It’s probably a bit too late to hop on “the Osama train”, but something has been bothering me ever since it happened. I’m talking about the way people reacted to the death of an human being, a bad, evil human being granted, but a person none the less. Since when do we allow ourselves to sink to the same depths that people like Osama Bin Laden inhabit?

Post 9/11 celebrations on the West Bank.

American celebration.

Look at these pictures and take note of the differences. You’ll notice there aren’t many. In fact the only obvious variation between the photo’s are the flags being waved in a patriotic fervor. American’s needed to react to Bin Laden’s death in a considered and controlled fashion. In their haste to celebrate the death of someone, who like it or not, is a hero to many in the Arab world they’ve simply added more fuel to the fire. It was a time for conciliation not celebration.

The ultimate response would have been not to run out on the streets in raucous celebration but rather somber relief. Thousands of people died on 9/11 and acting like a drunk idiot outside the white house isn’t gonna bring them back. By reacting in a calm and unified manner American’s had the chance to defy Al Qaeda’s attempts to rob them of their humanity. In the end it was summed up most succinctly by Friedrich Nietzsche, someone infinitely more intelligent than I, when he said:

He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.

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