American Justice: Eye for an eye for Osama bin Laden
The celebrations were impromptu and palpable. A jubilation stretching from New York, to the US Naval academy, inside sports arenas and outside of the White House – the wild crowds reflecting something of a world cup victory were cheering on the assassination of public enemy number one, 9/11 mastermind, Osama bin Laden.
At some point the unbridled euphoria over the death of a mass murderer garnered dance beats uploaded on you tube by 50-cent signed artists, Hot Rod.
The song’s lyrics included versus such as, “Osama was killed tonight, so everybody come out and have good time.”
For many others, this American assassination was nothing worth flaunting.
“It is this sort of blood lust that we saw as people were chanting USA, USA and celebrating bullets to the head of another human being,” said Matt Daloisio, from the War Resisters League.
The reported price of killing this human being has bled America’s economy. According to the National Journal, the US spent three trillion dollars over fifteen years to nab their man.
In the interim, critics say the war on terror has cost the US its reputation.
“Let’s remember that the people of Iraq had to endure an invasion of their country that killed hundreds of thousands of people that had nothing to do with al-Qaeda. a government that had nothing to do with OBL. But at the end of the day, justice in the eye of the beholder,” said author and investigative journalist, Jeremy Scahill.
In this case, many say US justice reflects a militaristic eye for an eye mentality.
While, FOX News dubbed OBL’s assassination “bigger than the moon landing" American news coverage largely overlooked the 50th anniversary of the US in space which was marked on May 5th.
Alan Shepard’s space flight promoted America the Great. America the positive, America the beacon. Today, critics say a different side of America is on display.
“We have over 6,000 US service people who have been killed. Tens of thousands injured. We have hundreds of thousands of civilians murdered around the world. Now torture has become a part of US policy. The idea of celebrating because one man has been killed doesn’t seem rational or right to me,” said Daloisio.
The celebration of Bin Laden’s death is part of an American culture that glorifies war and conflict, said Brian Becker, the national coordinator for the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition.
“As if it’s just like a victory after a football game,” he said. “I think it creates the impression that the American people are shallow and superficial.”
People who really understand war do not act like this, Becker argued. War is violent and bloody and should not be celebrated.
“This is the kind of trivialization of war that makes it look like war is just a video game, war is just on TV,” he added.
The War in Afghanistan is not about Bin Laden, it’s about an American empire of military bases to secure resources – same as Iraq, he argued. This is occupation, not a fight on terrorism.
Bin Laden’s death is now being used to further wars, many pundits are arguing Bin Laden prove success in War on Terror and argue more must continue. This is dangerous, noted Becker.
“We see the mood here after the killing of Bin Laden is a little like the mood here after September 11,” he explained, noting that at that time US support for wars and overseas operations spiked.
“Their idea is to just keep going,” he added. “They’re not planning to leave [Afghanistan].”