Osama bin Laden is Dead

So, how was your Sunday? Guess what? Osama Bin Laden is dead, the CIA put together an “operation” and the result of this operation is that Osama Bin Laden is dead.

The most prominent face of terror in America and beyond, Osama Bin Laden, has been killed in Pakistan, U.S. officials said Sunday night.

Bin Laden was the leader of al Qaeda, the terrorist network behind the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. U.S. officials said that their forces have the body of bin Laden.

At 11:40 PM EST, Barack Obama made a statement to the American people regarding “Osama bin Laden is dead.” He said that Osama Bin Laden is dead, reminded us to remember the men and women soldiers who sacrificed their lives for us and the intelligence people who made it happen and all those who lost people on 9/11, saying that the US “never wavered” in its commitment to them. He said, “on nights like this one, we can say to families who lost loves ones to al Qaeda’s terror: justice has been done.”

Bill Clinton says:

“This is a profoundly important moment not just for the families of those who lost their lives on 9/11 and in al-Qaida’s other attacks but for people all over the world who want to build a common future of peace, freedom, and cooperation for our children.

I congratulate the President, the National Security team and the members of our armed forces on bringing Osama bin Laden to justice after more than a decade of murderous al-Qaida attacks.”

George W. Bush says:

This momentous achievement marks a victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001.

The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done.”

CNN has put up Osama bin Laden’s obituary.

MSNBC has the full story:

Officials had long believed that bin Laden was hiding a mountainous region along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. In August, U.S. intelligence officials got a tip on his whereabouts, which led to the operation that culminated Sunday, Obama said.

U.S. officials told NBC News that CIA paramilitary forces and Navy SEAL Team Six carried out the attack on the al-Qaida compound in Northwest Pakistan, killing bin Laden when they shot him in the head during a firefight.

The special operations forces returned with the body to Afghanistan, U.S. officials said. They said they were ensuring that it was being handled in accordance with Islamic practice and tradition.

“We take this very seriously. This is being handled in an appropriate manner,” one said.

One U.S. helicopter was damaged and was destroyed at the scene to protect its intelligence. All U.S. personnel got out safely, U.S. officials said.

The role of Pakistan, with which Washington has had a difficult relationship for years, remained unclear. A senior Pakistani intelligence official told NBC News that Pakistani special forces took part in the operation, but senior U.S. and Pakistani officials said Pakistan was not informed of the attack in advance.

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294 Comments

  1. Little known fact: Bin Laden created several thousand horcruxes out of household objects (he had a particular hatred of toe nail clippers). After the TSA was able to destroy all of these items, they were able to go after the man himself.

    • I’ve read analyses about how Al-Qaeda is less an organised group and more an Anonymous-esque movement – the only “leader” is a core concept, and anyone can claim themselves a member. So who knows what good gunning down Osama will do.

      (btw his last name isn’t Bin Laden, that’s just to indicate that he is Son of Laden)

      • Osama Bin Laden’s father’s name was Mohammed. Arabs in the Gulf have been transitioning to Western-style naming conventions for a while now. There are still people that use conventional naming systems, but it can be a lot more convenient to use first-name-family-name system, especially if you’ve got business interests like the Bin Laden family. Osama isn’t the son of a guy named Laden, just like Ed Johnson isn’t Ed, son of John.

      • That’s not really accurate – Al Qaeda recruits through training camps that brainwash uneducated people in their ideals. There’s definitely a form of organization; it’s not like Anonymous.

        He was the brains behind it and while he will certainly be a successor, this is a small victory in the war on terror and overall a huge moral victory.

  2. I came over here ’cause my facebook feed was bombarded with ignorant racial slurs. I put up a status calling out ignorance and ran to my safe place over here :).

    I look forward to reading more tomorrow.

    • God, that makes the stupid religious comments about this on my facebook feed sound almost heavenly (pun intended).

      I’m really sorry you have to put up with that crap. Sometimes I forget just how lucky I am to have grown up in an area with so many Muslims and how ignorant vast swathes of the American public still are.

  3. I dunno, guys. I’m glad that Bin Laden’s not out there anymore, but I’m not the type to celebrate deaths, even those of my enemies. I feel like this is a very solum occasion, and it just brings back the memories of how awful the past 10 years have been politically, socially, and economically for the US. I feel like in a lot of ways, Bin Laden just served as a scapegoat for a poorly planned war over oil. Even if you don’t believe that politically, it’s still pretty obvious that Bin Laden was one of the biggest symbols of the war.

    But at this point, his death just seems so insignificant. I’m sure his death will bring closure to many people, and I think that’s great, but to me it just seems insignificant. Our country spent millions, if not billions, trying to kill this guy and they finally did, but so many people from dozens of countries have also died getting us there. We’re in multiple wars, and lets face it, the US is pretty fucked up right now too.

    So yea. To the people who have the closure they needed I salute you. I’m glad you got your much deserved peace of mind. Personally, I’m going to be spend a lot of time reflecting on the past 10 years of waste and bloodshed that got us here.

    • I agree with most everything you said. I’m very uncomfortable with celebrating someone’s death but at the same time there’s a sense of relief. The only thing is that while his death practically is likely insignificant, I think it has symbolically it is significant.

      • exactly! also, i was surprised there was no capture and then a trial, they just killed him and ‘dropped him in the ocean’ (???).

        but as a symbol, here in pakistan, most of us (who’ve actually been living the ‘war on terror’ and its effects) don’t really feel as…celebratory as the americans seem to be on the media. he’s just one guy. as an offshoot of al-qaeda a whole other bunch of crazy fundo groups have sprung up, and even if al-qaeda ends (and however it ends), there’s plenty of other militants. a lot of us are actually expecting another terrorist attack within the week as a consequence. so yeah. in the international media it’s some super huge deal but here we’re just…wondering what is going to happen as a consequence.

    • I’m going to have to sit back and bite my tongue in my Government class tomorrow, because I know the rednecks I go to school with will be doing this same celebration-victory-thing, and I wouldn’t want to bring up oh you know SANITY or LOGIC in a discussion about this topic.

      Thank you for doing so, though.

      • do you go to school in the south too? ppl were setting off fireworks, climbing on trees and just acting a damn fool. I even saw the confederate flag…
        Bin Laden was just a figure head… martyrdom anyone? I’m sure CNN’s coverage of people cheering in the streets isn’t going to help either.

    • This is basically what my family and I were just talking about. When I saw footage of people at Ground Zero cheering and chanting “U.S.A.” it gave me this icky feeling in my stomach.

    • I agree. Weird, I thought killing was illegal and wrong. It should be judged with prudence in a very, very small number of dire self-defence situations in which a victim is in serious danger and has no other options, but in my view, this is not one of those situations. I’m opposed to the death penalty. Giving the government the power to kill with impunity = insanity.

      His death won’t make a damn bit of difference as far as making people’s lives safer. I have a friend who thinks he’s been dead since 2001. As for day to day life, it would be the same whether he died then or now.

      • It isn’t illegal – the death penalty is still legal at the federal level in the U.S. and this is a military campaign anyway – and I don’t know, I feel like all ideals that don’t have a few exceptions are somewhat shallow-founded ones.

        For me, Osama bin Laden is the exception to the “killing is wrong” dictum because he slaughtered so many people and had dedicated his life to the destruction of all people who didn’t fit his particular rigid, discriminatory, misogynistic, homophobic and all-around-hateful interpretation of a religious text. And he was never someone who was going to be otherwise “brought to justice” or convinced to talk or change his ways. So I’m not sure what else we were supposed to do.

        • We have a court system in this country. When people commit a crime, put them through the court system. Instead we had a secret group going around killing with impunity, outside the public purview.

        • It can be such a slippery slope when you make exceptions like that…not knocking you Erda, just scared if the People In Charge were thinking like that then maybe they would kill his parents/kids, then his cousins, then lets kill the babies ’cause they might grow up to be like him.

          Heck, I am not even saying they don’t already feel like that. It’s not like they are going to tell us the whole truth anyhow.

    • Phew, glad to see I’m not the only one with mixed feelings about this:
      On the one hand – a dangerous figure has been neutralised, which can only be a positive thing I suppose.
      But on the other hand, yeh, saying “wooo __ is DEAD!” even if the person in question has been pretty much universally recognised as being ‘evil’ seems quite barbaric, not to mention at odds with our supposedly superior Western values… if this were the other way around I’m sure our media would be criticising al-Qaida for such gleeful celebration of the death of a prominent figure of the ‘enemy’.

      Gahh I don’t know..

    • I felt the same way! On one hand, I know he was a horrible horrible person, but on the other hand I just feel weird celebrating someones death, no matter how much of a used tissue they were. My family had Fox News on when we found out about it, and they kept cutting to all these rich college kids outside the White House yelling and carrying on like it was New Year’s Eve and it was just really weird.

      • I know, when I saw those young white college guys hollering and cheering in NY and DC it kinda bothered me. They were what, nine or ten years old when 9/11 happened? What are they really cheering about?

        I have no love for someone as extreme, violent, and hateful as Bin Laden, and I’m glad he’s gone from this world. But I’m not going to celebrate even more death…I guess their reaction reminds me of how people in my area (close to an Air Force base) celebrated when we started bombing Afghanistan and Iraq, even though the situations aren’t entirely the same.

        • Just chiming in as someone else who was ~9 years old when 9/11 happened, I know to the older generation it probably seems like we don’t even remember it and like we couldn’t possibly understand the impact that it had on society. But the thing is, we do.

          I have never known a world where there hasn’t been a threat of terrorist attacks. I have never known a world where Osama bin Laden was an anonymous face to the American public. I know people who died on 9/11, and I was in school 5 miles from the Pentagon with a mother working at the CIA when the planes hit. To a young kid, even one who’s much further removed from the situation, that’s the stuff that terrifies you and sticks with you forever. I could still give you a run down of my entire day on September 11th.

          I know it wasn’t the point of your post to trivialize the experiences of the younger generation, but I feel like that idea is always prevalent, that the people who were younger ‘just don’t get it’. We grew up with this shit, we grew up with Bush in the White House, we grew up with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Saddam Hussein and his merry band of torturers were our introduction to world affairs at the age of 10. It may have seemed weird that those people were celebrating a death, but to us it’s a lot more than that. It’s the end of a fear we don’t know how to live without. Just saying.

          • Thanks for your perspective, JC. Especially the part about “it’s the end of a fear we don’t know how to live without”. Wow. I hadn’t really realized that for a younger kid, the fear would be just as clear and perhaps even more intense…and it does help me understand a little why those guys in recent photos/footage were cheering. They grew up in the culture of fear post-9/11.

            I guess I meant more that they weren’t as politically aware then, they might not remember the political aftermath of invading Afghanistan and Iraq, how there were a lot of shady things done by our government in justifying their actions. That shaped my experience as a young activist, and I suppose it’s hard to look past that lens to see it from another person’s point of view.

          • I just found these comments from digging through an old article, and wow. This clearly and concisely expresses what I’ve been trying to tell people a few years older than me for ages. Thank you :)

    • Yes, I agree. I have a hard time celebrating someones death/assassination, no matter who they were and what terrible things they did. While I’m certainly far from upset that he is dead, I don’t see it as a reason to party or celebrate in the streets.

      I agree that his death is mostly symbolic at this point, and don’t see it changing anything, really. Too many soldiers and civilians have already been killed. We’re still fighting wars. There are plenty of other extremists/potential terrorists/Al-Quaida members out there. Celebrating this death will only continue to foster hatred.

      I believe a trial would have been better to give closure, although it probably would have been very “top-secret”, and lacking in transparency for the public/US citizens/911 victims families.

      My first thought when I heard this news last night was to worry about possible retaliation and the emergence of new leadership.

  4. The only thing I’ve been able to do through all of this shock is delete a Facebook friend who had managed to link this death, the release of Obama’s long-form birth certificate, and the dude who works at his closest 7-11 in his mind.

    I don’t know; her profile picture was cute.

  5. This is exactly how I feel as well. Thank you for putting it so eloquently.
    There are literally thousands of Ohio State students outside my window jumping into Mirror Lake to voice their excitement over this, but it just feels weird. And like, a little preemptive, since we don’t really know exactly what this is going to mean in the long run, if it even means anything.
    I’m also kind of shocked at how politically aware everyone is all of a sudden. It’s like, where was this awareness when the gay kids were killing themselves en masse back in October, you know? I know it’s not the same thing, but at the same time, if we rallied so fast about this, why don’t people care about other things that should matter? #pipedreams
    #EvanRachelWoodBisexual

    • But while we’re making those comparisons, let’s not forget that Osama and Al Qaeda in general are all raging homophobes to end all raging homophobes. This is not just a victory for America but for all marginalized groups who didn’t fit in with Al Qaeda’s hateful agenda, including the gays and, also, women who want educations and careers and junk.

      • Does this mean that homophobic Republicans are going to see the error of their ways!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!??!

        Seriously. Why is the homophobic agenda being thrown in here? It’s not like it ends homophobia. It’s not like his death ends terrorism! I feel like the people here that keep hammering the “but he was anti-gay!!!” point are compelling us all to rejoice in his death just because we’re gay.

  6. I think somehow, there’s just going to be either 1. a struggle for power or 2. a vacuum of power. Neither are good.

    But also, even if Bin Laden is someone that American society has labeled as “evil” (the standards for which we have made by ourselves), I still think a few hours after his death to start cracking jokes is more than just a little inappropriate. Why the cheer and joy for the loss of another human life about which you knew so little, other than that one label – “evil”?

    It’s strange.

  7. Mark Tawin sums some of it up for me: “I’ve never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure.”

    Otherwise weird feelings about this, and especially the nationalism and hate suddenly all over my FB page. The amount of freaking the fuck out people are doing seems really bizarre. It’s like the elevator doors just opened up and instead of an ocean of blood, it’s an ocean of racism and stupid stuff about “terrorism being over” is pouring out from the people I know.

  8. i feel like as someone who could see plumes of smoke from the towers looking down first avenue after being taken out of school early in 4th grade i should feel vindicated or something but i just feel weird
    really really weird
    i need help with my feelings too :(
    sorry for the run-on sentence and lack of punctuation

  9. too many feelings you guys, i’m also worried at the rawness of it now and how it won’t exactly be Santana on blast…it’s scary what might happen as a reaction to all this. you remember OUR feelings at the cheering on 9/11? that’s us now.

  10. 9/11 was the day before my 13th birthday. I can’t really remember the way the world was before then. It is so strange to think that the person we’ve been looking for and directing all this hate to is dead.

    I’m not comfortable with the celebrations going on, but if his death brings the families of the victims any kind of closure then that’s okay with me.

  11. maybe i’m like not supposed to say this on the internet or something but honestly i really don’t understand why this is such a big fucking deal. why are people outside cheering ’cause ONE GUY — who probably had a decent amount of help in his operations — is now dead? now he’s dead so it’s all over?

    a bunch of random college students in ohio are celebrating this? i think everyone is just tired of being upset about the state of the world and wants to party, is what i think. about anything.

    ETA: This is an important day for the families of the people who died on 9/11. If anything, I wish everyone else would stop rioting so we could focus on those for whom this death is deeply meaningful and long overdue.

  12. Longtime lurker here. My shyness has kept me from commenting before, but this is too much for me to keep quiet. Just have to say that for my family this is the happiest we have been for a long time. My father died in the WTC 1 and it nearly destroyed us. Osama was not just some “evil” guy who was a “scapegoat” to us. He was the man who helped murder my dad. My youngest siblings will never know our father and my middle ones are losing their memories fast. We didn’t even have a body to bury. There is no grave to visit. Yeah Bin Laden’s death may be insignificant in the long-run, but I’m still gonna celebrate. I just wish I was back home and not away at college.

    • i’m extremely sorry. on a personal level i empathize. and i’m very sorry for your loss. my gut reactions, which if you know them, probably would come off extremely insensitive to you, is largely due to the disgusting reactions i’ve seen on facebook regarding the news. while it may not change much about the way this war is waged, i recognize that it has the potential to offer some small sense of closure to people who have a more personal stake.

    • I am sorry for your loss, and I wish you and your family all the best as you continue with the lifelong journey that is grief. I feel I can’t celebrate killing in any form, even that of an evil person like Bin Laden, but it is good to remember the very real reasons why someone might want to. Thanks for adding your voice to the discussion.

  13. OMGOMGOMG. This is literally the first place I heard this. In total shock right now, I can’t even explain how I’m feeling. I never actually thought he’d die. Stupid, I know, but it seems like they’ve been chasing him forever. OMGOMGOMG….

  14. His death is a symbolic end to all the aftermath shit of 9/11… the inability of our culture to procure a cathartic response to the attacks, the Iraq war, the gaping wound of ground zero, etc.

    this is a victory clear and simple for the US, and in the murky age of “wars on terror,” I’m not surprised that everyone’s reaction has been to celebrate. big time.

    that muthafucka is dead!

  15. but this doesn’t change anything. Perhaps a decade ago, it might have, but probably not. The horrible deaths of 9/11 by no means justifies when happened later. Death doesn’t justify death. Pain doesn’t justify pain, especially not when inflicted upon an innocent party. The US government has caused way more death and devastation that what they have been able to preserve. The war on terror has been a war on sons and daughters, on fathers and mothers, on brothers and sister, on homes and families and ON PEOPLE. Terror is still terror even if the victims don’t speak English.

    Don’t celebrate freedom while the blood is still on your hands.

    • It changes a lot. It changes, for one, our relationship with Pakistan. We’re not going to let them publicly side with us while harboring Al Quaeda officials under military protection in their country anymore. It also changes the cultural perception of America’s dominance in the war on terror–which is important in dissuading would-be terrorists.

      Furthermore, what would you consider justice for the 9/11 crimes? Because there really hasn’t been any. Films, art, literature–the general consensus of post 9/11 discourse has been too label the images of the day “unspeakable.” Osama damaged the US so deeply that we lost words, or at least the right words.

      The war on terror is completely necessary (the war on Iraq, not so). Almost 3,000 civilians were killed without provocation on 9/11. This act told the American government that terrorism could no longer be contained through Intelligence. What solution that would keep America safe did the gov’t have, besides going to war with Al Qaeda and the Taliban?

  16. OMFG (which I never write) just got woken up by my beautiful wife with the news that Osama Bin Ladens dead! I can’t believe how chuffed I am – bloody 10 years – Job done. Was hoping that he would eventually be caught alive and brought to justice though.

  17. (I’m going to put this in brackets because sometimes I am slightly alarmed by the fact that I would espouse the following view on the internet, but is there anyone else in here who believes that the official story on 9/11 is perhaps not what really happened? Not necessarily that it was done by the government… but just that numerous things do not add up. Idk. The upshot of such a view being that this news isn’t exactly the “justice” many are claiming it is.)

  18. While I understand the symbolic significance of this for Americans, I’d much rather he’d been captured alive and put on trial in the appropriate jurisdiction.

    The outcome may have been the same, but I don’t feel like the ideology of democracy is best served by shooting someone in the face.

  19. Whilst celebrating anyones death does not sit comfortably with a lot of people, how can anyone say this is not good news. This man, even though he may not be solely responsible for all the acts of terrorism that al-quaeda have carried out, he still held extreme anti-western ideals which instead of using sane methods of democracy & conversation to express his opinion, instead he instigated violence & murder and hi-jacked religion to justify it. This man also brain washed many young men and women from his own followers to become suicide bombers, if he could sacrifice his own people with out batting an eye lid he was never going to stop his “mission”.

    I for one am glad that this terrorist leader is dead, th celebrations in America maybe understandably joyous ones, this may rub salt in th wound of Osamas followers, I think it would b unwise to not expect a retalition in the near future.

  20. I find it impossible to understand Osama Bin Laden’s death outside the context of all the other deaths that occurred before it got to this point. I am particularly referring to civilian casualities of the conflict, who have suffered and died because the US deemed it necessary to go after Bin Laden, who have had their families broken up and their lives changed irrevocably, and who did not choose to fight or die.

    If it truly was necessary to ‘get’ Osama Bin Laden, then today’s news should be welcomed as sad but necessary. But viewed in the light of the devastation that surrounds it, I see no cause for joyful celebration. A commenter earlier remarked that it was a truly solemn occasion, and it is, because it’s a victory that can never be anything other than pyrrhic – one death can never restore all the lives that have been lost.

    • The period of peace in Afghanistan under the Taliban was worse the most modern wars. These people have no redeeming qualities.

      Pakistan is slowly erupting into a civil war, Nato could take all troops out of Asia and that would still be true.

      This is a site dedicated to the struggle for Lgbt and womens right. Is it not just fighting groups that believe women should be treated as children/property and gays do not have the right too exist.

      • If you read my comment what I was saying that Osama Bin Laden’s death should be understood in the context of all the other deaths that have been required for it to be possible – they are the ‘flip side’ of his death – and that this changes the appropriate response to his death from “fuck yeah” to something a little more sombre.

        I wasn’t arguing the legitimacy / illegitimacy of the war in general. Partly because I think it’d antagonise people in a really unproductive way. Mostly because I wanted the point I was making about the ‘total cost’ of his death to stand as a point about human dignity rather than political ideology.

  21. On a more serious note, I lost two people in the 9/11 attacks. One cousin, a firefighter, and my next door neighbor who worked on the 101st floor on the 1st tower.
    My aunt was also a part of an NYPD team of first responders to Ground Zero. She worked there for months and contracted an extremely fast acting carcinogen that destroyed 3/4 of her left lung.

    She has been fighting the city, the state and the US government for her deserved portion of all those 9/11 funds we raised. She still hasn’t gotten more than $1,500.

    So on this day, I say fuck all of these people. Yes, Bin Laden is dead. Woop.

    His death doesnt give her back her lung or bring my next door neighbor back to her kids.

    His death doesn’t bring the Bush family in for questioning about their HUGE role in all of this.

    They are pandering to the pain we have felt and hope that a dead brown “one of them” looking dudes will satisfy our fucking bloodlust.

    I hate this kind of shit.

    When they hung Saddam I was working for an NBC pilot and the entire crew was huddled around a tv monitor. EVERYONE cheered.

    I choked. totally choked. I left and cried in the bathroom. Like fuck that, it’s still a person, still just a man…

    And the hanging thing…i’ve seen a friend who hung himself…it never feels ok to see that shit.

    So why do we need to cheer in the streets like barbarians? we dont even know if he’s really dead.

    Did you see them kill his ass? Did you hear his heart beat stop?
    No.
    You.
    Didn’t.

    Didn’t Bush fly in some damn helicopter with a “Mission Accomplished” sign? When not one damn thing had actually been accomplished?

    So why should I believe in a government that continually and unabashedly lies to us?

    And so, as someone who has experienced loss on 9/11, I refuse to cheer in the streets about this man’s alleged death.

    I’m sure if he is dead somewhere his momma is crying her eyes out cuz they took her baby.

    And they’re STILL DEPLOYING my cousin and BEST FUCKING FRIEND to Germany and then AFGHANISTAN so WTF even changed?

    nothing.

    not one fucking thing.

    god and now i’m crying and i should just go back to sleep…

    • YES. fuck, you’re right.

      I’ve just had this ball in my stomach all day…I grew up next to Air Force and Nat’l Guard bases, I have friends and former classmates in the military, but I’m not celebrating his death. As much as I think Bin Laden was a hateful murderer, him dying doesn’t bring back any of the thousands upon thousands who already preceded him. It doesn’t erase the fact that we’ve bombed the shit out of Afghanistan and Iraq and killed countless civilians.

      And I gotta say I’m worried–once again–for my Muslim friends, because I remember how Muslim Americans (and Sikhs and generally brown-looking people) were harassed and targeted in this country after 9/11 and the Iraq invasion. I suspect there’s gonna be another wave of racist backlash because of this, which is what always seems to happen when Americans get patriotic.

    • my mom always told me that “living well is the best revenge” — i think its’ a dorothy parker quote and she usually used it in reference to the importance of being happy and healthy despite someone haven broken your heart and that that’s better than ruining their life, too.

      I HAVE A POINT which is that i think living well is the best revenge. I think taking care of everyone who was at ground zero who is sick because of it and covering these medical bills and taking care of the families left behind is the best way to show that america won’t back down.

      i know this is sort of besides the point, but that quote from george w. bush reminded me of how i fucking hate that guy so fucking much. even obama at least had the good sense to talk about this in terms of the strength and heart of the american people, george w. always just wants to be like WE KILLED ‘EM! WE WIN! WE WIN EVERYTHING! AMERICA PREVAILS! USAUSUA! there’s such a stark contrast between the two statements. i’m so glad i don’t have to listen to george w talk anymore, jesus.

  22. oh wait and one more thing, everything i just said comes from my US western self centered point of view…so my bad.

    bin laden hurt/killed more of his own people than anything else.

    so in that respect, i can understand why other people might be cheering.

    but i feel like over here it’s just 9/11 some crazy sideshow to hide other sh*t…

  23. I’m getting really annoyed at the comments all about how killing is always wrong and we shouldn’t speak ill of the dead. Please – we were all dancing on Jerry Falwell’s grave a few years ago. Let’s not forget that Osama bin Laden is cut from the same bark. If he and his sympathizers and fellow Al Qaeda members had their way, all of us gays and bis and other queers around the world would be put to death. As would all us women who seek educations and jobs and any sort of life outside of merely servicing male family members forever. Not to mention anyone who isn’t an extreme fundamentalist Muslim. I don’t know about you, but I’m 0 for 3 there. This isn’t just a victory for the U.S., it’s a victory for humanity and particularly marginalized groups who Al Qaeda wanted to further marginalize.

    And what is a commitment to nonviolence if it’s baseless? Even Gandhi recognized that with someone like Hitler, civil disobedience doesn’t work. Some people only recognize the language of violence. We were never going to bring Osama bin Laden “to justice” or get him to change his ways or probably even get him to talk. And his continued survival was always going to be a danger to the U.S. The fact that he had killed so many of our people and so many other people around the world who didn’t fit in with his hateful worldview, and that he was likely planning further, more devastating attacks, means that this was essentially killing in self-defense.

    I’m usually a strong pacifist, but those ideals are not so shallow and divorced from reality that I can’t recognize that Osama’s death is a clear exception and something to be celebrated.

    • And I understand people’s general discomfort with the fact that we’re celebrating a death – my point is that issues are a lot more complicated and require more analysis and thought that batting around simple absolutes like “killing is always wrong” will get us. The continued survival of Osama bin Laden put others in danger, isn’t it better to kill one and save thousands? There’s a reason why these are complicated moral questions that philosophers have debated for centuries. At some point you are going to encounter a situation where either way, you have to compromise the “killing is always wrong” moral, because all possible solutions involve killing. You should have a REASON why it’s wrong, not just that it is.

      • @Erda The problem here is that we killed one *and* killed thousands (I say ‘we’ because my country -France- joyously took part in it as well, so please don’t take this as the usual attack on ‘evil America’). Hundreds of thousands, in fact, most of whom were completely innocent, not to mention clueless – 92% had never heard of 9/11.

        And yes, I do believe that being happy about his death makes me as inhumane as he was. I’m not some kind of a hippy, I actually have quite a lot of hate in me, for a plethora of people. But walking all over international law, justice, fairness and my morals (the most basic of which being ‘do not kill’ – and I don’t even belong to any faith), makes us sink to his level.
        Not giving him a fair trial renders us as morally bankrupt as he was.

    • Has anyone above actually been advocating an absolute pacifism though? I feel like you’re constructing a straw argument here. Same with your “we shouldn’t speak ill of the dead” argument. I can’t see too many people above singing the praises of Osama bin Laden or denying the atrocities he perpetrated.

      I think that killing is sometimes necessary or defensible in a limited range of circumstances but I still see no cause for celebration – in this I draw heavily on Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s thinking on the subject http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dietrich_Bonhoeffer#Double_agent_of_Abwehr – hardly someone afraid to make tough choices for the greater good.

      I am pretty sure Gandhi opposed WW2 and advocated that Jews offer Hitler only non-violent resistance (http://www.retrogalaxy.com/misc/gandhi-war.asp). I don’t agree with Gandhi on that, but I also don’t see how he supports the argument that you are making.

      • It was a response not specifically to arguments here, but to ones I’ve seen across the Internet – including some “absolute pacifism” types of arguments. And there are a few comments upthread, anyway, along the lines of “but I just don’t feel like killing is ever right.”

      • And yeah, I was wrong about Gandhi. I might (or wherever I read it/heard it might) have attributed it to him something that was said by someone else.

        Anyway, whether you are celebrating or not, how can you say you “see no cause for celebration” for anyone? People who lost family and friends in the attacks and were feeling for years, as we searched for bin Laden with no avail, like those deaths were in vain – finally getting the relief that they were not? How can you not understand how this might be a joyous day for them, that a man who robbed them of someone they loved for a twisted, sick ideal is now gone? To be able to approach this from a removed position is some degree of a privilege.

        • I just can’t imagine someone’s family breaking out the champagne/beer kegs and hollering like a fucking idiot when the murderer of their loved one gets convicted in court and sent to jail. Why should the reaction be any different in this case with Osama?

    • Lastly, were we really dancing on the grave of Jerry Falwell? I really hope not, because I thought we weren’t shallow enough to stoop to the level of petty hate displayed by people like the Westboro Baptist Church when they picket the funerals of queer people.

      • No, we’re not stooping to the level of the Westboro Baptist Church by celebrating the deaths of people like Jerry Falwell or Osama bin Laden. There’s a crucial difference there – the Westboro Baptist Church has no reason to be so hateful toward queers or dead soldiers or other groups which have done nothing to harm them. We have every reason to be disdainful of Jerry Falwell and Osama bin Laden and other people who have dedicated their lives to assaulting our most basic rights, whether through legal (in Falwell’s case) or violent (in bin Laden’s case) means. Our anger toward them has justification.

    • I agree 100% with this! You said it way more eloquently than I could!

      However – the celebration worries me in the sense that when the backlash from this comes ( and it WILL come…how and when are the only two mysteries) is that it will target those that I love. I have a ton of family and friends on military bases around the world and the more we cheer the more I worry that they might suffer for our celebration.

      I’m not saying I’m not happy he’s dead. I’m not saying that a part of me is not cheering inside. I’m just saying that the kind of celebrating that is going on so publicly could make the backlash worse and that is a scary prospect.

      To all who have suffered losses of loved ones, my heart goes out to you and yours! May this death bring you some small comfort!!

      • I think part of the “rioting in the streets” has to do with the fact that it feels (to me, at least) like those of us who grew up in the shadow of 9/11, experiencing the attacks as kids and having our whole childhood/adolescence defined by the war on terror, like this is our sort of “fall of the Berlin Wall” moment. It’s the end of an era, in a good way.

        Even if it truly isn’t because Al Qaeda isn’t over, but then the Soviet Union still took a couple more years to fully dissolve after the Berlin Wall fell. Although I expect that this will probably take much longer. Still, it’s a strong moral victory.

        • To clarify (we need to be able to edit comments here, seriously), I’m comparing it to the fall of the Berlin Wall because it felt like one of those things that would never happen and was impossible, like bin Laden’s continued existence would always be hanging over us. And then, the impossible did happen.

    • Word to most of that. Non-violence and passivity in the face of evil, in the face of those who would torture and murder women for being ‘adulterers’ and lgbt people for, you know, existing is immoral. Absolute or near absolute pacifism and non-violence does not bestow you with an automatic morality halo. It just proves that you don’t have anything you think is worth defending or fighting for.

        • Not without a cause but it seems to me self evident that non violence has only ever worked against an opposition which has acknowledged democracy in some very fundamental ways, but denies it for a certain part of the people (or a whole subset of people of an Empire as in the case of India). They then resort to non-violence.

          Non-violence doesn’t work when the opposition is Hutu death squads or the SS or Republika Srpska forces, etc. Self-defense is a birthright and it’s all very well to sit perched on one’s philosophical armchair and preach pacifism in the comfort of one’s own home and another thing to resort to the same when faced with death squads at the door.

          Everyone has an absolute right to defend their basic human rights, with violence if necessary. And I despise people who think they can sneer and lament those who do violently defend themselves against their oppressors.

        • No, but there’s an element of passivity in non-violence that I find sickening. I’m not interested in pointless martyrdom. I don’t see how letting the people who would deny you the most basic of human rights ransack and maim your body without resistance is moral or noble. Or letting them ransack and maim your fellow human being, be it a friend or a total stranger. Self defense is a birthright and those who would sanctimoniously debase those who defend their human rights, with violence if necessary, don’t have a moral foot to stand on.

  24. Hmm… I’m worried for people’s reactions here, but I definitely have not really processed this information much because it’s pretty much irrelevant for me. As a Canadian, I’ve thankfully been spared the knee-jerk frat boy “WOOP WOOP!” reaction that I’ve seen elsewhere online. (Considering that a number of American newspapers had cheering college-age kids as the front picture instead of Osama is disturbing on so many levels for me, as well as some really ugly and immature titles like “ROT IN HELL!”)

    Now, I do recognize the importance of his death. I’m just really skeptical that it’s real because, in all honesty, a lot post-9/11 has been fabricated in the press. I’m also skeptical on the real impact this is going to have on the wars. Osama’s only been a figurehead for the past number of years when the fallout from the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan were really felt (in that they were based on totally bogus claims).

    In fear of insulting those posters who have been personally affected by the tragedy post-9/11, I find it hard to join in the frat-boy revelry when so many many many more people have died in the Middle East as a “justified” response from a country who lost 5000 people. It’s…hard. If I say anything beyond that, I’m probably going to offend a lot more people, so I’ll just let you intelligent readers to finish my thoughts.

    So…while I tip my hat at those responsible for his killing and bringing closure to those who need it, I don’t feel particularly changed with his death.

          • Well, why shouldn’t we?

            I’ve yet to see any explanation for *why* it’s wrong to cheer his or any particular death, people keep stating that it is like it’s a given.

            I just don’t see why it is not a cause for celebration that there is one less hateful, bigoted, violent asshole in the world.

            And I don’t think mentioning Osama’s homophobia as a reason to be happy he is gone means we want to kill all homophobes. He’s a class apart from 99.9% of homophobes on the face of the planet. Most of them don’t start holy wars with the goals of wiping out entire civilizations because they can’t stand the gays or other forms of “secular decadence.”

          • I just think that celebrating someone’s death as tastelessly and crassly as has been demonstrated is morally unsettling, regardless of the cause, you know? Yes – his death is a good thing, but that doesn’t call on keggers and street-dance parties.

            I’m just annoyed that our differing opinions about Osama’s death are essentially being dismissed since “we’re all gay, we should all have the same opinion about the anti-gays!”
            Osama’s homophobic views aren’t specific to the terrorist/Al Qaeda cause, so I think that throwing that in to “justify” the rejoicing seems as empty as equating his death with the end of terrorism. Yes, he was homophobic, but that was not his raison d’être nor his only evil ideology. My sarcasm was basically just to point out that the extreme homophobia with Islam doesn’t die with Osama.

  25. We’re such incredible hypocrites. Sure it’s great he’s dead, but at the same time we have fucking bombed the shit out of so many innocent people yet claim to be the martyrs of peace. And we wonder why people hate us.

  26. I would have preferred a trial. I think that this is all less about “yay someone’s dead” than it is about the idea of closure.

    1) Trials are important for everyone in the world and especially mass murderers. The fact that Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini never had to actually stand trial for their crimes is problematic. The way that people have been able to get over horrific crimes against humanity is through hearing the testimonies of these atrocious human beings.
    2) Even if his body is buried in accordance with Muslim tradition bin Laden will still become a martyr in the eyes of younger radicalized jihadists.

    I have mixed feelings about this because:
    1) Terrorists are notoriously difficult to capture: I applaud the work of the US Seals team however I do have an issue with an order for a mass murder which is “shoot to kill”
    2) A trial realistically might have become simply a wasted effort with Osama spouting anti-Western and anti-Jewish rhetoric which would have acted to (a) harm the healing process for those around the world who have been harmed by the actions of al Queda and (b) acted to strengthen al Queda leadership

    • Other than it possibly being a wasted effort (which I think it would have been in his case, and I’m saying this as someone who believes strongly in our legal system) I also imagine that Al Qaeda would have done some awful things to try to force his release. Like taking people hostage, for example. At least with him being dead, you can’t bring him back to life again or anything.

  27. Firstly, I believe that this is definitely a time for somber reflection on the events of the last decade, and if 9/11 victims can find some degree of solace today, by all means let them have it.

    Secondly, however, as someone who is increasingly fed up with the amount of force-fed complacency inducing charades that have been concocted in order to keep us off the streets fighting for our freedom and the rights of humans worldwide – I’m filled with a sense of skepticism.

    Skeptical about the timing of this, as Obama is under increasing scrutiny, and gearing up for a 10 billion dollar fundraising mission for his next campaign.

    Skeptical about the way this was carried out – that the most elite force within the US military (called “the most dangerous people on planet earth” by Gen. Barry McCaffrey) could not take him alive. I would think that we’d find more justice and a lot more closure if we were able to put him on trial.

    Skeptical that we really caught the bad guy when the response to an attack that tragically took 3,000 lives in the US was to declare war on the world which has resulted in 100’s of thousands of lives lost, fostered kill teams, and inspired the next generation of terrorists.

    And lastly, I’m skeptical of the chances of us ever finding real peace and justice when my fellow Americans are out on the streets behaving like drunken frat boys instead of really taking a chance to reflect on all of this.

  28. I think it’s just disgusting to see all Americans celebrating someone’s death and I’m severely disappointed that even Rachel Maddow would show happiness at such news. I guess this makes me happy to not be American, a country which apparently still goes by the farwest rule of doing justice by their own hands. It’s no surprise that you still have the death penalty after all. How about arresting the guy and making him go to court? No, right? Because then maybe there would have to be an open discussion on what really happened during 911. With all due respect to the people who lost their lives and their families, i’m almost certain the government of the US was behind 911 and, if anything, Bin Laden was used as a scapegoat, as a minor pawn in the big scheme of things. And the fact that so many of you, and so many politicians and public figures there, are openly celebrating the death of this man is just proof of how deep the alienation is perpetrated in your country, alienation by the part of your government, using the media. Not to mention that I’m severely disappointed in Obama too, for choosing to participate with a charade that, in line with his political ideals, I’m pretty sure (I hope!) he doesn’t actually agree with. Talk about regression to animalistic instincts. Very very disappointed.

    • What country are you from?? Do you honestly think a person like Bin Laden would tell the truth in a court of law?? Apparently you know nothing about the U.S. judicial system. We let rapists, child molesters, and murders go free !!!!! I’m sure your country has problems with government too. I am American and I’m not partying in the streets over his death. I’m worried about what may happen now. I have two children that live on a military base. I have seen how much they miss their daddy when he has to leave to fight this war. Has your life been effected by this war or the death of Bin Laden?? If it hasn’t then you need to step off bitch!!!! Just remember your on an American based website created by two amazing American woman.

      • – Are you actually proposing the killing of (putative, since they haven’t been judged) criminals as an alternative to the fact that the US judicial system doesn’t work?
        – Did their daddy not choose to be in the military? Was he forced?
        – My life has certainly been affected by the US foreign policy in the past 10 years, as has any other human being’s, since the US is an imperial state that rules the rest of the world.
        -You are calling me a “bitch” because? Maybe because you’re lacking in argumentation?
        – I’m on an American based website so I cannot express my opinion? I thought America was the land of “the free and the brave”?

    • Uh, did you by any chance miss that little bit of info that Bin Laden died in a fire fight? Were our guys supposed to stand there and get shot at, all the while politely asking Bin Laden to just let them “arrest” him? After I got to the part where you said you thought the U.S. government was behind 9/11, I probably shouldn’t have bothered responding to you, but I couldn’t help myself.

      Anyway, count me as another American that’s glad the bastard is dead. I’m pretty certain the world is a much better place with Bin Laden gone from it. I would have popped open an ice-cold beer and joined the celebrations but unfortunately, I had to study for finals, don’t you just hate when that happens?! =(

      • Both you and the person above you might actually benefit from looking at things from a wider perspective. Because you see America’s actions after 911 as a response and now you’re worried about retaliations. But you fail to see that what is an attack or retaliation to you is, to someone from another country, a response to attacks from your country. 911 did not come out of the blue, it was a response to the succession of wars that America created in the past decades. Again, I’m deeply sorry for all the people that lost their lives and I respect them and their families. Nevertheless, I wasn’t at all surprised when the attack on the US happened, I thought it was totally to be expected – what goes around comes around. And hey, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that, I mean I was only 13 when that happened.
        For example, why don’t you care about all the people and families the US governments have killed over the course of decades? I bet the government fed you that they were keeping peace in the world, right? But hey, not. The US only intervenes when they have an economical interest (oil, etc). Bush never cared about Hussein, he wanted the oil.
        But unfortunately, very few are the Americans that manage to see beyond their little bubbles. I highly recommend you come to Europe to learn to see things from a different perspective.

        • I agree with a lot of what you’re saying, but I think you need to be more careful about the way you say it. You’re speaking in a very patronizing, know-it-all kind of voice, and even though you might be right, people take these things personally. Just because you’re not American doesn’t mean you can’t comment on an American website regarding “American” issues (obviously), but I think it’s one of those things where, for example, I can say something negative about my father, but you, someone not related to me, can’t. Maybe a bad metaphor, but you understand what I’m saying?

          Anyways, saying ” I highly recommend you come to Europe to learn to see things from a different perspective” is just pretentious. People will be incredibly reluctant to agree with you if you talk down to them.

          • Exactly! As an American I find your tone completely inappropriate! No country is free for war crimes or atrocities and, therefore, no person from ANY country can claim to be free from bloodshed on those hands.

            “Those in glass houses should not throw stones”. Europe is no better than us – they too have been involved in many a horrific fight. Were the French not the ones that started in Vietnam? Were the Germans and Italians not the ones who started WWI and WII? Are the English not involved in this current War on Terror with us?

            Do not pretend Europeans are innocent…they are not!!!

            I do not claim that America is perfect, or that we have not committed atrocities but your attitude of superiority is getting really old REALLY fast!

          • Thank you Kristy! It’s fucked up how snobbish and stupid these Europeans sound, as if their country is all free love and hugs. How quickly they forget about Hilter.

            Sorry Non-Americans and terrorist defenders, I live in the REAL world and not on Sesame Street. Putting down guns and giving each other a big fat hug doesn’t solve shit either.

          • Please don’t lump all Europeans into one box. I’m not in favour of the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. Iraq was/is illegal, and Afghanistan is a huge waste of life, neither of these wars will have any resolve.
            Having said this I have nothing but respect for the soldiers who fight, I just do not respect the Governments who ask them to do so. Which includes my own.
            Finally, please never compare Bin Laden to Hitler.
            Osama Bin Laden killed about 3,000 people in 9/11.
            Adolf Hitler killed about 20 million people in the Holocaust/Outside of direct warfare (Communists, Political Opponents, Disabled people, Homosexuals etc.)

          • When I said ” I highly recommend you come to Europe to learn to see things from a different perspective” I was in line with what I said before. This means, I did not intend to say this continent is peaceful and does not start wars in general, what I was saying was that in this case in particular, if you came to Europe you’d understand that most people do not share this idea that you almost seem to take for granted, where you are “the good guys” and Obama is evil. Go back to read everything I wrote, you might understand what I’m talking about.

        • Do you really think ALL Americans agree with the government?? I for one think our government is totally fucked up!!! I hate to burst your bubble but, Europe is no better. I do believe Europe had a man kill millions of Jews. What was his name again???? Oh yeah his name was HITLER!!!! Did Europe not celebrate once Hitler was dead??? I will agree with you on one thing Bush had a major roll in this war. His family and friends have profited from the war. I didn’t

          • @ Luisa – I never heard ANYONE say we were the “good guys” and Osama was “evil”. I think everyone here, pretty much, has admitted that America is not flawless or perfect angels. We’ve committed some atrocities and we know it.
            Does that mean we cannot be happy/relieved/whatever that Osama is dead? NO! Because if THAT were the case than we wouldn’t have been able to celebrate Hitler’s death (after all, we caused a lot of innocent deaths then too), or Mussolini’s or any other major war criminal.
            The logic that we can’t celebrate his death because we aren’t innocent either is fallacy. HE started THIS particular little gem of trouble by attacking the WTC’s therefore HE started the loss of innocent lives IN THIS PARTICULAR INSTANT – NOT us!
            Get over yourself already!

        • Hmm, how exactly do you know that “[I] don’t care about all the about all the people and families US have killed over the course of decades?” Furthermore, you know nothing about what I think of the Iraq or the Afghanistan war. I’d really appreciate it if you didn’t make assumptions about me and what I believe. My response was to your incredibly naive statement above–that somehow,while they’re getting shot at, what these soldiers should really be concerned about is arresting Bin Laden, not shooting right back.

          It’s rich that you accuse people of not seeing “beyond their little bubbles” when you aren’t seeing beyond yours but that really doesn’t surprise me. I hear it’s chic these days to think anything America does is evil. When people shoot at us, we’re supposed to put our weapons down and kindly inform them that we’re only there to arrest them, and when people fly commercial airliners full of civilians into our buildings, we’re supposed to sit on our hands and maybe invite them over so we a “discussion.” Um, yeah, no thanks!
          To reiterate, I’m plenty, plenty glad Bin Laden is gone. And he went out using his wife as a human shield, once again showing us all the kind of scum-bag that he truly was. My only regret is that he wasn’t taken it out 10 years ago. It would probably have saved us that trip to Iraq that I opposed from the get-go.

    • “i’m almost certain the government of the US was behind 911 and, if anything, Bin Laden was used as a scapegoat, as a minor pawn in the big scheme of things”

      This……is the most stupidest comment I’ve read on this thread, and I’ve read plenty. Yeah, not anti-American hun liberals?>

  29. Apparently ‘justice’ is only brought upon Arabs these days. I’d have liked to see my decisionmakers actually respect international law / basic decency and give the bastard a fair trial.

    Then again, I’d have liked my country and others not to have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity for which they will never be held accountable.

    Today I mourn the hundreds of thousands of innocent Afghan, Iraqi, Pakistani and Yemeni civilians who have died in vain in this senseless cycle of violence.

  30. The truth is that North America is a criminal and terrorist organization, the world’s largest … the most unpunished. How is Osama Bin Laden a murderer? And how many murders cause every day that glorious American Army? Terrorism does not end with Osama, as America continues to create wars and slaughter innocent people, terrorism will continue in the name of freedom …

    • Oh people, let’s back up on the Chomsky dictum.
      The United States is not a terrorist organization by any definition. Terrorist organizations are paramilitary groups who’s chief political, not just military, tactic is to spread terror through randomized concentrated attacks on civilian populated areas.
      It is completely valid to disagree with the Iraq war as a foreign policy decision, I do completely, but to label the US as a “terrorist organization” is highly problematic when you compare the democratic country who gives by far the most aid (both humanitarian and more importantly, development) in the world to Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda. In so far as the agents of a terrorist organization are terrorists it is inordinately callous to liken soldiers to terrorists.

  31. “i mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but i will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy.” – Martin Luther King, Jr

    this is ‘profoundly important moment’ for ME because i usually never have a relevant quote for anything, ever. yay me!

  32. Wow…I’m shocked and pissed at the number of knee jerk liberal Bin Laden sympathizers on this site. So it’s terrible that us “stupid” Americans are happy that this man is dead but where were you guys when people were cheering in Middle Eastern countries when 9/11 happened?

    And I can’t believe so many of you are bashing American troops! Wow. Very tacky and disrespectful!

    And Janis Bing, today you mourn innocent Afghan, Iraqi, Pakistani and Yemeni civilians but no mention of the innocent victims of 9/11 and those brave American troops that were killed during this war(my friends included).

    And people wonder why I’m no longer a liberal.

    • You’re completely right. Anyone who didn’t throw a street party to celebrate Bin Laden’s death is obviously secretly on his side. There is no nuance or complexity and the world is black and white. STONE THE WITCHES!!!!!1

      “Tacky and disrespectful”. Indeed.

      • Duh…when did I say that those not partying about Bin Laden’s death were on his side. You do know how to read don’t you? Or is this the usual knee jerk liberal reaction?

        I’m clearly talking about the disrespectful comments against Americans, especially the brave men and women soliders that fought for this country. You hide behind your computer screen typing out liberal bullshit meanwhile these brave men and women are risking their lives.

        You and a whole bunch of others are making excuses for this terrorists and in the process shouting out “Americans are evil!” bullshit.

        Again, did you and any of these hippie liberals feel this way when people in other countries were shown on T.V dancing and celebrating when 9/11 happened? I pretty much doubt it.

        I really hope that people that lost loved ones on 9/11 don’t read this site. It’s amazing how many excuses and Bin Laden defenders and anti-American b.s is spouted on here.

        • Okay Nicole, I’m sure she’s sorry for having an opinion that differs from your own.
          Let’s be real: no one here is defending Bin Laden, and ‘sadly’ yes many people are anti-American – especially in Europe. And do you know why? Because we’re fed up with the egotistical Americans – such as yourself. Who go by the rule of whoever shouts loudest wins. There are British soldiers in both Afghanistan and Iraq. As well as soldiers from practically every European county, a fact which seems to of slipped your mind, and why? Tell me Miss. All American what the fuck are we fighting for? I’m not a Liberal before you decide to work your catchphrase into your response. This is not a “knee jerk liberal reaction” – I vote Conservative.
          P.S. You’re behind your computer screen too, if you love war and America so much sign yourself up to the military.

          • Well little Miss Jackass, I am in the military. I’m also fed up with the hippie liberal Non-American snobbery that so many of you throw out here.

            America is filled with foreigners that despise us but utilize/leech off whatever the U.S. has to offer to them because they know they can without repercussion.

          • How is having a rational and open-minded view of this situation “hippie [sic] liberal Non-American snobbery”? Do you not see how many of your proud fellow citizens also don’t agree with the MANNER in which Osama’s death is being treated? And it’s depressing that you think anyone that looks past the brainwashing propoganda shoved down the Western world’s throats is a liberal snob with “knee-jerk” impulsive opinions.

            Although, you being in the military certainly clears up your narrow-minded views. As long as you remember who the real enemies are, then hopefully you will be an honourable asset rather than a shameful smear on the US Army.

            Also, if you’re sick of our opinions, then leave. You can return to high-fiving your buddies in the streets and leave us in our democratic cyber-world.

          • Well it’s too bad that you are too much of a bitch for the military to accept your anti-American ass.

          • Would the military be proud of your name-calling, Nicole?

            Would they be proud of your convoluted and ill-thought out arguments?

          • Maybe you’re sick of “hippie liberal Non-American snobbery” but like I’ve previously stated, I’m not a liberal so I’m definitely not a hippie. I’m not anti-American either I have friends who are American and grew up with American friends/neighbours. I’m sick of your ethnocentric nationalism.
            And you do realise that once upon a time, not so long ago, your parents/grandparents/great-grandparents etc. were immigrants – every one in America is an immigrant of some degree – and what is it the US has to offer them? health care? (note: sarcasm) I live in the UK, we’re at war, we have healthcare, we’re far more densely populated than America, we have immigrants too – immigrants aren’t your enemies, I’m not your enemy we’re in the same war – we’re looking at the same picture just from a different angle.

          • It’s too bad that you are beating around the bush in answer my question. Did you get on your soapbox when those in the Middle East were celebrating 9/11? I had to watch on T.V those idiots over there dancing and cheering that 3,000 lives were lost. But since this is the age of “Bad American, Good Foreigner”, I guess not.

            Sorry, you are no non-enemy of mine when you and countless others on this thread and many other places besides the internet constantly bash our president and people that live in this country, but turn around and cry boo-hoo when some Americans make one comment about you all. No where did I said that I hate foreigners. Cut and paste sweetie.

            Funny, you and your friend said if I didn’t like what you all have to say then I should leave but yet, you both are sick of my comments. See, it’s a free country, I could say whatever I want to sayjust like you all could bash President Bush, Sarah Palin, and many others like them along with defending Bin Laden. Why don’t you both leave as well?

            You and PaperofFlowers have attacked me and my fellow troops. It’s sick and sad how much hate you have against my country. Considering that whenever you all are in a jam, we’re the first ones running over to you all spending our money which could be used for fellow Americans that are suffering. But no, we have to play Superman for you all and not one person is grateful.

          • This is i/r/t this comment ” It’s too bad that you are beating around the bush in answer my question…and not one person is grateful.” No, I didn’t get up on my ‘soapbox’ when 9/11 happened because I was about 8 years old. I’ve never said that I support Muslim-extremism, which I do not, and I empathise with the people who lost loved ones in 9/11 – I think it was a terrible tragedy.
            “America is filled with foreigners that despise us but utilize/leech off whatever the U.S. has to offer to them because they know they can without repercussion” I’m sorry, was I mistaken is this quote describing your love for foreigners/immigrants? You should be more clear next time.
            ‘Free Country’ are you actually in the army? I mean come on that’s the sort of thing a 9-year old says. I guess the American Education system is hideously flawed as well.
            Yet again you’ve accused me or being a supporter/sympathiser of Bin Laden, I am not. Just because I’m not jumping for joy or running out into the street to do a keg-stand doesn’t mean that I’m glad he was located. I just think that he should of been held to trial, death is the easy way out, he should of been left to suffer rather than get shot in the head. In his culture he’ll be viewed as a martyr he’ll go to heaven and get some virgins. He will be celebrated by extremist-Muslims.
            I’ve never attracted you or your military-buddy’s, I have nothing but the greatest respect for those who choose to join the military and fight to defend their countries, it’s both an honourable and noble profession. “Considering that whenever you all are in a jam, we’re the first ones running over to you” do you realise how many wars the UK has been dragged into because of the US? How much money we’ve spent? How many of OUR troops have been killed in YOUR ‘war on terror’ how many of OUR troops have been killed in ‘Friendly-fire’ I doubt you do. Because all you see are stars and stripes. Why should we have to be grateful that our friends, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, cousins, aunts and uncles are being shipped out to fight for a cause which – as you avoided the question – I feel you don’t even fully understand. But hey, no doubt you think the USA won World War II – with Lincoln and Washington riding on the back of a bald-eagle, spearing Hitler with a flag pole.

        • Yeah, I’m not seeing any anti-American or anti-soldiers comments.

          And I actually agree with you that Osama’s death is a cause to celebrate. But it’s ridiculous to say that someone taking issue with the celebration of any death = they like Osama bin Laden. It’s this whole “you’re either with or against us” Bush-type mentality that is one of the reasons Americans and the U.S. are as disliked overseas as they are. You’re not helping by perpetuating it.

          • That’s not what I’m getting. People celebrated when America was attacked on 9/11 just like people are celebrating over Bin Laden’s death. Just keep 100% here people and stop picking and choosing words from others post.

            And can we please stop bashing President Bush? I mean come on, I’m getting sick of people turning this into left vs. right. We need to focus on what’s next to come and the victims of 9/11, not something as stupid as blame Bush, America, Europe, whatever song and dance.

    • Sorry for not being manichaean enough. Being against assassinations (let’s stop talking about the death penalty: there was no trial so there can’t be a sentence) doesn’t mean I support the person. In fact, that person makes me sick.
      I was eleven on 9/11. I’d come home from school (in France) and was coloring some stupid world map when the planes hit the towers. And I didn’t leave the tv’s side for two days.

      9/11 is my generation’s greatest trauma, one of our first encounters with deliberate violence. Of course I mourn its victims -civilians, first responders and all of their families. But how many 9/11s have we inflicted upon the Middle East since then? Hundreds. The world isn’t binary, unfortunately people tend to be much more sympathetic towards Westerners these days.

      • Yeah…it’s terrible to have more sympathy towards us dumb Americans…

        I’m so glad that my friends loved ones don’t read this site. They’ll be crushed to hear how so many of you hate their dead loved one simply because they were American soliders.

        • i love and respect deceased 9/11 victims and american troops. i also love and respect deceased innocent citizens of the middle eastern countries we’ve been fighting in. it’s possible to do both. we are all just people.

        • Please quote directly ONE person who has said anything disrespectful about American soldiers. Unless this is my knee-jerk liberalism asking for your sources and you’re above that because you’re so Awesomely American and above everyone.

          My apologies to the fair and rational Americans in this world that have to share their citizenship with mongrels such as these.

        • My dad was a soldier, I have friends that have served also, and just because someone doesn’t agree with what the US government does doesn’t mean they’re soldier-bashing. Thank you for your service, but remember what you’re fighting for. “I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free”…free to have different opinions, and to voice them – and it would be lovely if you could do so respectfully. Now I might not agree with the US military presence in the middle east…but that bastard deserved what he got. Killing is wrong, but I think retribution for 3,000+ is more important than one person’s right to life sometimes, don’t you think?

  33. i didn’t hear about this until late sunday night. i just want to say ‘thank you’ to autostraddle for providing an accurate article & place for me to read about this without the possibility of stumbling across the proof of death photos.

  34. Nobody seems to be reporting the woman who was killed during the fight. Feministing lists two articles which do mention her on their “What we missed” post for Monday. She is thought to have been one of Bin Laden’s wives, and may have either fought willingly to protect him or been used deliberately as a human shield — reports are unclear, though leaning towards the latter.

    One of Bin Laden’s sons and three other adult men were also killed.

  35. I don’t support the death penalty but I’m not going to cry over this man’s death. Anyone who thinks that Bin Laden by law had to be made to face an international court is wrong. A legitimate state of war exists between the US and al-Qaeda. The laws of war apply. This means no presumption of innocence. If Bin Laden had surrendered (and he was given a chance to surrender) things would have been different. However, Bin Laden didn’t surrender and was never going to. And I feel pretty comfortable asserting that as someone who has studied both him and al-Qaeda in depth as part of my history degree. The man stated repeatedly he wouldn’t be captured alive and practically slept with his AK-47. His faith, his conviction forbade him to surrender.

    He was a mass murderer and religious fanatic of the worst kind. He was ambushed, given the option to surrender, refused that and as such was killed, in complete compliance with the Geneva conventions. He’s dead now. And that doesn’t bother me at all.

    • Here! Here! I’m not crying over Bin Laden’s death. I love your post! Spot on!

      This man is the worst kind of religious mass murderer fanatic. Not only did Americans suffer, but everyone else around the world suffered greatly. Let us ALL remember that.

      • I agree as well. Today, I’m damn proud to be an American. The men and women of the US armed forces and CIA worked very hard and did an amazing job to find and kill a mass murderer of innocent people world wide. I lost a dear friend on 9/11 and am glad that that coward SOB got what was comming to him. It doesn’t make it better but it is nice to know that there is still some justice in the world. Today is a better day on Earth because OBL is not on it. I hope more people take notice, it might not be today or this year or ten years or longer but there will be justice.

  36. all of these feelings are so stressful. AS staff, can we have an open thread about how much we love each other and how just because we argue really intensely about this stuff doesn’t mean we don’t get along? and kittens and otters and stuff?

  37. It’s a crying shame how quickly we’re forgetting about the victims of 9/11 and others whom suffered because of this snowball effect that terrorism/Bin Laden played all because a bunch of you want to turn this into a political I hate (insert any country here)” B.S.

    I’ve read so many comments and only a few actually stayed on topic while others such as Nicole, AJ, and Paper Flowers decided to turn this into a bitchfit thread. Disrespecting each other, name calling, and borderline bitchy comments doesn’t help neither side.

    Let’s grow up ladies and realize that everyone has a difference of opinion.

      • Well, just like you were defending your right to an opinion, Nicole also was defending her right as well. Let’s be honest here, both of you crossed the line. You both let your emotions get in the way of a mature disagreement. I don’t give a damn about sides, but I give a damn about those who was affected by this man. The victims and troops of all countries are way more important than you two’s silly tiff over an agreement. Telling someone to leave the site because they were so called tired of some “liberal” bull and calling someone a mongrel is just as wrong as being called a bitch.

        • Alright, yeah, I accept that. It’s just frustrating to see people completely misread everything that’s been written here and then just brand everyone’s opinion as wrong and Ant-American.

          However…how was this all off-topic? We were discussing the politics around Osama’s death. Isn’t that the topic?

          • It is frustrating to have one’s words twisted around but that happens everyday in life.

            My point is that i’m tired of left vs. right game and the whole blame Bush blame Europeans mess that so many people like to play. Also some of you were off topic. It turned into a American vs. non-American bull-shit. Bin Laden had terrorized everyone in every country, not just one country. And yes, some of you lumped a group of people based off the actions of some. Case in point, white college guys that were “celebrating” Bin laden’s death. Like one pointed out, on 9/11, muslims were shown on T.V celebrating 9/11. I’m pretty sure you’ll have a fit if anyone lumped Muslims based off of those that were cheering on 9/11.

            A lot of people on here are forgetting those that died on 9/11 and yes it does seem as though some on here are making excuses for Bin Laden meanwhile bashing former President Bush for no reason. While I don’t like him, there’s no reason to keep harping on the man. I care about those that died on 9/11, and that’s more imporant than some American vs. European bull-shit.

    • It’s just not popular to be proud to be an American, nor is it popular to be in the American military, and god forbid that you are on the far-right and supported President Bush. Stones would be thrown at you. Especially among a group of liberal hippie lesbians. You aren’t allowed to be a Proud American Republican lesbian.

  38. I saw a phrase on AfterEllen that would fit many of you: Armchair Generals.

    Unless you were there having bullets fly over your head, you no one on here has any clout to say that we should have taken Bin Laden alive and held a “fair” trial. It’s pretty ignorant and naive to say. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past ten years, Bin Laden has caused so much terror and fear among so many people around the world. It’s easy to talk about peace and love when your life isn’t in any danger. Yes, we can wish and hope for peace all day long, but that’s not how the world works. As one poster said to another about since you love your country then join the military….well to that poster and others who share the same thought, what are YOU doing to spread the message of love and peace and rational thinking?

    If I sound like an “arrogant American” then so be it. I for one am glad he’s dead.

  39. I’m shaking my head right now at all the downright bitchy, personal attacks against one another because people have different opinions.

    My last post was just scratching the surface on how I really feel about this topic, but thanks to some of you, I choose to keep silent.

  40. This, by a poster named Luisha was downright ignorant, if not, stupid…

    “Both you and the person above you might actually benefit from looking at things from a wider perspective. Because you see America’s actions after 911 as a response and now you’re worried about retaliations. But you fail to see that what is an attack or retaliation to you is, to someone from another country, a response to attacks from your country. 911 did not come out of the blue, it was a response to the succession of wars that America created in the past decades. Again, I’m deeply sorry for all the people that lost their lives and I respect them and their families. Nevertheless, I wasn’t at all surprised when the attack on the US happened, I thought it was totally to be expected – what goes around comes around. And hey, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that, I mean I was only 13 when that happened.
    For example, why don’t you care about all the people and families the US governments have killed over the course of decades? I bet the government fed you that they were keeping peace in the world, right? But hey, not. The US only intervenes when they have an economical interest (oil, etc). Bush never cared about Hussein, he wanted the oil.
    But unfortunately, very few are the Americans that manage to see beyond their little bubbles. I highly recommend you come to Europe to learn to see things from a different perspective.”

    Yeah, not Anti-American right?

    And this shit right here:”And I gotta say I’m worried–once again–for my Muslim friends, because I remember how Muslim Americans (and Sikhs and generally brown-looking people) were harassed and targeted in this country after 9/11 and the Iraq invasion. I suspect there’s gonna be another wave of racist backlash because of this, which is what always seems to happen when Americans get patriotic.”

    And the last part of this idiotic speech was okay? Is that what some of you are good at? The race card?

    • What is wrong with you??

      You cannot even pronounce my name and I’m the stupid one? You cannot even express why what I said is stupid. You call me anti-american…so what? Is that a crime? And the last paragraph is not mine, why did you put it together with mine???

  41. This issue needs to go away. Not everyone in the streets was celebrating OBL death. And people don’t try to elevate yourselves at the expense of someone who’s loved one was sent to a most horrifying death and they are happy the mass murderer is dead. The crowds were more about uniting again as Americans because America finally took action. It’s nothing like afghans. I didn’t see any flag burning etc.

    I actually was happy to hear he was killed. Not only was he responsible for 9/11 but has been plotting to attack again. That man was pure evil. I don’t care about anyone’s personal opinion. I say, Good Riddance. Same with other people who commit heinous crimes, such as rape.

  42. GodDAMN I just read all the posts and everyone’s heated. Here’s my 0.02c. I’m a Canadian, so I’m not particularly invested either way. I didn’t see anyone cheering in the streets up here–but I can understand the relief people are experiencing.

    First: Look at it from a psychological perspective–this was a man who spent ten years absolutely hidden. In hiding, he became this murky threat, always in the background of consciousness. It was never a question of ‘will there be another attack’, but when, and where. That’s a heavy burden to grow up with. I can’t blame people for experiencing carthasis.
    Does this mean everything will change? Absolutely not. If anything, the potential of retaliatory attacks increases. However, it removes a fear many people didn’t even realize existed. These street celebrations are, I feel, a result of that. It’s the result of a childhood spent afraid of tall buildings and low-flying planes, of wire-taps and ‘Patriot Act’s. It’s the carthasis of a childhood of saying goodbye and ‘I love you’ to your parent every time they travel for business, and hoping that ‘it isnt today, it isn’t like this, it isn’t them’.

    Second: While ‘bringing him to justice’ would have been ideal–this isn’t utopia, and it’s best to be realistic. Bin Laden was never going to be captured alive–he wouldn’t have allowed it to happen. Likewise, if no country could be found that would allow him to be buried on their soil…can you imagine the imbroglio that would have arisen had he been captured alive? Where to keep him? Who would try him?
    Under whose jurisdiction would that trial have taken place?
    He was aware of the consequences of his actions when he chose to create a fundamentalist army waging jihad.
    The way I’m approaching the situation is as though he were a cancer. It hurt to remove it, but leaving it be would only do more damage. Al Qaida has no problem waging war on civilians, regardless of nationality, religion, race or creed–nor of encouraging their own soldiers to commit suicide–consequently, I find it very difficult to see how the removal of their leader/figurehead is at all a negative. His organization did claim responsibility for the London, Madrid and Manila bombings, after all. There would have been more attacks, as certain as the sky is blue.

    Third: This is a man who has shown a blatant disregard for his own people. Training children to be soldiers, brainwashing civilians and terrorizing others. Taking husbands, and then when they are killed, using their wives as black widow combatants. This was the epitome of an evil man.
    While it’s regrettable and lamentable that civilians were killed (and please understand that I’ve been an activist against this war since the age of 14 and in no way condone either war), much of the blame for that could be said to fall on his shoulders. It was the Taliban that used the native populace as shields to hide their actions, hiding their operatives in plain sight. It was a brilliant move–ignore the suspicious looking dude, maybe get killed. React, and maybe you killed a civvie which means everyone hates you, and maybe you killed an insurgent, in which case yay, he’s a martyr and you’re STILL the bad guy. So, if anyone’s to blame for tensions, you could put that squarely on his doorstep.

    What I’m REALLY curious/nervous to see play out is how Pakistan is going to handle this. The Abbotabad compound was like, within eyesight of an officer training camp–it’s inconceivable that noone knew who was there. So.
    I wonder how this’ll work out.

  43. 2 things:
    1. How do we know this actually happened? It’s not like he hasn’t been reported dead before. Also, who’s to say the government isn’t lying to us, like they tend to do often?
    2. If he really is dead, there’s just going to be someone else to take his place. Simple as that.

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