Osama Bin Laden is dead. Why aren’t I happier?

In 2004 Osama bin Laden claimed responsibility for the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States which involved the hijacking of  four aircraft the subsequent destruction of those planes and the World Trade Centre in New York, severe damage to The Pentagon in Virginia, and the deaths of 2,974 people and the 19 hijackers. Almost ten years after the attacks, on May 2  2011, bin Laden was shot and killed inside a secured private residential compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, by U.S. Navy SEALs in a covert operation authorized and orchestrated by U.S. President Barack Obama.


1. Because a human life just ended. That may be justifiable if it prevents the deaths of further lives but is it reason to have a party? No.

2. Some people are having parties. The scenes of jubilation and chanting were more appropriate to how you might behave if your favourite football team just won. This whole thing, from the deaths of those people on September 11 2001 to the death of Osama bin Laden is no-one’s finest hour and nothing for any human being to be proud of.

3. The whole business in Abbottabad is being shrouded in mystery. Murder has been committed on our behalf and now the people authorising that murder are not permitting us to know the full details of what went on. Do they think we can’t handle the facts? Do they think emotions in parts of the world may become inflamed? If any of this is morally defensible then we should defend it, not glory in it and not hide the details. If that means some people’s emotions get inflamed, too bad.

4. I understand Osama bin Laden had not been in operational control of terrorist movements for some years so his death doesn’t make us any safer.

5. There were kids’ toys in that compound; I saw them in the background on that video taken at the scene. What nightmare have any children involved had to go through. It doesn’t bear thinking about.

6. The whole thing reminds me how mindless, fanatical, violent, pathetic, petty, irrational, barbaric and stupid human beings can be even today, even with all our advances and our achievements. We still kill each other because we have different opinions. Pathetic, shameful and sad.

I’m not in any mood for a party.



2 thoughts on “Osama Bin Laden is dead. Why aren’t I happier?

  1. The three thousand people who died on 9/11 weren’t Bin Laden’s enemies. They were men, women and children of many different nationalities, religions, and ethnicities who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. They were no threat to Al Qaeda or Bin Laden or even to Islam. They were just ordinary people in the wrong place. No one, not even Al Qaeda has claimed otherwise. To equate that mass murder with the assassination of the man who arranged it is just sad and silly.

    These are the words of one Michael Streiffert, who was responding to another comment on an article by Christopher Hitchens at Slate magazine. I haven’t found anything else that better summarises the situation.

    But consider this as well, Jon. You and I both live in countries where pretty much anyone can achieve high political office – ‘anyone’, in this case, means ‘man OR woman’. The world that Osama and his pals wanted would deny girls an education and have them married off before they were out of their teens.

    Osama had nothing to offer but a return to a dark age. Just like Hitler, the greatest service he ever peformed in this world was to leave it.


  2. I completely agree with everything you say in your comment Gregory. I certainly wouldn’t equate the 3000 deaths with the one death of Osama Bin Laden. I regard his views as toxic and his actions as monstrous. I wasn’t trying to argue that the world isn’t better without him; my point was simply that I don’t regard ANY killing as a reason for jubilation. I’m not even claiming that his execution was not necessary to save lives (I stated this early on in my blog entry) although personally I would have liked to see him face the reality of his heinous acts in a court of international law as did Saddam Hussein (I understand that this risks martyrdom of course). We may need to take a life in order to save many more lives but do we really need to have a party over it?

    Great to get your slant on this, Gregory. I’m sure we’re both very appreciative of being able to live in regimes which allow us to have intelligent debate and express opinions freely. Now there’s something that really IS worth having a party about. All the best to you and thanks for reading/commenting.


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