

      What about all the innocent people who died in Afghanastan and Iraq as a result of these wars? I don’t believe that every Muslim person is evil and deserves to die just because of bin Laden, just as I’m sure you don’t either. I think that murder is an abomonation, no matter who commits it.

      In regards to the spontaneuos celebrations of the other night — they felt contrived to me, or rather, like false bravado. People were behaving as if a war had ended, when it fact, whatever it was that started back in 2001 is still going on.
      When I see mobs celebrating death, I get nervous.

      I’m sorry to have touched a nerve, and although we may disagree on the reaction of the other night, I feel touched by your sadness and emotion. That day was the worst day in the history of New York City, and all these years later it still hurts.

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