While I was recovering from Beltaine festivities one of the most wanted men in the world was killed. My reaction is decidedly lacking in oomph in either direction. I am neither celebrating nor mourning the loss of life.
I don’t care which president gets credit. It’s taken us 10 years to find him and two wars. I feel as if Menelaus is suddenly expecting an ‘atta boy for finally defeating the Trojans. If you want to pat someone on the back it should be the service members that actually come under fire and put their lives on the line every day.
I’m also a little annoyed at the idea that bin Laden is the most dangerous member of Al Qaeda. He was the spinmaster, but now he’ll be replaced by those who followed his teachings without his understanding of what was spin and what wasn’t. It’s his students we should be worried about, the people who were far enough from him to hear and live his message without understanding the craft behind it. We should be worried about people far more extreme than bin Laden. Those people are not celebrating right now.
What this really tells me is that Obama is far more cagey than I expected. Between releasing his birth certificate and taking out bin Laden he’s making it clear he means business. The timing of either of these events is not coincidental. It’s not happenstance that bin Laden was killed on the anniversary of Hitler’s death. It’s politics. It’s planning. It’s spin. It’s also not a coincidence that Celebrity Apprentice was interrupted so that the nation could wait in suspense for half an hour, completely in the dark as to what was going on. This was well-choreographed and a little frightening, right down to the ocean burial preventing any sort of memorial shrine springing up around his resting place.
If bin Laden’s death brings you a sigh of relief or a sense of closure, by all means rejoice. Honor your emotions. If it makes you sad and mournful then honor those emotions as well. You have the right to celebrate a victory as much as you have the right to grieve the circumstances that made it necessary. Laugh if you need to. I’m finding refuge in sarcasm and humor myself as a way of processing this.
As for how I really feel? I am conflicted and wary. The circumstances surrounding me the death bother me more than the fact of it. Through this Obama has proven his ability as a political strategist. As someone who voted for him, I’m not certain to be proud or appalled at how well he plays politics. I feel as if the meek puppy I brought home suddenly grew fangs. He can guard me with them as Cerberus guards Hades, or bite my hand off as Fenris did to Tyr. Only time will tell which it will be.