Because Everyone is Talking About It, Bin Ladin

I heard about Bin Ladin’s death the old fashioned way, watching TV with my parents last night. My Facebook friends are too apolitical, apparently to want to engage in status updating their thoughts on this one. But that’s OK, because the internet is full of people who want to talk about it, including the top half of the New York Times home page.

This business about Bin Ladin’s death being a victory for the United States, or the world being a safer place because he’s dead seems like an exaggeration. I understand that after 9/11, the US needed to prove that it wouldn’t take an ass kicking sitting down, but a few questions linger:

Did killing Bin Ladin end the “war on terror”? I would say not, since his death is unlikely to convince people to like the US more. The US has been looking for him for 10 years now, and in that time, all around the globe but especially in the Middle East, things have changed. Did killing Bin Ladin avenge the US? Again, I would say not. The pursuit of Bin Ladin, and the invasions that accompanied it proved one thing to me– to the US, the lives of Americans are worth far more than the suffering of non-Americans. Human life is not considered equally. Consider what David Sessions had to say:

Osama bin Laden’s attack on America killed roughly 3,000 people. Since then, the U.S. government has launched two wars in nations that were not previously our enemies, and one of which had no connection whatsoever to the 9/11 attacks. At the most conservative, over100,000 people have been killed in Iraq. Over 8,000 civilians have been killed in Afghanistan. Let that sink in for a moment: more innocent civilians have been killed in Iraq every year since 2003 than the number of Americans who died on 9/11. Over twice the number of 9/11 victims have been killed in Afghanistan. In the meantime, hundreds of innocent men and boys have been literally snatched from their families’ arms, tortured, renditioned, and held for years without evidence or charge—all ostensibly for the purpose of preserving and advancing democracy.

– David Sessions, Patrol Blog

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