The Broccoli Blog

It's Almost Good for You

Kevin Broccoli

Kevin Broccoli
Location
Providence, Rhode Island, United States
Birthday
July 19
Bio
Thoughts, musings, ramblings, and occasional insight from the outside.

MY RECENT POSTS

Kevin Broccoli's Links

Salon.com
Editor’s Pick
MAY 2, 2011 4:05AM

The Death of Osama Bin Laden: Emotional Confusion

Rate: 18 Flag
It's now become a fact of life that when a major news event happens, you can stroll through public opinion simply by scrolling down on your Facebook feed.

As I saw my friends react to the Osama Bin Laden's death, it seemed more and more that the overall feeling was confusion as to how to feel.

I shared in that confusion.

I'm happy that this may help the families of the victims of 9/11 feel some sense of peace, but I also find it alarming that this man has basically become the bogeyman and now everyone feels that we're safe. If anything, I worry that we're in more danger now that we've killed a symbol. Then again, I also worried when we started making him a symbol ten years ago.

I worry that people are cheering for bloodlust, but I understand that many feel it's retribution for what happened on that day in September. Still, I feel like asking people--"Do you really think one person was the cause behind all of that? Do you really think we've caught everybody who had a hand in the attacks?" It's disturbing to see some of the blind Nationalism that was exhibited in the post-9/11 days return with such energy. People were standing outside the White House singing the National Anthem as if somehow the pride of our country rests in the fact that we're able to hunt down a psychopath.

I'm repulsed at how political this whole thing has become. Whether it's Republicans blasting Obama for taking credit or Democrats effectively taunting Republicans because Bush couldn't find Bin Laden, it all seems like children playing video games.

"Kill a Terrorist--Gain 50 Points."

I feel odd rejoicing over the death of anybody. I don't believe in the death penalty. I believe in long prison sentences where someone rots in an eight-by-ten cell. That being said, I understand the greater magnitude of this situation.

More than anything, I'm confused by the fact that people are using the term "win" today. We caught Bin Laden, we won. Obama won. America won.

Meanwhile, all those people are still dead and costly wars still rage on.

Am I the only one who doesn't feel like the word "win" is appropriate?

Your tags:

TIP:

Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:

Comments

Type your comment below:
Many of your thoughts are rushing with some velocity through my mind as well...
David Sirota has a piece on Big Salon today saying that by celebrating like this we are mimicking our enemies. We've always had somber silence when it comes to things like this and now suddenly we are celebrating death like Islamists do all over the world.

We are all Libyans now.
Win? We won nothing. What we did was kill a man who needed killing. I am sorry you are conflicted about this killing, but pardon me if I feel no such conflict.
I agree with your statement, "I'm repulsed at how political this whole thing has become. Whether it's Republicans blasting Obama for taking credit or Democrats effectively taunting Republicans because Bush couldn't find Bin Laden, it all seems like children playing video games." For once, it would nice to say it was a collaborative effort between the two administrations.
Excellent post. You captured so well how I feel.
Great post, but maybe an additional thought to add is that your Facebook news feed is biased in the sense that the large majority of pages that show up there are ones you "liked" or friended. As such it makes sense that they would share a similar moral confusion, yet there are just as many people who are entirely not confused. And while I agree that win is not quite the correct term for the situation, it is a valid initial reaction to closure on 20+ years of terror, imho.
I'm not confused; I'm clear-as-a-bell abt the rightness of this.
r.
If you've been reading the other posts and comments here on Open Salon, you're either being rhetorical or disingenuous to ask if you are the "only one who doesn't feel like the word win is appropriate." The opinions expressed here last night and this morning show a range and depth of reflection that does our members proud.

As for me, I'm taking a view somewhat narrower than the "big picture" of moral correctness and of what is ideal on the global stage, especially in light of all the consistent rhetoric since I've participated on OS - about a year and a half - that we should be more concerned about our own problems at home than in trying to police the world. A key to this concern is ensuring that Barack Obama can win a second term. I believe he now has a much better chance of this than he did three days ago. Anyone who considers himself or herself progressive in their thinking should agree that a second term for Obama is desirable. If not, then I would like to know who would be better to have in his place.
We have won nothing. Nobody wins here. ~r
I can truthfully say, I am happy he is dead. But on the other hand, I do not feel like celebrating in the streets. If that makes me confused, then I guess I am confused.
I completely agree with Torman and Jonathan Wolfman.

Winning has nothing to do with it, but I am happy he's dead, and happier still that our military killed him. He picked this fight, and got what he deserved.
I don't see anyone (worth listening to) using the term "win". You put that in quotes, as if someone in some position of authority said it. Who? I'm with Torman, bin Laden needed killing. I just hope we can produce a death certificate.
I had a similar reaction to what you've shared here because there are no "winners", (or whatever the term may be). And then, cynic that I am, wondered ... how we know for sure he's dead?

I realize for so many the damage done by this war, can never be undone. I would only hope moving forward that there's a chance for peace on the horizon, but again, cynic that I am...
I'm with you on this Kevin. This demeaning and disgusting fist-pumping and shouting - the blood lust on full and nauseating display. Fine, you "offed" an enemy or whatever - but how about a little somber reflection - or perhaps taking into account all the innocent lives gone - both here and abroad because of the United States and its actions. There's no moderation of thought - or at least, very little of it. Just reflexive, puppet-response toward the death of one man and the "superiority" of United States actions.
No, "win" IS the appropriate word -- only OSAMA BIN LADEN won. He did far more damage post-9/11 than he did on 9/11. He indirectly killed more than 4,000 U.S. troops and gave the war profiteers an opportunity to pilfer hundreds of billions of our tax dollars, helping to destroy our economy.

And even after all of that, Americans remain like jingoistic juveniles. Americans FAIL to learn from their (our) mistakes, but doom ourselves to repeat them.

So, again, in a nutshell:

Osama bin Laden: WIN (at least from his own stated objective to bring down the U.S. empire)

Americans: FAIL
No, "win" IS the appropriate word -- only OSAMA BIN LADEN won. He did far more damage post-9/11 than he did on 9/11. He indirectly killed more than 4,000 U.S. troops and gave the war profiteers an opportunity to pilfer hundreds of billions of our tax dollars, helping to destroy our economy.

And even after all of that, Americans remain like jingoistic juveniles. Americans FAIL to learn from their (our) mistakes, but doom ourselves to repeat them.

So, again, in a nutshell:

Osama bin Laden: WIN (at least from his own stated objective to bring down the U.S. empire)

Americans: FAIL
But does this mean the US can now withdraw from Afghanistan and Iraq? What purpose do you still have there? Or will you stay for 100 years, long after the death of Bin Laden? Will you find new reasons to justify your military presence?
We didn't win the war on terror with Osama bin Laden's death. The families and victims of his reign on terror achieved justice. He can no longer personally fund, with his wealth, the "holy jihad".

I'm sure his followers are planning another attack on the anniversary date of May 1, 2012, if not sooner.
A typical attitude of the American Left is that you can't say anything positive about the U.S. without "balancing" it with something negative, or pointing out some "hypocrisy," or in general throwing a wet blanket on the understandable happiness that normal people feel in a situation such as this.

The American Left is like being married to a nagging wife, always ready with an unkind word, quick to point out your failings, always looking for some way to bring you down. The worst thing for these people is when anyone feels good about the country, even for a moment.

Osama bin Laden was the human version of cancer. He was directly and indirectly responsible for the deaths of thousands of people around the globe, and for the injury of tens of thousands. He was an "equal opportunity" murderer, killing men, women, children, blacks, whites, asians, atheists, Christians, and even Muslims, often with that little smile on his face. He helped to fund and organize worldwide networks providing funding, recruitment, training, logistics, communications, and encouragement to murderers around the world, whose cruelty was limited only by the size of their weapons.

But now that bin Laden, the human version of cancer, is dead, our friends on the Left are "confused." While the great majority of us experienced his passing as a brief moment of great clarity born from just retribution, the Left doesn't know what to think. They are horrified -- not by bin Laden and his associates, but by the fact that people are happy that he's dead.

So they have to polish their narrative so as to make us the bad guys. But their complaints ring hollow, and I would suggest that they go to the families of bin Laden's victims in New York, Kenya, Tanzania, and the many other countries around the world, and see if they can sell that crap to them.
Your Facebook page represents your selections, not the American public as a whole.

"Win" is hardly a word the appropriateness of which can be judged without reference to a particular task. If the task was to get rid of OBL, then clearly the U.S. has "won." If the task is to rid the world of radical savage Muslims, then clearly we haven't won and may never. I haven't heard anyone other than you give any voice at all to the notion that OBL's removal from the land portions of the planet make everyone safe.

I share your mixed feelings about the public displays that the killing of OBL has prompted. I, too, feel a bit uncomfortable about screaming (in many cases with children in tow) about how wonderful it is to kill a human being. I felt the same, magnified thousands of times, when I saw crowds of Muslims behaving similarly in the immediate aftermath of 9/11.

On balance, I think that the current public displays are probably OK. The killiing of OBL has managed to stir up a degree of patriotism and belief in American exceptionalism that has been all but extinguished by the mushy globalization of the Obama
administration.

Obama should be commended for doing in the circumstances exactly what George W. Bush would have done.

By the way, the notion that the war against terrorism is over because of the killing of OBL is, frankly, ridiculous. No one on either side of the political spectrum has taken such an absurd position, so I can't give you any gold stars for making the point. Strawman is a word that comes to mind.
I'm one of those folks who wrote an article. Never once used the term "win." It's called, "From Birth Certificate to Death Certificate: Obama Delivers."
http://open.salon.com/blog/ronrobinson/2011/05/02/from_birth_certificate_to_death_certificate_obama_delivers

Check it out when you get the chance :)
I guess we didn't "win" the Revolutionary War, or the War of 1812, or WWI, or WWII, etc. either. I guess the only winnable war is one with zero losses. I guess any contest isn't really won if you have anything negative occur whatsoever. Great logic!
I agree with what Torman and Jonathan Wolfman said. No confusion at all.
The great news, all of Bin Laden's followers still get their chance to "win" right along with him!! I'd like to see any other country match a war of this magnitude and length and lose only 4000 soldiers. I guess we didn't win in Iraq the first time either because after all, we did lose a little over 100. Damn, we really have got to get better at these military operations; I can't believe how bad we suck with numbers like that!!
I disagreed with the celebration in the street. It is n better
than them celebrating 9/11.

The only thing I take pride inis that our country is capable and
determined enough to hunt a bad guy down even if it took 10 years.
He got what he deserved.

A for giving him a burial at sea. I call BS on that. I assume all the other dead bad guys were simply left in place. Why didn't we take photos, collect DNA and leave him dead in his house like the others. Why give this guy respect? Ridiculous.
I don't any past president would have done this. But then again
Obama is has a level of decency that no other past president
has ever had.

He bows to some of the worst world leaders. He caves into the taunting of Donald. Now he gives the cloest thing to a Muslim religious burial funeral to a guy that by no means can be considered
religious by any stretch of the imitation. What about all the millions of true peaceful Muslims for the last 10 years that have
denounced Bin Laden. They must be wondering WTF?

Did the US gov. supply Timothy McVeigh a religious funeral
of his choice after exciting him.

No peaceful Muslim needed to have this and no terrorist , Muslim or not. is going to be appeased by it.
Made no sense at all.
surprise web: == www goodshopping100 com====

very good web,believe you will love it.

FREE SHIPPING,accept paypal

discount including evisu jeans,watches shirts,bags,hat and the decorations and so on

trust me!

Opportunity knocks but once
dismissing obl as a psychopath who needed killing encapsulates the american world view. while you spend more money on war and munitions than the rest of the world, combined, i suggest there is evidence that the international psychopath is better found in the nearest mirror.

fortunately for the rest of the world, this metastatic cancer of militarism is likely to cure itself, through economic collapse. obl has done quite a bit to help this process along, and on purpose. remember him, every time you pass through an airport.
Rejoicing over, for example, the death of Hitler in 1945 was morally right, not wrong. And, as then, knowing that one battle had been, if not in that case by our own direct hand, won, was, for those who care to think a bit more about it, an acknowledgment that just a battle, so to speak, not the war, was over.

As then, this war will continue.

And those who don't see the moral good over the killing of an evil man will, perhaps, never get it.
I think this situation is evidence that revenge is satisfying only in anticipation.