US Navy SEALS End Bin Laden

As I’m sure you’ve heard, a U.S. military operation on Sunday, May 1, resulted in the death of Osama Bin Laden and several people who were with him, including one individual used as a human shield.  President Obama gave a late night address to inform the nation, and to stress that we are not fighting a war against Islam, while reminding us that Bin Laden is responsible for the deaths of thousands of Muslims. 

The problems in the world and the U.S. haven’t been solved by this event.  Al Qaeda has not been defeated.  There’s still an abundance of evil in the world, even if this one evil man is gone. Emotions are mixed, from what I’ve read, and ranging from joy to relief to sadness to disappointment. All of these feelings are understandable and expected; even feeling all of them at the same time is normal, and okay.

For today, save your cynicism for another site, or better yet, another day altogether.  This post is not an opportunity for any of us to judge, deride or guilt anyone for what they may or may not be feeling.  This is not an opportunity to paint any of your fellow Persephoneers with that broad brush we all seem to have tucked in our back pockets.  Today, we’re going to respect each other unconditionally.  Emotions will be running high all over the Internet, but we’re going to keep it together here.  Our membership continually proves that thoughtful, compassionate people who agree on very little can still come together for a respectful and intelligent conversation. Today, especially, we need to remember that.

The rest of the day is going to run as scheduled, but we’ll post breaking news periodically if we need to.  Most of today’s posts were written and scheduled before the news of Bin Laden’s death broke, and we’ve decided to go ahead with the regular schedule.

Hug the people you love today, and remind them why you love them.

We’ll see you in a few hours when we open for the day.

By [E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

22 replies on “US Navy SEALS End Bin Laden”

Not really a lot of comment on this among my internet people, it’s mostly election stuff ( today is voting day in Canada). I heard the announcement last night, and to be frank I didn’t really feel anything. It’s not that I don’t care, it’s just that there are things that are so much more…immediate to me, I guess? I don’t know. I guess I am glad he can’t continue his horrible plans/actions but other than that, this doesn’t really have a lot of…meaning…for me.

My fb news feeds have been pretty nice so far. No one has been blocked off the feed or unfriended so far. It’s pretty much been ‘We need to love each other first’ kinda stuff.

But, I do wonder where all the fireworks came from that my entire neighborhood lit up last night. Were people stock piling? I had no idea.

Either way, I will probably always remember that the day Bin Laden died I was painting the interior of my house. (It looks beautiful by the way, finally feels like my house. I like that feeling more than the announcement of the death. So, it wins.)

seeing everyone’s comments on facebook, twitter, and everywhere else just leaves me conflicted about the entire situation. it’s really overwhelming, and though i consider myself rather up-to-date and educated about the situations in afghanistan and pakistan, i’m feeling pretty aimless and confused at the moment.
meh, just needed to get that out there to people who won’t judge. /vent

yeah, for the most part. i can’t actually bring myself to celebrate someone’s death, regardless of who they are or what they’ve done. i live in boston (i’m a university student), and was taken aback by all the loud street celebrations going on last night – mostly by students. i couldn’t help but wonder what they thought they were celebrating? was it the fact that the US was responsible for osama’s death? or was it because they feel this will end US operations in afghanistan and pakistan? or was it blood lust?

i’m sure some (if not a lot of) families, victims, etc. feel vindicated by this, and feel justice has been served. but i don’t know, i still can’t get behind all the celebrations, all the joy. it seems shallow (i don’t even know if that’s the right word for it..), and i guess i just prefer quiet reflection over rowdy, patriotic chanting. gah. sorry that was tl;dr

I totally understand what you’re saying. I’m a good bit older than you and I wouldn’t participate in any sort of celebrations about the death, but I get where people are coming from with it. And with no offense meant to your age group, its easy to not get the broader implications of big events when you’re in your teens and early twenties. I certainly feel differently about things here in my mid thirties than I did at 21 or 19. I’m willing to understand where their jubilation is coming from.

But you’re not alone in the way that you’re feeling. I think there’s a lot of people out there that are spending a lot of time reflecting on what this means.

It occurred to me this morning that a typical college freshman would have only been seven or eight years old in 2001. If you’ve lived out much of your childhood and all of your young adulthood under the heavy cloud of Bin Laden Is The Embodiment Of Evil, I can see how that, paired with youthful exuberance and a failure to look at the broader implications of world events could have led to the kind of partying and celebrating that happened last night.

I agree. I noticed that most of the faces I saw last night were very young adults/college aged kids, but I’ll hesitate before suggesting they were the only ones celebrating. They are just more likely to be able to go out at 11:30 at night and have the freedom to spend half the night partying and cheering.

I can’t really blame them. And I won’t condemn them for it, even if its not something I would personally do.

yeah, i can see it too. i’m a college senior. i just couldn’t help but wondering as i was watching obama’s speech with “USA USA” chants coming from kenmore square in the background what those people out there were thinking about? i guess i’m overthinking it…but i’m just really curious as to why they saw it as a victory? i’m trying not to judge them, and apologize if i sound judgmental. i’m not angry at them, i’m just…interested. maybe i should just brush it off – they’ve probably forgotten all about it by now anyway.

Well, I’ll just say this, very inarticulately – I agree with your initial post 100% and feel exactly the same way you do – and I’m 30. We’re all different, I suppose. I can’t really understand feeling glee and jubilation over a death, but I respect everyone’s right to express themselves as they see fit (so long as it doesn’t encroach on anyone else). It is a touchy subject and bound to bring people to debate, no doubt.

There’s no such thing as tl here at Persephone.

I’m with you in the preference for quiet reflection over celebration of a death. The images of the celebrations make me extremely uncomfortable.

I take some comfort in my respect for the people involved in making the decision to honor Islamic burial traditions as best they could. I think that sends a powerful message that even to someone we saw as our enemy, even in death, we will not disrespect their faith. I wish that was getting more emphasis.

So far, my Facebook and Tumblr have been quite respectful. A big range of responses, certainly (especially since I am European and so get a lot of comments from that perspective as well) but so far no open rudeness (though I have seen that on Tumblr some people I don’t know are attacking those I do know) among my followers/followees/facebook people.

I must say I’m a little confused about the cynicism comment in this post. You write that all feelings are valid, and immediately follow that up with saying that cynicism has no place here. But what if some Persephoneers are feeling cynical? Are their feelings invalid? Or did you mean cynicism about our ability to keep things civil on the internet/around here?

I hope everyone will do their very best to get along, both here and in other places.

I can’t speak for Selena, but my thought about ‘cynicism’ immediately jumped to the comments I was seeing everywhere last night like: ‘Osama was killed years ago and they just brought the body out now’, ‘Osama died from diabetes but we’re claiming we killed him’, and ‘I don’t think he’s really dead and its a ploy to help Democrats election chances’.

I found it far more upsetting last night to see comments like this than I have at other points. Maybe it was because I saw it coming from people whose opinions I normally respect or maybe because people were so quick to jump to paranoid theories before the announcement had even been made (these were going up between when the news broke and when Obama made his speech). Or maybe I’m just so sorry that we’ve come to distrust our own government so much.

It just really bothered me.

My Facebook feed has been, shall we say, interesting and complicated this morning. I may avoid my usual online haunts completely today and just hang out here. There’s a considerable lack of respect for other people and their viewpoints out there, and I just want coffee and my dogs and as little conflict as possible.

I think what I appreciate most is that I know that people here are willing to acknowledge the spectrum of reactions, without immediately jumping down anyone’s throat about it. This is a complicated issue, and people are reacting to it in complicated ways, and it’s good to be somewhere that confusion and conflicting emotions can all coexist.

I’ve only had to hide a couple of people, but there are a handful of people whose opinions I usually agree with and respect on matters that seem to be taking more glee in this than I’m comfortable with. I noticed there’s a “Hide this Post” option, so I’ve done that to a few. I just don’t want to get riled up in to a debate about this, uncharacteristically (I love a good debate). So I don’t think I’ll be wading into facebook land on this today. I’ll stay in my safe space of tumblr and here.

Leave a Reply