A Declaration of Death, A Nation Rejoices

2 May

At a little before eleven last night, social media outfits like Twitter and Facebook were ablaze with first, news that President Obama would be presenting an unusual Sunday Night address, followed by the leaked bulletin that the POTUS’s revelation had to do with the confirmed death of arguably the world’s most wanted man in history (personally, I thought we were going to have an Armageddon moment where the president was going to tell us that the Endeavor mission was actually scrubbed because there was an unavoidable meteor headed for the planet; fortunately, the news was less world shattering and more world changing).

In a late night televised address, President Barak Obama spoke to the nation and the world to verify that after receiving substantiated intelligence briefings last week from the CIA and other Special Ops factions, he gave the order to eliminate Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the Sept. 11th attacks against the United States. The president also confirmed that the United States military was in possession of bin Laden’s body, and that in executing this very covert operation with the assistance of the Pakistani government, the world was on its way to becoming a safer place.

As the residual waves of shock and disbelief at the 10-year fugitive’s demise began to wear off however, the tone in America began to change. Twitter trending topics like #BinLadenDead, #JackBauer (fictional Counter Terrorist Unit Operative) and #NavySeals emerged from the social networking site, and jokes as well as tweets consigning bin Laden to hellfire and eternal damnation abounded.  News outlets like MSNBC, Fox and CNN were covering the swells of revelers at The White House Gates and Ground Zero; both very festive and celebratory scenes that, if one did not know better, would assume was a result of a pre-planned party, not the reaction to a bullet-in-the-head death.

Now don’t misunderstand, I believe unequivocally that Osama bin Laden and the members of Al Qaeda have always posed a real and serious threat to The United States, and that his death was ultimately a necessary one; one that I don’t oppose, but I must admit that I was more than a little disturbed by the sheer jubilation and revelry I witnessed in the people from the various news reports and on the social streams throughout the night and into the early morning hours.  Just like the biblical proverb reminds us not to gloat or be filled with gladness when our enemy has fallen, it has certainly been hard for me to see the humanity in wishing anyone dead (and taking up the omniscient banner of condemning their soul).

After absorbing the ramifications of last night’s HUGE revelation, my first thought immediately became whether or not my countrymen even remembered how it felt when the Sept. 11th’s death toll continued to rise and word of extremist zealots burning American flags and dancing in the streets was received. Or the sinking feeling that became part of our hearts each time the 11 o’clock news announced yet another death of an American solider as a result of our country’s War on Terror.

Listen, I get it, Lord knows I do; people feel a sense of vindication and closure as a result of the death of such an inherently evil mass murderer and I am sensitive to that (I can’t say with all certainty that I would feel a whole lot different had I lost a loved one in the 9/11 tragedies, or due to military conflict) but to be delighting in the man’s sanctioned murder as opposed to exulting and taking pride in the end of his reign of terror and what he stood for seems a bit macabre and bloodthirsty, even for our highly depicted “shoot-first-ask-questions-later” Western characterizations.

I think for me though, what I’ve found most troubling about last night and in the various Twitter and Facebook “philosophical” debates I have had seems to be that for all the zeal and celebrating going on, so many people continue to miss the point.  In the live coverage, uninformed declarations, biased opinions (about Muslims…still) and drunken reveling and flag waving thrived.  On the net, global concern, critical thinking on the issue or hesitance in kindling the brimstone was met with expletives, racial slurs and accusations of terrorist sympathizing.

Call me naïve, but I’d have thought that for whatever the American public’s varying opinions have been on the death of what we can all agree was a heinous terror architect, we’d at least appreciate the magnitude of this historic event and how it makes the world a little more safe; not how it gives some of us an excuse to get intoxicated and rabble-rouse in the name of “justice served”.

Where were you and what were you doing when this world-rocking, historical news broke? Do you believe that the public’s frenzied endorsement of bin Laden’s death is warranted or one resulting from bloodlust?


2 Responses to “A Declaration of Death, A Nation Rejoices”

  1. padiofarty May 2, 2011 at 10:57 pm #

    I dont care what feminine twittering you offer here – I just think you’re gorgeous!

    • The Fanny Pack May 4, 2011 at 9:07 am #


      Spoken like a truly unapologetic chauvinist. Uh…thanks?

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