I know I should be excited and happy and all “America, Fuck Yeah!” now that they finally found and killed Osama bin Laden, but I’m not quite there. I am glad that it’s over, but my brain won’t let me be quite as gleeful as the people cheering in front of the White House and Ground Zero.
First of all, I have a problem being happy about death. I know, I know, it’s crazy and über-liberal of me, but I generally like the idea of due process and the rule of law in lieu of state-sponsored assassination. And no matter what, I can’t fathom that the death of a murderer can ever quite compensate for for the loss that he inflicted.
Then there’s the issue of proportionality. Yes, bin Laden was evil: He was the cause of thousands of deaths, both through his sponsorship of terrorist activities and the subsequent war-on-terrorism. His death — just one man — seems almost insignificant in comparison.
And then, perhaps most worrisome, there’s the issue of the vacuum of power. Remember the mythical Hydra, the beast that grew two heads for each one you cut off? The enemy you know is much more comprehensible than the enemy you don’t. Who knows what militant terrorist leader may spring up now, even more angry and dangerous, fueled by the videos of Americans delighting in this victory?