Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Since we just placed three separate Osama bin Laden stories on three pages of tomorrow's paper, the questions raised by the writers of those articles are heavy on my mind.

Number one is President Obama's announcement that they would not release a photo of bin Laden with a bullet through his head. For a change, I agree with the commander-in-chief -- do we really need to see that gruesome depiction of the violent death of a terrorist? I don't think so. It's always been my experience that a morbid rubbernecking interest in seeing something gross results in a feeling of regret afterwards when I realize I didn't really want to see it to begin with. And then it becomes all I can think about and scarred in my mind. So I for one don't need to see any picture of a dead bin Laden. I trust the president when he said bin Laden's dead.

Number two is the whole celebratory atmosphere in the festivities going on as people revel in his demise. I understand this to a certain level -- here is a heinous killer responsible for the deaths of thousands of people. But aren't we stooping to his level by dancing in the streets chanting? Isn't that what the terrorists and their supporters did the day the World Trade Center fell? It's a relief that he is off the face of the earth, even as we tread lightly in the apprehension of a possible retaliation, but I don't think an out-and-out party is called for any time a human being, no matter how evil, meets his or her death.

Number three is the likelihood that bin Laden was unarmed when the SEALs killed him. So what? He has proven his danger to humankind and Americans in particular. I don't care if he was cuddled up in bed wearing bunny slippers and wrapped in a blanket watching cartoons; he deserved to die. And if I ever find out who the SEALs were I would shake all of their hands. (If any of you heroes stumble upon this blog I just have to say thanks and job well done!)

Number four is the folks who say bin Laden is not really dead, and the whole thing is just a ploy by President Obama to earn ratings points with the American public. Are you serious? Stop and think of what a gamble that would be. Sure, right away that big victory would -- and has -- given him a renewed shine in the political arena. But take a step beyond the moment to consider what would happen when it was revealed bin Laden is still alive? That rating would nose-dive in the opposite direction. Love him or hate him, President Obama is way too smart to take a chance like that, especially with so many people just champing at the bit for him to fail. No way would he take that risk.

Of course, this is all just my humble opinion and I'm sure not everyone will agree with me ... so feel free to respond with your own thoughts.


  1. Mike, I absolutely agree with you on almost all of these points. However, I think it's fair to say that there is a big difference between celebrating the death of one of the world's most wanted criminals and celebrating the death of thousands of innocent people.
    I don't know if it's right or wrong, but I do know when I heard the news I felt joy. I prefer not to look at it as celebrating death, but instead celebrating the lives this mission hopefully saved.

  2. Mike-thank you for a riveting read. Although I do kinda want to see the photos, I don't think it'll be worth it. The news of his death has been one of the only moments I have felt any sense of pride in our wars overseas. It took an incredible amount of bravery on the parts of our president, intelligence officials and military officers to go through with this, given all that could've gone wrong. The men who carried out this task must've felt an unbearable amount of stress going into that complex. That is courage. I agree that celebrations are unnecessary. There's no shame in feeling relief or joy but by singing and chanting outside the White House, that only perpetuates this viscious cycle of hatred and violence. That's why our country is so hated by others.

  3. I totally agree with you Caitlin! I have been very conflicted about this entire event and have actually kept my mouth shut from commenting- and my brother will be shocked by that. There is so much about what happened that we will never know and we should never know. In absence of all of the facts we should all remain a bit cautious from making too many judgments. The real heroes continue to be our military men and women serving here and across the globe on our behalf. The best thing we can all do is support and thank our military!