Witnessing various reactions on the radio and internet today over the U.S. finally finding and killing Osama bin Laden — though when and how the U.S. knew where he was, not to mention what justification they had to go into Pakistan to get him, are well on their way to becoming the “stuff of legend” (surprizing, I know) — I can’t help but feel concerned over what comes next. Frankly, exactly how his death equals “justice” is beyond me, and is beside my point.
So instead of assigning any relevance towards an event I, not only couldn’t possibly know at this point, but probably will not understand when its implications inevitably come to fruition, I’ll simply urge everyone to read Chris Hedges Speaks on Osama bin Ladenâ€™s Death for some much needed context. In part;
So I was in the Middle East in the days after 9/11. And we had garnered the empathy of not only most of the world, but the Muslim world who were appalled at what had been done in the name of their religion. [But] [w]e responded exactly as these terrorist organizations wanted us to respond. They wanted us to speak the language of violence. […] These groups learned to speak the language we taught them. And our response was to speak in kind. The language of violence, the language of occupation — the occupation of the Middle East, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — has been the best recruiting tool al-Qaida has been handed. […] The tragedy of the Middle East is one where we proved incapable of communicating in any other language than the brute and brutal force of empire…
I think Mr. Herbivore said it quite succinctly on Twitter today, “SO glad that the US and NATO forces have no reason to be killing people in Afghanistan anymore. What a relief that’s over!”