Monday, May 02, 2011


After 9/11 in the midst of processing the horror of the event, one of the most disturbing images, to me, were the video clips of people in the Middle East celebrating the attack on the towers and the deaths of more than 3,000 innocent Americans.  They were in the streets dancing around and handing out candy, waving flags and chanting and wailing.  It was terrifying to think that people could hate Americans so much that they would celebrate the crime perpetrated on the innocent.

Last night when I was watching the news to gain more details about the death of Osama Bin Laden I saw images of Americans in the street celebrating his death, and while I am happy to know that he is dead, I believe that he needed to die, I was never in favor of capturing him - much preferring a well aimed killshot - I found that it made me just as uncomfortable to watch people dancing in the street, chanting and waving flags to celebrate his death.

I want to believe that we are better than them.

I'm old enough to remember those John Wayne and Clint Eastwood movies where justice is delivered with a gunshot, after which the hero blows the smoke off the end of the pistol and rides off into the sunset.  That is the iconic American hero - someone who stoically gets the job done cuz it needs doin' - and then moves on to the next town and the next bad guy while the town people gather around the body and watch him go.  They don't dance in the street and have a party.

They do that not us. 

My fear is this:  that these radical extremists, watching images of us celebrating, just like they did, will start coming over here and blowing themselves up in our malls and on our freeways during rush hour traffic.  We will have to start living in a way that is not free.  We will be living lives that always contain the fear of a kind of violence that we have never known.  

When that happens the terrorists will have won.  And since I'm thinking about this in a place of "us" and "them" perhaps they already have.