We are awash with feelings, thoughts, fears and relief. Osamba bin Laden has been found out and destroyed – illegally – but truly. While some rejoice, I feel serious and most appreciate the following quote via friend, Ellen Bicheler.
”I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that” — Martin Luther King Jr.
Earlier today, I worked my way through thoughts and feelings related to this huge historic turn. Here’s what I came up with in response to friends on a listserve (paraphrased as this is supposed to be subscribers only so just reposted my own thoughts):
Was just listening to KQED FM Forum program about WWI (which included discussion of) Bertrand Russell, his role as a war resister and decided to re-read Russell on why wars in general are wrong. Loved his writing early on and well worth re-read. Jailed for 6mo. for his anti-war work.
I agree wholeheartedly with (the thought that) taking bin Laden to court would have been the ethical, right, legal step and I wish our history would read that way.
But the Prince (Machiavelli) influence raises itself here. Politics and war are not so much led by philosophers with high principles as by power-hungry, territory-hungry men intent on becoming leader of the pack. bin Laden was a leader and teacher of terrorists – and at least one source says with his death, we may now see the beginning of the end of the terrorist era. Muslims across the globe are saying bin Laden never represented them. Now, hopefully, diverse human cultures can draw a bit closer to each other. And that part of this very bad act is good.
Later today I heard not surprisingly that Hamas (militant Islamicist group in Pakistan) considers bin Laden’s death to be an assassination. Yes – and it will probably but not for sure – save many many lives down the road. Am hoping very much for that.