Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the most devastating attack on American soil in modern times and the most hunted man in the world, was killed in a firefight with United States forces in Pakistan on Sunday, President Obama announced. -NY Times, 1 May, 2011.
So, a step in the direction of peace it would seem. A fair few of Americans in NY think so, celebrating and cheering about the death of this man, according to the article by NYT. But there are suggestions that Al-Qaeda will view Laden's death as martyrdom, a spur to continue the holy war against infidel non-muslims (this view of holy war is not necessarily shared by the majority of muslims mind you). But is it a good thing to celebrate the death of a cruel person? Maybe we should cry in this bittersweet moment. Cry for joy that a partial justice has been served (partial, because everyone dies, so bin Laden wasn't exactly punished)? Cry in grief that so many have been cruelly killed, so many have now pathetic lives of grief to look forward to, so many have been cut off from loved ones, because of this man?
Death doesn't exactly equal peace. A cynic once said that an end to a war gives enough time for both armies to reload. In this case, bin Laden's death seems to have only added fuel to the fire of revenge killings. Indeed, just 11 days after the Abbottabad, Pakistani raid, an al-Qaeda terrorist killed about 80 Pakistani security recruits in the first of threatened oncoming reprisal attacks on Friday, May 13, 2011.
Peace, not war. Love, not war. It seems so good--too good-- to be true? What is the solution to dictators' greed, oppressive regimes, and terrorism in the Middle East and Northern Africa? Is part of the solution the uprisings of the people like in Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Syria for a fair, just democracy?
And is there such a thing as a 'just war'? Bush and many Central Americans thought so back in 2001. Now, they aren't so sure, perhaps. To add to the complexity, the USA army in Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan to name a few places hasn't exactly been a pillar of integrity, honesty and fairness. For one chilling example, check out this Youtube video, posted April 28,2010, of cursory, arbitrary killing of 12 people by the US military, including 2 Reuters staff, simply based on the observation that some of them were carrying guns (This video is not for the fainthearted.) No one is above reproach.
Will war finally end...one day? What do we need as humans to have peace? Let's hear your thoughts.
This is part 1 on a series on peace.