As I watched videos of my fellow Americans dancing in the street in Times Square last night I had very mixed emotions. We’ve all been affected and many of us have lost friends and family members due to the ‘War on Terror’. The tragedies of 9/11 were unspeakable and we must never forget the lives lost. However, I believe to understand the full picture, we need to keep a global perspective. Americans are not the only ones who have suffered.
While terrorism is never justifiable, we need to examine what else might be going on in the larger picture.
We as Americans have been directly and indirectly involved in the suffering of many other nations Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, need I go on? Have we been just in our treatment of Muslim nations? What are the consequences of our relentless presence in Arab nations?
Followers of Radical Islam look at our actions as a reason to be upset. Bin Laden himself quoted many past American actions for cause of his anger. But are we listening?
Some Americans have seen 9/11 as the BEGINNING of the story. This is far from the truth. The attack on 9/11 is one small piece of the larger picture.
Even though Obama says “America is not against Islam.” It is hard for those who have suffered as a result of our military to understand our words when our actions have contradicted this statement.
When I asked my Pakistani friend what she thought of this statement, she shared with me:
The statement is making it on the waves but there are people who are so devastated after losing their friends and families in drone attacks in past decades and their minds are kinda shelled to make any sense of it. They just want to know why it took so long to set forward this operation while the public BELIEVES that all the agencies knew all along where Bin Laden’s hiding. We are a nation of very accomplished and educated people but some of us have fallen for the Jihadi propaganda and news channels that come up with more conspiracy theories than real news. Many refuse to see the truth because it does not fit into our anti US/ West narrative that kinda redeveloped after the failure of Bin Laden’s capture hence resulting innocent killings all over the world and mainly in Pak/Afghan. I just hope that the “America is not against Islam” statement makes its mark and get through those minds the way it is meant and not make them retaliate in a negative way.
The picture of Americans dancing and rejoicing has now been spread around the world. What kind of reaction can we predict from radicals who will see these images?
We as Americans need to individually engage and educate ourselves on what is causing this anti-Westernism. The stakes are too high to make assumptions. We need to look at the big picture of what we have done, and reevaluate our personal positions to ensure that we are not fueling an unnecessary fire.
19 thoughts on “America, Let’s Not Celebrate Yet…”
As I started my car to go to work this morning, a man on the radio was talking about bin Laden’s ‘proper Muslim burial at sea’ and I sat there, thinking and shaking my head, wondering why – if we (and I use the term loosely) were so consumed with finding this man and killing him in the name of ‘justice’, I wondered why we cared if he received a proper Muslim burial. I am not saying that he did or didn’t, it was just an observation… the first of many throughout the day. I became irritated, perhaps overly so, with relentless celebration of the murder of a human being. Is it really necessary to photoshop bin Laden’s head to the Statue of Liberty? Do we really have nothing else better to do? I could go on, and on, and on; but all of this to say that I agree that we did an outstanding job showing our complete ignorance as a country with our response.
Thanks for your thoughts Sarah. I don’t know if I’d call it complete ignorance, but there are certainly polarized views on this whole matter. Others with opposing views have indirectly called me ignorant throughout the last 24 hours. Guess its all in perspective. 🙂 Hope this post isn’t too political. I wanted to look at this through an international perspective, and share with friends.
you are right, it’s not complete ignorance. there are a lot of very educated people, and i know that i do not know everything. sometimes i base my rash judgements on too small of a collective of people. thanks for keeping my feet on the ground!
Its easy to get upset when we see people ignoring the bigger picture.
Well written with proper clarity of thought. Hope people realises
Mourn the people we lost, but don’t celebrate death, even that of an enemy. Something along those lines… – Fake MLK quote floating around.
Yes Jessica, i agree with what you have to say. Time for US to do some introspection. They would have won the battle, but will they win the war? Your blog reminds me of the film Syriana.
Will the death of Bin Laden be a milestone against the war against terrorism in the sense that it will make/break terrorists and terrorist groups all over the world. You present a different, diverse viewpoint that also needs to be addressed someday i am sure!
Good connection with Syriana. I realize I may not represent the majority view, but I’m just trying to think ahead. While many of the American news media is still patting ourselves on the back for a job well done, some are failing to put the future concerns in perspective.
I was saddened to see videos like this:
Of course these are immature teenagers who are over zealous, but these are exactly the kinds of videos that will stir up vengeance in Al Qaeda. The attitude displayed in this video is not how all Americans feel.
It’s peculiar to me that we are celebrating a short sighted victory with such loud zeal.
The news media is asking questions like “Is it safe now that OBL is gone?” To me, this seems ludicrous to even ask such a question. We demonized OBL rather than realizing that we are not fighting against a PERSON, but an IDEOLOGY.
“I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
The loudest ones always get the media. People like you in quiet reflection don’t have the chance to represent. Bummer.
I think what really got to me the most was the celebration of one’s death, that and the blatant ignorance of some guy telling me that my “leader was dead” yesterday. It’s disgusting and vile. If we are not at war with Islam, then apparently people have not gotten that memo.
Quran [29:57] Every soul shall have a taste of death in the end to Us shall ye be brought back.
Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles. Proverbs 24:17
[Qur’an 6:32] What is the life of this world but play and amusement? But best is the home in the hereafter, for those who are righteous. Will ye not then understand?”
I’m pretty sure we looked like a bunch of ignorant hicks dancing on someone’s grave. I thought we were better than that. Even if killing him was necessary, it should not have been “celebrated” in such a grotesque way.
America does need to be educated of the bigger picture going on here.
Good thoughts to think over and fine tune our reactions….
Thumbs up for u Jessica.US Army given the high level of anti-Americanism in Pakistan.
Thanks for letting me know Shoaibji. I am in the US and not planning a trip any time soon.
Well written from a impartial perspective. I like specially.. . Followers of Radical Islam look at our actions as a reason to be upset. Bin Laden himself quoted many past American actions for cause of his anger. But are we listening?”
We all showing our anger to each other but are not listening each other’s problem. The countries which are involved in Terrorism suffering basic problems like education, employment, necessary facilities like drinking water, food….etc.
can countries like America listen their problems and do something to solve them? After War in Iraq & Afghanistan, conditions are more worse for common people. In fact, only common person faces the consequences not the people who are involved. Can America listen them?
Also providing Big financial aid to Pakistan is like strengthening the terrorism from another hands because these money is not spent on improving the basic facilities for life but on weapons to destroy the life.
Can America listen it? We as world community need to realize that its is not the WAR of one day or against one person or Group but against the system which are promoting and sponsoring terrorism because death of Osama doesn’t mean DEATH OF TERRORISM…….. it will go on until we stop to strengthen it….
Great work here. I would love to hear this subject expounded upon even further. What ARE some of the things that is causing anti-Westernism in Islamic countries?
Jessica, your concern echoed mine entirely.The display in NYC was an embarrassment to this country.
Until we can mature away from the death-penalty mentality we have in the US, we can never rise above the most fearsome terrorist. To our discredit we stand alone among Western wealthy countries with our electric chairs and lethal injections. We seem to be stuck in the an-eye-for-an-eye stage of ethical development.