Monday, May 02, 2011

He's Dead

About 10:25 last night, my friend Lee called with some stunning news: President Barack Obama was about to address the nation to inform us that US forces had killed Osama bin Laden. I ran and turned on the TV to confirm. NBC had broken into normal programming with a special report and was awaiting the president's arrival.

I went into the bedroom and told my wife, "They've killed bin Laden." My voice cracked as I said it.

We watched Obama in silence.

There was video of celebration in New York and in Washington, DC. "USA! USA!" chanted the crowds. It felt a little odd - like cheering a football victory instead of the death of a mass murderer. But I'm not going to judge anyone's reaction -- least of all people living in the epicenter of those horrific attacks almost 10 years ago.

My own response was less of joy, and more of satisfaction that at least a small measure of justice had been meted out. The death of this one evil monster can never outweigh the terrible loss inflicted on thousands of innocents, but it's better than nothing. I agree with Scott Simon's tweet, "I can't quite explain why I'm glad it was boots on the ground and not a drone that caught up with bin Laden, but I am-"

God bless the Navy Seals, who reportedly did the deed.

Will this end threats of terrorism here and abroad? Probably not. Joan Walsh at Salon asks, "Is this what closure feels like?" We will still have full-body scanners at airports tomorrow. And I'm waiting for the first wing-nut to spout off that bin Laden isn't really dead. Trust me, it will happen.

Still, I happened to put a random CD in the changer when I got in my car this morning and the first track was Cream playing "I'm So Glad."

It felt strangely appropriate.

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