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02 May 2011 @ 06:17 am
Film at 11: Vengeance is Done.  
Hooray, a U.S. hit squad finally took out the man who planned the World Trade Center attacks.

It only took us ten years of flushing our economy, our international reputation, our domestic freedoms and quite possibly our future into what amounts to a global-scale temper tantrum of invasion and conquest, primarily in a nation that had nothing to do with the attacks, and whose largely-secular government was also at odds with the Islamic-flavored Fundamentalist terrorist movement rooted deeply in countries who are nevertheless still our erstwhile allies.

"Justice is done," quoth President Obama.

There's a difference between "justice" and "vengeance", Mr. President.

With the civilian casualties, the devastation, the "collateral damage", I respectfully submit that this is more the latter than the former.

This changes nothing. This is meaningless. Our forces remain in Iraq. Our forces remain in Afghanistan. Every day, we seem to find new fronts to pour more of our country's soul into.

This all started when we were lashing out wildly, trying to find this one man, to have our revenge.

And now we've had it. Yay, us.

Are we done yet?

lyttlebyrd: assholelyttlebyrd on May 2nd, 2011 03:13 pm (UTC)
I've been on Facebook too long... was looking for a "like" button. You put into words my exact feelings.

Last night, my FB exploded with people cheering the news of his capture and death. Here's the thing, now that he is gone, another enemy will take his place, and this stupid cycle will repeat.
Your Obedient Serpent: ewd3athelind on May 2nd, 2011 05:52 pm (UTC)
When I get home tonight, I plan to paste this into Facebook (violating my usual policy of strict segregation between "Athelind/Your Obedient Serpent" and "SECRET IDENTITY REDACTED").

Edited at 2011-05-02 05:53 pm (UTC)
Tubetoob on May 2nd, 2011 03:39 pm (UTC)
You know, time was, I'd have agreed with you. But honestly, to say this is just "vengeance" seems way too easy to me.

You don't think that there was anything about this situation that was bigger than that, that meant more than "we got him for what he did to us?"

You, of ALL people, Comicswyrm, should know what it means when someone makes himself a symbol. To a people, a symbolic victory can be more important than a practical one.

In this case, bin Laden elected to make himself a symbol of chaos, hatred, and ideological blindness. The symbol was what perpetrated acts of murder around the world. The symbol was what recruited others to join his cause. The symbol was what people feared and despised and wanted justice from. And if people today feel relief, or a sense of closure, it is because that symbol was destroyed.

There was a human being behind that symbol, somewhere, but that's not the story he wanted.
Your Obedient Serpent: fascismathelind on May 2nd, 2011 06:01 pm (UTC)
Bin Laden made himself a symbol, all right: he bloodied the nose of the biggest superpower on the planet, and, in return, we gave him exactly what he wanted. We turned on ourselves, lashed out at the world around us, humiliated ourselves on the global arena, and took an entire decade to find one old man. Saying that this is somehow "justice" is like saying that the original hijackers met "justice" because they died when the planes hit their targets.

Bin Laden was a suicide bomber, just as much as any of his minions. You've heard of "suicide by cop"? This was "suicide by global superpower". It was just a very long, drawn out suicide.

Check the tags in the original post: one of them is "the terrorists have already won."

This was not our victory.
Tubetoob on May 2nd, 2011 06:40 pm (UTC)
Again, I think you're making things a bit too easy.
Your Obedient Serpent: outrageathelind on May 2nd, 2011 09:39 pm (UTC)
From my vantage, it's the people who think this is somehow cause for celebration rather than introspection who are making things too easy.

I'm just providing a counterpoint.
Pakapaka on May 2nd, 2011 04:20 pm (UTC)
This all started when we were lashing out wildly, trying to find this one man, to have our revenge.

But - maybe this is more like why you're angry?- I don't feel like we were doing that at all. The Bush Administration had no interest in going after bin Laden any more than they had any interest in preventing what happened; they just wanted what they wanted, and every other concern wasn't important to them. Theoretically this announcement could have happened in what, 2003, 2004?
Your Obedient Serpent: Captain America 01athelind on May 2nd, 2011 06:03 pm (UTC)
Oh, that's DEFINITELY part of why I'm pissing on everyone's parade.

toob said that Bin Laden made himself a symbol -- but did he? Or did we make him the Big Boogieman we needed to justify our global tantrum?
Pakapaka on May 2nd, 2011 07:33 pm (UTC)
preaching to the choir
Kinda sorta both.

I mean, we had these big bogeymen, and honestly I found them un-scary compared to actual threats to my existence poised by the recession and the lack of health care, while other stuff happened (Katrina, the BP disaster, etc). It's like being shown a feature length zombie movie where after the first really scary scene, the zombies are obviously guys in make up, the scriptwriters weren't very good, and by the way you know that there's a live and somewhat hungry saltwater crocodile in the same theater. The zombie movie stops being scary or even interesting really fast. The exciting climax fails to grab me when I'm still worried about that crocodile under the seats.

Plus, I really hate the celebratory atmosphere. Remember how on 9/11 there were Arabs dancing in the streets because that was "justice"? And there were Brits who had this kinda dismissive attitude of "finally maybe Americans will get it, that being targeted by terror attacks isn't fun" and that was "justice"? I'd kinda like us to be at least better-behaved in front of the rest of the world.
Your Obedient Serpent: canned hateathelind on May 2nd, 2011 09:43 pm (UTC)
Re: preaching to the choir
Plus, I really hate the celebratory atmosphere.

Oh, on the NOSE, Paka. On the NOSE.

I think the trigger for this post was listening to the radio this morning, and hearing the DJ say that there was going to be "dancing in the streets" over bin Laden's death.
pseudo manitoupseudomanitou on May 2nd, 2011 08:59 pm (UTC)
The issue is too complex to either cheer it or decry it.

Politics may force politicians to deliver an opinion/speech on the spot, but it doesn't do that to us. We have the luxury to sit back and process this whole thing out -- to wait for any further details, and to fully map out our opinions.

I disagree with you in that you have made your opinion. I predict you will have to adapt it later.
Tube: Hannibaltoob on May 2nd, 2011 09:18 pm (UTC)
I don't see anything wrong with feeling good about it. We're human beings. We have emotional responses to things. For the many, many people who needed some sense of psychological closure that this event provided them, I wouldn't think of denying it to them.

Logically, there are all sorts of arguments for why it's not so important (as well as all sorts of arguments for why it is). But emotional responses aren't prompted by logical analysis of the situation.

People are gonna be people. You won't get anywhere by telling them that what they're feeling is wrong.

There is, of course, the argument that it's wrong to feel good about anyone's death, but I suspect that argument comes from people attempting to set themselves up in a position of moral superiority rather than any legitimate objection. What people are celebrating the death of is a symbol, a lingering bur in the nation's psyche. A man died, too, but none of us knew that man. And people die every second with none of us giving a shit.

To what levels this event ends up good and bad will ultimately be decided by political analysts and historians. That's not really the point. The point is the MOOD. You can't tell people not to have the mood. It gets ugly.

Frankly, what I find far more nauseating than people with the Mood is the people who haven't got the Mood, and instead have a smug sense of self-satisfaction about it.

That's my opinion, so far. And I reserve the right to adapt it later.
Your Obedient Serpentathelind on May 2nd, 2011 09:48 pm (UTC)
Funny, I identified the feeling more as smoldering rage than smug self-satisfaction.

Thank you for correcting my introspective abilities.

Doing so in the same breath as saying "You won't get anywhere by telling [people] that what they're feeling is wrong" was an especially neat trick.

Edited at 2011-05-02 09:51 pm (UTC)
Tubetoob on May 2nd, 2011 09:54 pm (UTC)
I actually didn't mean you. But of course, I didn't think of that until the page was (very slowly) posting anyway.

It would be a pretty dick move of me to insult someone in his own journal.
Your Obedient Serpent: Ommmathelind on May 3rd, 2011 12:34 am (UTC)
LJ's been crawling today, I've noticed.

And my apologies for the knee-jerk reaction; I posted that moments before heading out to meet with my divorce lawyer, so I suspect that more than politics was affecting my mood.
pseudo manitoupseudomanitou on May 4th, 2011 01:08 am (UTC)
Oh... I can tell people not to have the mood. And if it gets ugly -- I'm okay with being the only person standing in a stadium full of sitting people.

But the mood not the problem I see here.

After following the news for so long, I can honestly say -- every story has a follow-up that should be heard before we cut loose. And if that interferes with their jubilance, then I'd at least ask people to understand why they are happy. Because they will face either disappointment or tremendous frustration when the news-cycle starts to spin this shit.

The people singing for joy in the streets are going to be the people throwing stuff at their TVs when Karl Rove tries to take credit for it all. Have your mood, but get a grip on it fast.
Tube: eatingtoob on May 2nd, 2011 09:24 pm (UTC)