What have we won?
I heard the breaking news from my 21-year-old firefighter son, breezing in after a CalFire meeting: Osama Bin Laden was dead! Killed by US forces. I get the morale boost this brings to my country, and I would confess I’m glad he’s dead.
And what have we won? Is al-Qaida done? Can our troops come home from Afghanistan and Iraq? Can we finally empty Guantanamo? I’m going to predict that we won’t see much change in our deployments and foreign policy. Our involvement in other countries is to benefit corporate industries, not to liberate other oppressed peoples, (which may be a happy coincidence); not necessarily to spread democracy (which is always good!); and certainly not to catch and bring to justice those who have wronged this nation. (How many years has it been?)
We pay more than twice what any other nation pays for its military. The United States pays more for the military (notice I don’t say “defense” — that’s another letter ...) than the next 17 nations combined. Let’s bring our troops home, and get them working on a real solution to alternative energy production. That will be a true and lasting victory!
San Luis Obispo
I am appalled by your editorial decision-making on The Tribune’s front page of Monday, May 2. Your choice of banner headline verbiage and photo painted a sickening portrayal of Americans.
You allege in 90-point-sized, boldface type that our “Nation Celebrates Death of Bin Laden,” illustrating the claim with a photo of young adults cheering for the camera, the White House illuminated like a beacon in the background.
That front page is profoundly inflammatory and deeply insulting to the thoughtful people who populate this nation. The Tribune’s 90-point assertion that U.S. citizens are “celebrating” is not a report of fact; it’s a provocative word choice that aggravates a malignant international opinion of Americans.
As I went about my business on Monday and spoke with people in the community, not one soul was “jubilant,” a term used by AP reporters in that headline story. Instead, there was a collective, somber reflection on the extreme price many people have paid and the billions of dollars consumed by the War on Terrorism. Many Americans are aware that the death of Osama bin Laden does not signal victory in the extraordinarily complex reality of terrorist warfare.
What of reward?
To whom should the $27 million dollar reward be awarded? My opinion is that it should be divided among the military and CIA personnel who put their lives on the line to eliminate this menace.
Considering that similar past attempts failed and resulted in American lives lost (and families shattered), this one succeeded, and the personnel involved should be amply rewarded.
A decoration or medal is fine, and everyone knows they are heroes and patriots, but cash says it better.
After the Battle of Mogadishu in 1993, local celebrants dragged the dead bodies of U.S. servicemen through the streets. With Osama bin Laden’s death, the celebration continues.
San Luis Obispo
The number dialed in a state of emergency is 911.
“Mayday” is an emergency code word used internationally as a distress signal.
Osama bin Laden, you woke us up early one 9/11 in 2001, a day Americans will never forget.
Well, on this May day, in this year of 2011, we bid you a “Good night.”