Osama Bin Laden’s death has had the whole world thinking and expressing their thoughts. I’ve been reflecting on his death and these are my thoughts.
Osama Bin Laden was killed is what we’ve been told. At first we were told that he was armed then the story changed to say he wasn’t. If that is the case then Bin Laden was not killed. He was ASSASSINATED. In that case, the Navy Seals and those involved should be held accountable. If Bin Laden was not armed then he should have been arrested and put on trial. The Seal Team 6 assassinated Bin Laden in front of his family members and his 12 year old daughter witnessed the whole event. Regardless of what people think of Bin Laden, when we put family members in this position, especially children, it only increases people’s hatred towards America.
The assassination of Bin Laden got me thinking of the various assassinations that the CIA and FBI have been involved in. One that comes to mind is the one on Filiberto Ojeda Rios, leader of the Macheteros in Puerto Rico. Filiberto Ojeda had his house raided on September 23, 2005 in Hormigueros, Puerto Rico. During the raid, the FBI assassinated Filiberto Ojeda with his wife present. Ojeda’s wife would state that the “FBI entered the house shooting with no warning.” It will be interesting to see what reports Bin Laden’s daughter and his wife say about the operation. Will they say, “they entered the house shooting with no warning.” September 23rd is well known in Puerto Rico as the Grito de Lares, aka the Lares Uprising, where boricuas rebelled against the Spanish rule in 1868 and called for Puerto Rico’s independence.
When Bin Laden was pronounced dead, we saw people across America celebrating as if the U.S. had won the world cup. I was not one of those celebrating. I don’t celebrate when people are assassinated. I don’t gloat or jump in joy when people are killed. Celebrating the death of someone is just sick. It is not in my practice to be cheering when someone has been killed. Even if that person is Bin Laden. My spirituality and my moral judgement can’t come to grisp how people can jump in joy and celebrate the death of someone. The image that America gives to the world is that its okay to jump with joy and have a frat party type atmosphere when Bin Laden is killed but radical muslims who might do the same when an American is killed are considered terrorist with no remorse and no appreciation of humanity. To me, these two actions are the same. If people, regardless of their religion, race, or creed, are celebrating the death of someone is just plain wrong. And to be honest, seeing people celebrate the death of Osama was not a good feeling. It made me very uncomfortable to see people jumping up in joy. It gave more validity to people from other parts of the world who dislike America when they saw images of people celebrating Bin Laden’s death. And some wonder why people hate America so much. Bin Laden is just one person. His assassination won’t end terrorism.
As for him being dumped into the sea, I don’t agree with that. We’ve been told that they buried him in the traditional manner and that U.S. officials didn’t want his gravesite be a destination for his followers but the problem here is U.S. officials thinking about them and not about his family. Bin Laden’s dead body should have been presented to his family and let them take care of it. Let them carry their religious ritual. They have the right to bury their loved one. For many of us that may be a difficult concept to grasp. Regardless if he was the most hated man in the world, he has a family and they should have the right to do what they want with his body. I just don’t think the Navy Seals can assassinate someone, change their mindset and “clean” Bin Laden’s body. I don’t think they follow the Muslim tradition and then dumped his body into the ocean. To me, U.S. officials HAD to say that. They had to tell the world that he was handled in the Muslim tradition. Not saying it, would have only increased peoples’ hatred towards America and given them a bad perception in the Muslim world. Was there a Muslim on board to oversee that Bin Laden’s body was taken care of in a traditional way? If so, why hasn’t he or she made a statement. Would there be an autopsy to show where Bin Laden was shot? I think the world at least needs to know the results of an autopsy. If American soldiers treated prisoners at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib like animals, one can only imagine the treatment that Bin Laden received after he was dead. I just think that Bin Laden’s dead body was just wrapped and tossed into the ocean. I don’t know how enviromentalist are reacting to having his body being dumped into the ocean.
By assassinating Bin Laden, the Navy Seal 6 actually made him a martyr. Had Bin Laden been arrested and put on trial, that would have been a huge blow to Bin Laden and his followers. Bin Laden’s dream was to die a martyr and he accomplished that. Could it be that U.S. officials shot Bin Laden because it was in their best interest to have a dead Bin Laden. Having Bin Laden on trial would have been very difficult for U.S. officials. Bin Laden could have used that occassion to talk about the training that he received from the CIA, his connections to the Bush family and could have provided the public information that would have humiliated America.
Why would the U.S. used the code name: Geronimo, for the Bin Laden operation. This shows a complete lack of respect to not only Native Americans but to all indigenous people in the world. One would think that having Obama as president, he would have more sensitivity to the issues of Native Americans. U.S. officials have some serious explaining to do. One cannot compare a Native American hero like Geronimo with Bin Laden. How hard was it to call it Operation Bin Laden?
Did Pakistan know about Bin Laden’s hide out? One will never know. Although, it does look strange that the house was very close to a military academy. But, then again, Bin Laden hid where one least expected him. One expected him to be near the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan with tribal elders taking care of him. It just looks odd that he would be very close to a military academy and no one would have figured it out. Then again, maybe it was the smartest choice given that it was a wealthy neighborhood and people in that community pride themselves on privacy so it wasn’t that much of coincidence that the walls were that high.
Should the U.S. show Bin Laden’s pictures? Many people will have doubts until they are shown those pictures. Some people don’t think that it was Bin Laden who got killed. Some people feel that Bin Laden died years ago. Others feel that Obama is using Bin Laden’s death as resurrection for his re election campaign. Just like the “birthers” were not convinced that Obama was born in Hawaii, what would it take for Obama to give in to these “deathers” and release an authentic photo of Bin Laden dead. The picture that the whole world saw of Bin Laden dead was a fake photo. And why not release a Bin Laden’s photo when there are graphic images of other’s dead in the compound.
Osama Bin Laden has been assassinated, what’s next? Does that mean that the “war on terrorism” is over? If the goal of the war against terrorism was to capture or kill Bin Laden, then in those terms, the war should be over. If the goal is to eliminate “terrorist” from all parts of the world, then the war goes on. But, if we want to get rid of “terrorist”, we also have to taken into account George W. Bush, Henry Kissinger, the CIA, FBI and Pentagon officials. Bush should be tried under an international tribunal for his crimes against humanity. Some feel that the only difference between Bush and Bin Laden is that one is Arab and the other is White. That’s it. Bush, should be held responsible for sending a nation to war based on lies just to take over Iraq’s Oil. Kissinger should be held somewhat responsible for the death of President Salvador Allende of Chile given that the U.S. supported and financed the coup and also supported Pinochet’s military dictatorship where hundreds of thousands were killed and to this date have been disappeared. The CIA, FBI and the Pentagon have a history of committing terrorist acts in foreign countries.
It is only fair to say that America needs to bring its troops back home. They have no reason being in Iraq, Afghanistan or any other part of the world. The families of those soldiers need to have their loved ones back in their lives. War is what got America in debt and ending it will be the way to get us out of debt. America can show great courage by taking the first steps to withdrawl from foreign lands. Bring our troops home.