Osama Bin Laden is Dead: Perspectives from the media, internet, and Facebook?

So Osama Bin Laden has been killed and I can’t really imagine what this must mean on a larger scale of things. I tuned in to the happenings around me for insight – FreePressHouston tweeted One Arab down. 20 million more to go. causing a ruckus on twitter. (Owner is Arab and meant to bring attention to the fact that Arabs are killed daily) My Dad was happy and yelled, “We killed the son of a bitch!” Jon Stewart seemed pretty happy on this weeks episodes of the Daily Show. Rush Limbaugh and Hannity try to figure out how to praise Bush on this, while talking down Obama anyway they can. Obama’s poll numbers go up and Trump is still rich. Looking on the internet for a little more perspective I ran into this very interesting conversation on Facebook. I decided maybe others could benefit from hearing others opinions on the matter amidst the haze of information out there. Names somewhat disguised, but most of the people are local Houstonians.

MJ: Between 1978 and 1992, the US government poured at least US$6 billion (some estimates range as high as $20 billion) worth of arms, training and funds to prop up the mujaheddin factions against the soviets. Why are you celebrating the death of a monster your government created?

JC: you are a smart one miss M.

Monday at 1:39pm ·
MJ: bin laden only became a “terrorist” in US eyes when he fell out with the Saudi royal family.

Monday at 1:48pm ·
LL: It may have been a monstrous government who created a monster, but he was still a monster, so cause for some celebration. Still, many people don’t understand the context,so your point is well taken.

Monday at 1:55pm
MJ: how is it cause for celebration when your puppet turned on you and killed your own?

Monday at 1:58pm ·
LL: I dunno, I guess there is nothing to be happy about the fact that OSB is no longer alive.

Monday at 1:59pm ·
SRN: like like like like

Monday at 2:00pm ·
SA: hey saba i got a beard now only thing that sucks is that it coming out in different colors

Monday at 2:01pm ·
MJ: the idea has been planted. killing the person won’t kill the idea.

Monday at 2:03pm ·
LL: True, anyone thinking this ends the war on terror is a fool. But, feeling good that OBL himself is no longer out there, is at the very least cathartic for people.

Monday at 2:06pm ·
SA: Now we got to become more care full cause of retaliation great Airport pat downs are going to be longer I hope I get a hot girl doesn’t matter im taking my pants off in public

Monday at 2:09pm ·
CW: True. I think he was dead for years and he has been a boogeyman scapegoat for much of this time. It sucks that people still choose to be ignorant in the information age.

Monday at 2:12pm ·
ET: Yea I don’t get it. He’s now dead but it doesn’t bring anyone back. Completely pointless to sacrifice so many of our own not to mention the economic impact it’s had just for revenge. Toddler style. Then celebrating as if this bs didn’t take an entire decade. Pathetic.

Monday at 2:23pm ·
AS: Hopefully the twisted ideology that he helped spread is eradicated next. We have a habit of supporting idiots as long as its in our national interest (saddam, noriega, osama, pahlavi, sauds, mubarak…) and once they go crazy we try to takethem out. Bottom line he wasn’t Muslim– he preached an ideology that goes against the basic tenets of the faith. The Arab Spring is accomplishing through peaceful means what Osama wanted to do with violence and hopefully this is the beginning of the end of al qaeda.

Monday at 2:23pm ·
RD: Everyone I’ve seen here in NYC is poetically jubilant, if a little tense. I certainly haven’t seen any of the braying, borderline-racist (and some overtly racist) celebrants the media is depicting left and right, but I’m not going to invalidate their feelings, simply because they’re not understanding nuance or complexity. You can certainly make the claim that 9/11 was an example of chickens coming home to roost, but that’s only if you avoid nuance and complexity, too. Leaving 9/11 alone, by the assassination of Massoud, the embassy bombings in Kenya, and the dispatching of his followers to throw acid in the faces of women refusing to wear veils, alone, I’ve a pretty good idea of who Bin Laden was, and I’m glad he’s no more, if even just from a symbolic standpoint.

Monday at 2:26pm ·
LMP: We are celebrating the death of our own creation.

That sounds so wrong if you take it out of context. Eeek! Haha

Monday at 2:46pm ·
CT: your govt too lolz

Monday at 3:13pm ·
MJ: well yes.. but I’m not addressing myself..

Monday at 3:21pm ·
CT: OUCH still got ♥

Monday at 3:24pm ·
DT: When the Resistance takes out Skynet, they will still likely celebrate, doesn’t mean that they don’t recognize the history behind the situation, nor that everything is hunky dory. A threat removed is a threat removed, regardless of it’s origin.

Monday at 4:12pm ·
RE: There is no need to celebrate the government cleaning up the mess they made because the mess is still out there and will be for a long while because of the government.

Monday at 4:15pm ·
DT: You don’t cheer for an equalizing goal, even though the game is far from over?

Monday at 4:25pm ·
EW: I don’t Care Who Created him Just as long as he is Dead!! I have a friend who’s father was on the first Plane that hit the world trade Center maybe U should call him up and tell him he has no reason to feel happiness at the death of this So called American made Monster!! He Hates America the Place U and Ur Family and all of us call home!!! Why would we not be happy at the Death of someone that hates everything we stand for???

Monday at 4:27pm ·
BPK: well then celebrate it! celebrate the consequences of US foreign policy. we will find another boogeyman to prey on your fears and kill some more brown people so you feel safer. just sayin’ and don’t forget, they hate us for our freedom!

Monday at 5:51pm ·
JC: I think your question speaks to why foreign intervention in any country is a bit of a a Pandora’s box. I’m not sure if the Carter administration was fully aware of the blow back that could occur from funding (along with other Arab countries) the resistance fighters (and mujaheddin) in Afghanistan. But I think your question is a bit illogical in how you imply that America created “Osama Bin Laden”. If you observe this man’s life you will find the things that made him a “monster” were religious zeal, and his fundamental advocacy for the literal interpretation of the Koran, so much so that he was willing to indiscriminately kill anyone (Christians, Jews & Muslims) to achieve that goal. I don’t see how that is American made…

Monday at 6:06pm ·
EW: Ahahaha! It is what it is!! An Evil Man who killed Innocent people is Dead! I never live in Fear nor support the killing of innocent people, brown or any other color!!

Monday at 7:02pm ·
WB: I find it even more despicable that the military claimed to “honor” the body by burying it at sea. Independent verification can now never take place.

Monday at 10:54pm ·
MJ: jeff: it isn’t illogical to say that at all. the training camps in afghanistan and the mujaheddin were created by the CIA long before bin laden was even in the picture. there were recruitment centers in virginia and even brooklyn new york. this machine was being created by the US, bin laden only funded it further. it wasn’t until he turned his back on the US because of their imperialism in the arab world, that he got labeled the “bad guy”. the taliban offered to give him up back in october ’01 but bush said no… the manhunt was a farce. everyone is always talking about civil liberties, women’s rights, freedom etc. that was what was happening for afghanistan back in ’78 with the people’s democratic party of afghanistan. because the soviets supported that, the US came in and armed all the religious fanatics. has the threat been removed? will this symbolic killing make you sleep easier tonite? there is a complexity, a history to all of this. sorry to break it to everyone, but this never was just a game of cops and robbers.

Tuesday at 1:22am ·
MJ: randy: sounds like you may have him confused with gulbuddin hekmatyar. look him up. maybe bin laden’s killing was symbolic. but an empty one. a very very empty one.

Tuesday at 1:34am ·
BU: I’m really pissed at the racist whites in America, but I’m also pissed at the racist whites in Europe and Canada for thinking they’re better than the Americans

Tuesday at 4:28am ·
RD: http://books.google.com/books?id=coLJnExEWD4C&lpg=PA322&dq=%22bin+laden%22+acid+women+faces+followers&pg=PA322#v=onepage&q=%22bin%20laden%22%20acid%20women%20faces%20followers&f=false

Tuesday at 6:35am ·
RD: Sorry I can’t copy and paste the books in my house. :p The thing that bothers me about any kind of logic defending Bin Laden the most is his assassination of Massoud—Bin Laden killed one of the few men who was capable of pulling Afghanistan together and actually leading. Bin Laden cared about himself, first and foremost. He killed Muslims, he killed Christians, he killed Jews—he was a killer. Charles Whitman was trained by the Marine Corps, but in the end, he was a killer. Lee Harvey Oswald was trained by the Marine Corps, but in the end, he was a killer. Do I support what the US is doing in the Middle East, and all the death and destruction we’re responsible for? No. Do I think hawks are going to use this event to further their imperialist efforts? Absolutely. Does any of that temper the real and psychic damage Bin Laden was directly and indirectly responsible for? No. If you’d seen the tears I saw down at the World Trade Center last night, I think you’d reconsider calling his death symbolically empty. (I didn’t go down out of any sense of patriotism, I just like to see things for myself.)

Tuesday at 6:44am ·
NU: I’m kind of excited about the possibility that America might be satisfied with Bin Laden’s death. That this may give Obama graceful way to exit the rhetoric of the War on Terror and focus on more important things.

Tuesday at 8:15am ·
JC: I think your going too far in claiming the U.S. was the sole benefactor and instigator for the war against the Dem Republic of Afghanistan. It seems to me the U.S. only took interest once the Soviets entered the war and only used the Mujaheddin force as an opportunity to get back at the Soviets for Vietnam. If you wish to blame the U.S. for the outcomes and power vacuum that was left when the war was over then I don’t have any issue with that, but you will also have to lay blame to Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, etc., because all these countries also took interest in Soviet defeat. Also the Pakistan ISI was the primary funnel of foreign aid and arms to the Mujaheddin, you can’t deny their overall weight of involvement in sustaining the opposition and the playing of politics with the civil war afterwards.

Tuesday at 10:03am ·
SJ: do people not remember the arrest of khaled sheikh mohammed. he was the architect of 9/11. he was arrested. where was the celebration for that?

Tuesday at 10:39am ·
RD: Nuance and complexity, Sj. Sheikh Mohammed was captured, unflatteringly, and hadn’t been painted as the terrorist-overlord-mastermind that Bin Laden was. I’d venture 3 people in Nebraska, total, known Sheikh Mohammed’s name. You can chalk that up to racism or the media, but it’s a mix of a lot of things. I’m sure people in the know “celebrated” to some extent, and there was certainly some pundit celebration and posturing on the death of Zarqawi many years back.

Tuesday at 10:51am
SJ: For every one Bin Laden dead, there’s ten more in line. We haven’t really won anything I feel.

Tuesday at 10:55am ·
RD: I don’t disagree with you that there will always be people and/or specters like him, but I think that, for better or worse, his death alleviates some of the psychic damage the US (and world) have suffered the past decade. It doesn’t right what anyone or any government or organization has done by a long shot, but putting away what Bin Laden represented is a form of closure.

Tuesday at 10:59am ·
SJ: I think a better form of closure would be if Al Qaeda did not exist entirely, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

Tuesday at 11:09am ·
RD: Agreed. But Al Qaeda will exist with different names and ideologies as long as humanity does. Be it Aum Shinrikyo, Shining Path, The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord.

Tuesday at 11:13am
SJ: Its just hard for me to understand a cause of celebration, when I feel just as afraid and uneasy in my own country.

Tuesday at 11:29am ·
BU: SJ that’s why we should become cops together

Tuesday at 5:28pm ·
KBK: SJ, that’s because the bogeymen that haunt us aren’t dead.

Tuesday at 6:38pm ·
CL: did we not read Frankenstein? It is always the creator of the monster who wants him to die most.

Tuesday at 6:52pm ·
MJ: i actually agree with most of what you guys said (jeff and randy). but i guess we just differ in our philosophies on killing murderers (on a small scale, or individuals responsible for catastrophic events/genocide). i’m definitely in no way discounting the victims of 9/11 feelings and psychological damage from the loss of loved ones. i just feel it’s counterproductive on a larger scale/in the long run. i do agree creating those training camps weren’t solely funded and supported by the US. britain had a huge hand in that, saudi arabia is our bitch, etc and so on. bin laden wasn’t the cause of the war on terrorism. a catalyst yes, and we’ve been dicking around in afghanistan ever since. the ‘war on terrorism’ is terrible foreign policy and the loss of life from that doesn’t hold a candle to 9/11. if you think americans are pissed/sad/psychologically damaged, imagine what we’ve created in iraq and afghanistan with all that blood on our hands. your last point about change being impossible through violence, and peaceful resistance being the solution, that’s a definite, not a maybe. i’m really concerned now for pakistan. along with the constant drone US drone attacks, the civilians are now going to have to deal with the repercussions of osama’s killing. the cycle continues.

Tuesday at 10:10pm ·
BU: What did you think about what Nyle said? Are you hopeful?

Tuesday at 10:32pm ·
MJ: sure, this can possibly quell the simple minds of the general public, and let obama focus on domestic policy… but this killing is leaving a lot of pissed off fanatics ready to avenge the death of a fallen hero.

Tuesday at 10:38pm ·
BU: Yeah, I think it’s gonna be bad for us (and all the Pakistanis living there), but it could put pressure on Pakistani military/intelligence to distance themselves from vengeful militant groups like Lashkar e Toiba, or Lashkar e Taliban or Jamaat ud Dawa, etc etc etc that are many and varied. We helped sponsor such groups to fight Indian federal troops in Kashmir, but the same groups want to kill Pakistanis now.

Tuesday at 10:49pm ·
MJ: yeah, def worried about the attacks to come.

Tuesday at 10:51pm ·
BU: what blows me away is how Osama wasn’t even a threat as it were where he was. I mean, he was in a compound, totally distant from the fighting in Waristan. It’s a symbolic victory for America but Pakistan is dangling off a very real precipice.

Tuesday at 10:53pm ·
MJ: yeah def. f’true!

Tuesday at 10:55pm ·


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