Monday, 2 May 2011
… and who are we? Really?
Yesterday I was watching some of the news interview shows on Sunday morning. A common issue being discussed was the assault on the Muammar Gaddafi compound in Tripoli, Libya, wherein Gaddafi’s youngest son and three grandchildren were killed. Phraseology used more than once was along the lines of, and I paraphrase: “Well, it was good that we got his son, but we need to take him out, too.”
This line of thinking was promoted by a U.S. Senator and an administration official.
What ever happened to “…we need to take action to protect the innocent citizens of Libya…” ?
I guess it’s out in the open now – that our real intent in beginning a third armed action in Libya is really about regime change and protecting our oil interests – not protecting innocent citizens. I am NOT defending what Gaddafi has apparently been doing to his citizens for over 40 years, but doesn’t anyone question our apparent ‘mission creep’? Doesn’t anyone care that three innocent children were killed through OUR aggression? “…but we need to take him out, too.”
After Gadaffi in Libya, what other world leader do we want “…to take out.” ?
I guess we are the chosen ones … the ones who get to decide what is right or wrong in this world … and who is an ‘acceptable’ leader.
Then on Sunday night about 9:00 PM a cryptic, one-line news announcement from The New York Times appeared in my in-box: “Osama bin Laden Is Dead, U.S. Official Says.” Since then, Osama bin Laden has seemingly been the only news item.
First, let me say that I certainly do NOT approve of bin Laden’s orchestration of the tragic events of 9/11. Again, many innocent people were killed. I knew some of them, and I used to work in the south tower of the world trade center. 9/11 was a very personal event for me. I realize that bin Laden’s death will provide closure for some people, most possibly the families of 9/11 victims. I can imagine their pain and now the relief they may temporarily feel, and I guess some feel that a celebration is necessary. I also understand that there are those who believe that retribution must be had – an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, so to speak.
According to our president, “Justice has been done”, but somehow this celebration atmosphere seems, at least to me, to make us no different than the Muslim Arabs that so many like to scorn when we see them in the streets of the Middle East. What I cannot understand are the seemingly tasteless celebrations in our own streets. It reminds me of how some in the Middle East responded when the Twin Towers fell on 9/11.
It is NOT that Osama bin Laden deserves our respect. The man was evil, but is it justified to dance in celebration of the death of anyone? People were dancing outside the White House last night with American flags draped around their shoulders.
It makes me sad. It really does. I feel like crying, rather than celebrating.
In a recent book on Osama bin Laden, Michael Scheuer, former chief of the Central Intelligence Agency’s bin Laden unit, wrote that the al Qaeda leader’s goal was to attack the West. However, “He has given no indication that he expects to live long enough to finish the job.”
Instead, Scheuer wrote, “Osama bin Laden has anticipated a war of attrition, one that might last for decades … so, long ago he began passing the torch to younger al Qaeda activists.” Now, he “… is only the figurehead leader of al Qaeda.”
What has really changed with the events of the past 48 hours? Really changed? And, what are we saying about ourselves through our reactions to all this? Am I the only one wondering? — Lyle Latvala
“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”
— Mahatma Gandhi