Monday, May 2, 2011

The News

We were heading to bed when Mama checked her computer one last time. Oddly, across the top of the NYTimes was a breaking-news announcement that President Obama would be making a statement. It was around 10:30 on a Sunday night,well outside the usual news cycle, what kind of statement could he be making? And so we stayed up, surfing all of our usual news sites and finding very little . . . until we turned on the tv. Soon, word started trickling out: Osama bin Laden was dead.

I don't know how I feel about this. Is it closure from Sept. 11? Is it justice? Is it frightening to think of retaliation? Is it meaningful in the so-called war on terror? What happens next? How will this change our military actions? Do we believe that Pakistan didn't know?

I'll let more-informed heads than mine parse out the diplomatic and militaristic ramifications. I hope the survivors of the Sept. 11 attacks and the families of those who were lost feel some measure of justice and relief. I hope too that people in Afghanistan and Pakistan can eventually feel safe--I had no idea he had also arranged the killing of 30,000 Pakistanis. But I know this, I did not feel safer sending my kids to school today or considering heading into the city for my doctor's appointment tomorrow. The complacency I had happily fallen into sometime in the last ten years was gone in an instant. I think I feel less safe, more concerned. He seems more dangerous dead than alive, since he hadn't managed much in the last few years, that I know of, but could now be an inspirational martyr to a resurgence in terrorist violence here and abroad. Hopefully, I'm wrong. Perhaps I will feel relieved later.

Which wasn't how I would've expected to feel with such news.


  1. Ee lass! You have quite naturally reacted the way the man would have wanted. Take heart, the world was a safer place after the death of Hitler and will continue to become so but there will be difficulties as we travel along the road to ultimate peace. Look in that mirror and say after me 'To Hell with the creeps, the righteous will triumph!