Osama Bin Laden Killed, Mets Win

2011 May 2
by CajoleJuice

As I took an LIRR train home after a couple of days spent in Hoboken with a friend, I read David Foster Wallace’s wonderful essay on his personal 9/11 experience in his residence of Bloomington, Illinois. (Here’s a PDF of the original Rolling Stone article — a PDF which also includes the end of an article about Bin Laden.) Not an hour later, as I sat in my living room watching a 1-1 tie game between the Mets and Phillies, the crowd starting cheering “U-S-A! U-S-A!” for no apparent reason. Within a few moments, the announcers let the audience know that the catalyst was news of Osama Bin Laden’s demise. I can only imagine how much louder the cheer would have been if the game were at Citi Field instead of Citizens Bank Park.

What then followed were Obama’s official announcement/speech and crowds gathering across the country to wave flags and banners and cheer the death of their enemy — our enemy. But I still felt oddly uncomfortable watching college kids cheer and jump around in front of the White House due to some aging extremist Islamic terrorist getting shot in the face. As this tweet points out, it’s practically the exact same scene that took place in parts of the Muslim world after 9/11 that disgusted millions of Americans. While I don’t agree with making a direct parallel, since this is a death of a murderer (as opposed to almost 3,000 innocent people), I wasn’t the only person who thought the raucous celebration a bit unsettling. My father, a man who has voiced misgivings about Islam in general, even commented that he felt weird watching the footage on FOX News. Yeah.

I’ve also heard “the cost” of this assassination (if that’s the correct term) being described as possible retaliation in the coming days and weeks. No, the cost was $4 trillion over $1 trillion and over 100,000 civilian deaths. Sure, we’re cheering the “end” of what we originally set out to do, but in the process we’ve sabotaged ourselves financially, helped destabilize much of the Middle East, and killed a whole bunch more innocent people than Bin Laden ever did. But I guess it was worth it to prove a point?

Maybe this isn’t the right time to talk about this shit, especially after seeing an image like this:

Because, fuck, if anyone has a right to celebrate this news, it’s the men who lost their friends at the World Trade Center. But they know — along with anyone else who lost a loved one — that this doesn’t change much. America finally finished the job we set out to do 10 years ago, but no one is coming back to life, Al-Qaeda and its off-shoots are still very functional, and Bin Laden ultimately won since he changed our way of life since 9/11/01.

But at least the Mets beat the Phillies in 14 innings, right?

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  • http://twitter.com/frankcalise Frank Calise

    Wow, I felt the same way. I didn’t see any of the news last night as I fell asleep, but in the gym this morning I saw tons of people rallying behind this news. I thought to myself “we look no different than them when they chant together after killing our soldiers”.

    • http://somewhatmanlynerd.com CajoleJuice

      Glad someone I know felt the same way.