Monday, May 2, 2011

What Does It Mean To Us?

http://www.gonzotimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/bin-laden-300x278.jpg


So Osama bin Laden is dead. I was in bed, almost asleep, when my oldest got the alert on her phone and started yelling. I jumped up and sat down at my computer. This was big. Really big.

My mind raced with all kinds of thoughts. Mostly I wondered how this would affect the war on terrorism. I listened to some of what President Obama said and went back to bed but couldn’t sleep for thinking about all of this.

The first thing I’m shaking my head about this morning is bin Laden’s burial at sea. Honestly, I’m not a conspiracy theorist. However, I do know that government and politicians in general sometimes bring on the disbelief of the public at large by their actions. So get ready. There is going to be a segment of the population that does not believe bin Laden is dead—with or without pictures, with or without DNA. It’s already started. My kid is reading Facebook messages to me about him not really being dead as I write this.

While I realize the importance of honoring Muslim burial customs, I don’t think it was the right decision to make. I think it was more important to preserve that body. And? Well, if I have to be so blunt, sound so cruel, where bin Laden is concerned, I’m not really concerned about whether proper custom was followed. News reports say that the U.S. government offered to give custody of the body to the Saudi government but the Saudis refused.

It’s being said that the U.S. decided on burial at sea to make sure that his grave site could not be used as a shrine or be vandalized. And his grave site WOULD become a shrine. Regardless of where his body is now, he is considered a martyr by those who followed him. And just for the record, Muslim burial custom dictates that if it is deemed that an enemy of the dead can dig up or otherwise desecrate the burial site, then you can basically do something else with the body. In order to follow custom as closely as possible—bury him the same day he died—burial at sea was probably the best option.

I saw some very grisly photos of his body and when I looked at his face, I didn’t see the face of a killer. He didn’t look rich. He didn’t look religious. He just looked like a man who had been destroyed by the hatred of war—the hatred he carried in his heart. And then I found out the photo wasn’t even real. Someone revealed two photos used to make the image look that way. More conspiracy theorists. There’s no telling what we’re going to hear in the weeks to come.

So what does his death mean to us? Well, the price of crude oil dropped a couple of bucks. But it won’t stay that way. The market can sometimes be very fickle and go up and down with mood—particularly the mood of westerners. So look for it to go back up again.

And by killing Osama bin Laden is the war on terrorism over? Not by a long shot. There will be retaliations for his death. Terror cells are going to dig in even deeper. I also worry that with no one poised to take over the leadership of al Qaeda, it is going to splinter off into several different groups—all led by hatred-driven hearts and minds. That means that we would have to track all of those differing groups instead of focusing on one. Maybe it’s all the same. How would I know? I’m just Citizen Jane Doe thinking about all of this and worrying. Maybe tracking a dozen mini-al Qaedas is just as easy as tracking one.

What I found really interesting about the operation carried out on the compound in Abbottabad is that the place he was living in is described as a mansion. For years estimates of bin Laden’s worth has ranged from mere millions to tens of millions. Sounds like ten years of spending on weapons and operations designed to kill innocent people hadn’t depleted his fortune. So I guess it’s safe to say tens of millions. Where is his money? Where will it go now? It’s being reported that an adult son was killed in the attack and that his wife and daughters have been taken into custody? They were also supposedly at the compound. Damn, he must have felt really safe where he was—in the city, relatively safe from U.S. airstrikes. Not living in a cave like a grunt and dealing with war but enjoying luxury. And you can’t tell me that the Pakistani government didn’t know exactly where he was either.

But I guess bin Laden didn’t count on the dogged persistence of our intelligence agencies. For the past two years, a trusted courier of bin Laden’s had been followed and watched closely. Finally, word came that bin Laden was in that compound. Navy Seals carried out a presidential order to take him out.

I sit here feeling very grateful that there are those in this world who can do things I can’t. Regardless of how anyone feels about the war, what we think of war in general or the spending and most certainly loss of life, there was a brave and honorable group of men who got the job done for our nation and the families of those who died by the hand of this terrorist. I thank God none of them were injured and so wish I could see their faces. But they will vanish back into the world of black ops, their identities never revealed—and continue to do their job. It takes a special kind of person to live this kind of life. I can’t imagine a higher level of commitment to any cause. I say thank you to them.

My heart is also heavy, yet jubilant, for the families of those whose loved ones were lost in the senseless bombing of the World Trade Center, the families of those who perished in Flight 93, those who lost family in the attack on the USS Cole, and those who lost loved ones in the embassy bombings in Africa. There were countless operations carried out at the behest of bin Laden. I can only hope that bin Laden’s death gives the families some small measure of closure and peace.

The head of the most venomous snake in the world has been severed. We can only pray that its body continues to die.  
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30 comments:

Regina Carlysle said...

Great post, Tess. When we heard news about a major announcement, my first thought was they got Khadafi but this was even better news. Felt weird to cheer for someone's death but he deserved his 'end'. I'm blown away that he was living in a mansion in the capital of Pakistan. They had to have known he was there. And they are allies???? Hard to believe that. From reports, our gov't said nothing to Pakistan about this venture. Probably a good thing. I also heard the reason for the burial at sea is because no other country would accept his body for burial. Not surprising. But yeah, I think conspiracy people will go crazy with this.

Molly Daniels said...

My concern is he's had 9 years to train others to take his place. I can only hope and pray they are overconfident and less careful about their plots/plans/movements, and one day this WILL be the end of it. Yet people are 'rejoicing' b/c he's dead, forgetting there are others out there. This isn't over yet, people! I'd compare him to the Hydra; cut off one head, and see how many grow in its place. But as I said, let's hope they aren't that smart.

Marie Rose Dufour said...

I am hoping that the families of the 9/11 victims find some kind of peace that the orchestrator of that tragedy is finally dead. It won't be the end of terrorism. Someone will take over his "war" but at least it was given a huge blow by the courageous men and women fighting for our country.

Ross E. Osborn said...

I'm a war veteran, been up close and persona with a devout, and not so devout enemy more than a few times. Remember, Jesus wasn't truly saintly until his death. Myself, I have to ask, would I shout out the demon BL is dead in the middle of a steaming Muslim lot. Hardly. Let's just let this sleeping blight lay. No fan fair, no ridicule, and quietly still the payback hrase.

Faith said...

I don't feel that his death will really change anything, if he's dead at all. I'm a suspicious person, tho, especially when it comes to the government.

And worse, there's always another controling, cruel person out there somewhere waiting to fill his shoes.

Tess MacKall said...

I agree, Reg. The elation I felt was quickly tamped down. I thought---damn, can I seriously be glad someone is dead? But I am. I can't help it.

Living it up in a mansion really got me. He's has devout followers doing the dirty work while he lives in the lap of luxury.

And nope, the Saudis wouldn't take the body of their own countryman. What does that say?

I just dread the conspiracy theorists.

Tess MacKall said...

There are terrorist training camps all over the world. And now they will train harder. This has not ended the war, of course. And I think things are going to get worse for a while. And your comparison to the Hydra is damn good, Molly.

I think that is what is going to happen. Maybe with the supply of money cut off--not all of it, of course because there are others loyal to the al Qaeda cause that will most certainly continue to give--but maybe with the main supply cut off--attacks will finally dwindle. I don't hold out much hope, however.

Tess MacKall said...

Yes, Rose, I think that this was a huge blow to the overall al Qaeda operation. But diplomatic personnel around the world have been put on high alert. Homeland Security has notified NY and Los Angeles and other large city police departments have been told to be particularly vigilant.

All we can do is watch the news and pray.

Tess MacKall said...

Not real sure what you're saying, Ross, but it would be impossible to keep quiet about the death of bin Laden. He's not just another terrorist. Not just another casualty of war.

And honestly? I can see why there is cause for celebration. As much as I find myself feeling at odds over being grateful for anyone's death, I do understand.

Tess MacKall said...

Agreed, Faith. Doesn't change anything but gives all of us a boost that quite possibly we can some day win this war and there will be peace---well, some kind of peace.

Cassie Exline said...

This wonderful news couldn't have came at a better time. Rejoicing in someone's death doesn't seem nice, but his is an exception. Our country needed this boost. His end was justified. We didn't deserve 9/11 and Thank God we got the bastard.

Tess MacKall said...

Yep, Cassie. Thank God they got the bastard. And he did deserve what he got. It was necessary--been coming for a long time now. He couldn't hold out forever.

desi said...

I am glad just like many others but this is going to come at a heavy price. He needed to be taken out but we did exactly what he wanted he wanted to be a martyr. I would not doubt if he knew the end was coming and he embraced it because he had already passed the responsibility on to another. I hope everyone every where stays alert because like so many others I feel they will retaliate and when they do it might be worse than what we have already seen. I hate to say that but I would not put it passed them.

Mary Suzanne said...

I don’t relish killing another human, but OBL didn’t have any qualms about who he killed throughout his life. He was a mass murderer and received the punishment he dished out to every one of his victims. You can run, but you can’t hide forever.

What did he call the United State? I believe it was a paper tiger. Well, the tiger sunk his teeth in when he least expected it.

We may be on alert now, but I think his followers will do some serious thinking. If they killed their leader, they could well be next.

Allie Standifer said...

I believe Bin Laden's many many victims finally had their taste of justice. Yes, I know the war is not over, there are cells all over the world & we must remain vigilant. We will but first let us take a minute to remember and honor those who died for a madman's warped view of faith.

Anonymous said...

I DVR everything, hearing breaking news doesn't happen for me. Last night I was diligently giving myself a pedicure when hubby comes barreling into the room, scrambling for the remote. "F$&@! What channel is the news?" I watched the news for the first time, in a long time. In my heart I cheered for his death. I cheered for the families torn apart by terrorism. And I cheered for the large, yet small victory for the USA. Not to say this isn't huge, because it is! But in a way, it's just heading our brave troops down a different path. Our war on terrorism is far from over, and sad to say, I don't know that it ever will be with the hatred in these people's heart.

As for conspiracies...so many already out there! Mostly out of the citizen's lack of trust in our government. There will be some that make others question the truth and some that are just plain laughable. Here's one I'd like to share from a post on FB this morning. "Osama bin Laden was killed almost a week ago. It wasn't announced for interference in the publicity of the royal wedding." Hmmm...I looked into the claim and found nothing substantial. I only hope that falls into the category of 'laughable'!!

Elece

Tess MacKall said...

Oh yes, Desi, I have no doubt he embraced his martyrdom. Honestly? I would imagine that over the years his sick mind kept slowly deteriorating. A mind and heart that breeds such hatred can only be thought of as sick and evil.

Tess MacKall said...

You're so right, Mary. Paper tiger our ass! Just a matter of endurance. What is that old fable about the tortoise and the hare?

We've stayed the course and the results speak for themselves. Eventually what goes round comes round.

Tess MacKall said...

While his death is some sort of closure, I don't think anyone can ever pay enough for the slaying of the innocent. The cold, calculated murder of the 911 victims still boggles my mind. I prayed for them last night and for their families, and I'll continue to pray. We'll all be constantly reminded of this day in the coming weeks and know that it's not over by a long shot.

Tess MacKall said...

You're right, Elece. This small victory will indeed take our brave soldiers down yet another path. Will it ever end?

Oh God...I saw reports last night IN the news that bin Laden had been killed a week ago. Snap to reporting is what that was. And the nutcases will jump on it for sure.

Like you, I find a lot of things that people are saying about a lot of different issues these days completely laughable.

I don't exactly believe that our government or any politician for that matter is always truthful with us. But I don't think that government officials and presidents and senators and congressmen just sit around trying to figure out which yarn to spin for us next.

I've heard everything today (some of it has been out there for years) from the World Trade Center being bombed by our own government to bin Laden isn't really dead and this is all just a stunt to get the spotlight off the president's birth certificate to we brought all of this terrorism on ourselves because we use and abuse and oppress other countries so we can have our oil and whatever else we need.

And you know what? I have to wonder if anyone who says these things ever stops and thinks about the freedom they enjoy in this country. Especially the freedom to make broad statements that basically lambast the very country that protects them and allows them such a good life.

And unfortunately, I've been pissed off most of the damn day too!

Oh well, I'll cool off and try to write something here in a bit. lol Maybe a really sexy scene will bring me back to where I need to be...in the middle of HOT STUFF!!!!

Tami said...

I'm truly and utterly tired of hearing how happy everyone is that OBL is dead. This has not brought back the ones who have gone, nor stopped the war that was brought about because of it. All we do by talking and continuing to discuss is to cause a terrorist to outlive his life through the glory of his death.

Tess MacKall said...

Well, Tami, it would be nice if we could all just have read a little news story that said he was dead, put the paper down and thought nothing of it. But we're talking about an individual here who eluded capture for nine long years and in those nine long years was the cause of much of the world's suffering.

And no, rejoicing in his death will not bring back those who perished at his hands. But this is a nation that has been holding its breath for a very long time now. A nation that has almost become desensitized to the news of yet another terrorist attack. So I equate that rejoicing in his death to that long exhale we've all been waiting on.

I don't think anyone here that has commented today is naive enough to believe this is the end of it. As a matter of fact, I think almost everyone has said they expect more and even worse.

But for today and maybe for a couple of weeks to come, we can all take some solace in knowing that this cold, calculating man who hated us, who would take our freedom away from us, is indeed gone. That he was, after all, just a man. Not the god he was held up to be.

And I also believe that in discussing this, sharing our thoughts and fears for what may come, that we are healing and at the same time bracing ourselves.

Bin Laden will indeed live on and he will be glorified regardless of how much we discuss or don't discuss his death. Martyrdom is something he sought when he chose to walk the path he did. There is NO doubt that his followers are already planning to glorify him in the blood of Americans and anyone who calls us friend.

I'm sure the families of his victims at least felt some sense of justice being served in his death. And no, his death won't bring them back. But he got his punishment just the same. A well-deserved punishment. And who knows? Maybe in his own sick mind, this was his final attack on us--becoming a martyr for his cause because he knew his time was fast running out.

Thanks for posting your thoughts. I appreciate your viewpoint.

Willa Edwards said...

I agree with you, I'm not sure that this one death will mean much in the large war we've started. I live in New York City, and there has been a lot of jubliation, but I wonder if its any more than symbolic.

I truly hope this is a downward spiral to the terrorism that has frightened us for ten years now. But only time will tell.

Janice said...

Well . . .is the war over?

Yeah, didn't think so.

Tess MacKall said...

Hiya Willa,

I really think that the country is celebrating the fact that we CAN make progress in this war on terrorism. It all seems so endless. Everything is done in shadows. The enemy is pretty much invisible. So the death of bin Laden was an announcement to the world that we CAN win and will win. At least that's how I'm trying to look at it.

Tess MacKall said...

LOL Janice...no, didn't think so. Oh yeah. Not over at all.

Mia Watts said...

I like to talk conspiracy because I consider it an element of practicing the art of fiction. But sometimes, you really have to wonder.

Like, when people have loved someone or been traumatized by someone or when someone has played an important part in that person's history, it is critical to view the body as a means of closure. Millions of us will never have that absolute certainty that he's dead because we weren't given closure.

Someone on Twitter said that Obama watched the whole thing and the world missed out on an awesome opportunity for pay per view. As sick as it sounds, I think seeing Osama dead would have actually helped a lot of us put what he did behind us. I mean, he wrecked the safety (albeit blind safety) of our country in a way no one ever had. We NEEDED that closure.

Furthermore, with Obama's ratings falling in the polls, it is awfully convenient for him to pull out this miracle right when he needs it. Conspiracy theorists can argue that we either knew where he was the whole time and Obama is using his death for self-promotion, or, it's a fraud and Obama is using this for self-promotion. Because now Obama, regardless of how you feel about him, will always be the president who brought down a monster spanning four presidential terms.

I smell a fish.

Also, our gas prices went up to 4.30. We didn't even get to feel the drop in GR. Bummer

Tess MacKall said...

Oh I'm sure the president had a nice front row seat to the entire operation. I wish I'd been a twitter friend of the neighbor who tweeted it all without knowing what he was tweeting about. lol

I can't go as far as to say that we should have been able to see that broadcast. No hope in hell of ever seeing it I guess. But this entire celebration of bin Laden's death has been about a closure of sorts.

No way in hell is it over. There are plenty of crazies out there to keep up the fighting. But preserving that body and letting independent sources verify identity would have been a much better road to take in my opinion.

As a matter of fact, we could have let Donald examine it. LOL Just sayin'.

Jane said...

Do the conspiracy theorists also believe that the brave Navy SEALs were in on it, too?

Tess MacKall said...

I ran across a forum while I was looking for something to satisfy my own curiosity about all of this, Jane. And it was one of those conspiracy type venues apparently. But it was interesting to read what they were saying.

One man said that movie sets could be built at any military base. Another said that since the identity of the Seals was unknown and could never be revealed and they were too professional to ever reveal their involvement, how would we know if they did actually participate?

Well, that's some thanks, isn't it? There are a whole bunch of crazies out there for sure, Jane.