People cheering, fist pumping into the air and flag waving, seems reminiscent of a home-coming or a victory parade. True, the death of Bin Laden could be viewed as a victory. However, just how relevant is his presumed demise?
For most people in the world, Bin Laden was irrelevant. More than likely he was incapacitated by illness or he could have been dead for all intents and purposes and the world had moved on. There had been almost nothing in the past five years from Bin Laden, no claims of any terrorist attacks, no recorded videos or anything of any significance. The security world and the US had by and large assumed him as MIA (Missing In Action). Until today, at about 1pm our time, when we were alerted that the mighty Barack Hussein Obama (BHO) had killed Osama Bin Laden (OBL), most people in the world had actually forgotten about him. Osama Bin Who?
Yet, jumping for joy in the streets of New York is a bit over the top. Just as those who rejoiced at the sight of the planes crashing into the Twin Towers was deplorable behaviour, it is not befitting of any society to be celebrating the death of a human being. We have evolved.
Public hangings and executions are a thing of the past, in medieval France, many were publicly tortured before they were eventually beheaded and in the wild west of America in the 1800’s it was common practice for lynch mobs to take the law into their own hands and the locals loved a public hangin’. But today, we must show restraint in our own personal jubilation at the death of a murderer. It is not befitting of a super-power state such as the USA. It only reduces us to level that we loathe in the first place.
The other factor which, unfortunately is relevant, is that such scenes of rejoicing in the States could be deemed as offensive to many Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan. While OBL is no real hero to Muslims, some see him as a symbol of the struggle against US colonial interests in their countries. OBL’s death to many people in the Middle East is a symbol of the victory of the colonial powers and their commitment to continue their occupation of Muslim lands. It is crucial that the US and the West use this announcement to create impetus for re-building the relations with the Muslim world, especially amidst the so-called youth-quake in the Middle East and the political reforms that are taking place in countries like Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Yemen and Tunisia. The West has to capitalise on this phenomena that is taking place in a positive way.
But there is one more question that will never be truthfully answered, is the assasination of OBL just a coincidence or has it been perfectly timed to distract attention from the NATO debacle in Libya and for BHO and problems with the US economy? He now has the 2012 presidential campaign in the bag, the body bag so to speak.He will be knowm as the US president who killed OBL? His second term is assured. His own popularity ratings were waning. Many voters had expressed dissatisfaction with BHO after the initial euphoria as the first black American president. Well, this latest announcement has revived his popularity and given the American people something to smile about. Now, BHO has truly proven his Americanness; he has killed enemy number one. This should put a sock in Trump's mouth once and for all.