Salute to students
I am so proud of our college students and all those who went out to their campuses and streets to celebrate the end of a tyrant and killer: Osama bin Laden.
When I stood on the rubble of Ground Zero, with a very heavy heart, I knew America would not forget or give up on making accountable those that caused such devastation.
I am grateful to our servicemen and women, all of them, who protect us and handle these special operations, and all of their support staffs that make their efficiency possible. Thank you.
This wasn’t just for America and our losses. This was for the world and everyone who has suffered at al-Qaida’s cowardly stupidity.
To America’s youth, way to go! You didn’t just tweet about this; you went to the streets, and you celebrated. You showed your unity and love for America. I am deeply moved by your enthusiasm, patriotism and spontaneity. You are our future.
No glory in killing
In a world where we glorify the death of a fellow human, it would be inconsistent to hope for world peace, or comfort the sick, or feed the starving. The attitude of revenge today is as barbaric as it was 2,000 years ago.
Have we not, as a society, advanced beyond such primal fears?
How can we progress as a civilization and keep pace with our technology when the death of an individual is cause for celebration? It is no different than standing in the crowd to watch a beheading or the burning of a condemned heretic, 300 years ago.
If we want a different world, we have to think differently. To pray for peace or to end suffering and then rejoice at the death of any creature will not bring about our prayer.
Do we want a peaceful world or a suffering world? It is up to us. As long as are unclear about what we want, we will keep what we have.
A moral conflict
I must admit I am struggling with the announcement of the killing of Osama bin Laden this weekend.
I am torn between elation and revulsion. As a political leader and world history teacher, I understand the collective will that went into this undertaking. Indeed, I was a part of it. Yet, I also understand that much like the mythical hydra, when the beast’s head is chopped off, two more sprout.
Even as we Americans jubilantly celebrate, as evidenced by The Tribune’s headline, we must also not lose sight of the paradox of killing a killer. We must remember our humanity and be cognizant of the moral health of our collective consciousness. We must respect the sanctity of human life, even as we are all part of taking one. And we certainly can’t for a moment think the war on terror is over.
Remember that killing the Hydra was a Herculean task.
New chance to unite
I had mixed emotions after hearing the announcement that Osama bin Laden is dead: First, celebration in the fact that this horrible terrorist is no longer alive to harm others and second, sadness in accepting the reality that in order to control violence, you must be violent. Thankfully, the United States of America’s action was swift and accurate.
Now it’s time to stop the incessant emphasis on what divides us, including the radio and TV-personality hate-speech peddlers, the people who covertly “hate” Obama because he is black, the divisive politicos that must have their side lead and all others fail. It’s time to all be Americans and start leading the world again by regaining respect from our friends and our enemies.
Thank God our current president has the intelligence, compassion and leadership abilities to walk softly and carry a big stick. Nine years, seven months and 20 days later — Mission Accomplished!