Is our celebration of bin Laden’s death too much?

Let me start out by saying that I was thrilled to hear of the death of Osama bin Laden.  I turned into the news just in time to hear Geraldo Rivera’s reluctant declaration.  He was cautiously optimistic as all of us were.  Once confirmed, I took to my facebook page immediately to declare the headline that we’ve all been waiting to hear for almost 10 years.  I will not apologize for my jubilation.  The S.O.B. got what he deserved and justice was served.

The President’s speech was touching, uniting, succinct, and factual.  I appreciated the nod to the Bush Administration and his leadership last night.  He, unlike the celebrators in New York, did an excellent job at containing his celebration.

I’m having a hard time coming up with the word to describe what I felt last night when they showed the celebrations in New York.  “Inappropriate”, “unbecoming”, “tasteless”, I don’t know; none of them seem to do it justice.  The American in me wants to jump up and down and hold up a sign reading “Ding, dong, bin Laden’s dead!”.  The other side of me is reminded of the propaganda machine that is used to recruit terrorists into Jihad.  I was picturing al Jazeera showing the burning compound and sympathizers crying in the streets.

Then I pictured them shifting to the celebrations of “arrogant” Americans, celebrating in the streets as though their team had won the Superbowl.  I guess I just hoped that we’d be celebrating in the comfort of our homes and with family and friends. I remembered watching the people merrily marching through the streets to commend the deaths of the almost 3000 Americans lost on 9/11.  I’m not a particularly angry person but as I watched, that’s exactly the emotion that it invoked and I can just see them using that to their advantage.

Again, I will not apologize for being happy that he is gone.  This is a huge psychological victory for our country and I’m grateful to our soldiers and intelligence community who carried out this important mission.  So long as we remember that it is a psychological victory and that just because he’s gone doesn’t mean we’ve severed the head of this monster, we can celebrate this moment as Americans, united.

It remains to be seen what the affects of this event will have.  The Middle East is already on fire and this can only inflame those who would either convert or kill us.  There are many questions that still need to be answered such as why he was living in the important Pakistani military town of Abbottabad, Pakistan and did they know?  Also, what will Al Qaedad’s next move be?  We celebrate today but are reluctant to appear that we believe the war is over.  I know that most of us still remain humble.  That sentiment, unfortunately, will not be played on Al Jazeera.  The jovial frolicking in the streets of New York, on the other hand, will.

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