So, the future king and queen of England have wed, and it was watching by 3 billion people around the world. It could be said that this was to be the BIGGEST even that would happen the weekend of the 29th of April, 2011. People all over the world took a moment to celebrate nuptials of a sweet, loving couple, and maybe take a moment to reflect on the goodness that exists in their own lives. It seemed like this was an event that melted even the hardest of hearts, if only just for a moment, and was therefore deemed “good”.
And then last night it was announced that Osama bin Laden was killed by US counterterrorism forces and suddenly the change over the world shifted from unicorns and rainbows, to bloody chanting in the streets calling for death and revenge. The best quote I’ve seen says, “Alright England, I’ll see your Royal Wedding and raise you a terrorists funeral”.
I am shocked, disgusted, and left uncomfortable with the images that bin Laden’s murder has evoked. It seems like the United States (and quite possibly the Western World) has suddenly become a blood lusting, gun totting country where all we want is to do unto others as they have done unto us, if not worse. I’ve seen facebook posts, newspaper articles, television shows all cheering this act as if taking another human life is right and just (please understand that I am not saddened by the death of such a creature, nor am I celebrating out in the streets) and that America is now a stronger, better, more powerful nation.
Please, have we not learned anything?!?
What I see is a possible retaliation by those who viewed bin Laden as a righteous leader and guiding light to causes that THEY saw as imperative and fundamental; a chance for tensions that are already so strained that there are no straws left to break the camel- that beast died a long, long time ago. I’m constantly worried about what shifts will occur between relations of countries that dislike (greatly!) the US even with just small events, let alone by historical events. With all of the intrastate conflict that is occurring all over the Middle East, how will the US emerge in the mindset of so many that are going through such upheaval? The fact that this situation is marked with happiness and joy, with little concern over what will happen tomorrow is so frightening to me, I cannot explain it in words.
It just takes ONE country, ONE nation-state, ONE group to begin a worldwide event that CAN NOT be decelerated or sidelined. It is this that inspires my greatest fears. Is the world a safer place today now that Terrorist Number One has been silenced? Or are we now in a nightmare-like vacuum just waiting for another more ruthless, angry, vicious, and bloodthirsty tyrant who will do much worse than even our worst September 11th memories?
So, I wish congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Wales: here’s to a bright and happy future. And let us remember back to the day when the impossible came to the shores of the United States, and pray for our own bright and shinning future through all of the red that now coats our armor.
“I will mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
Martin Luther King