USA! USA! USA!
'USA! USA!' Is the Wrong Response
By David Sirota
...For decades, we have held in contempt those who actively celebrate death. When we’ve seen video footage of foreigners cheering terrorist attacks against America, we have ignored their insistence that they are celebrating merely because we have occupied their nations and killed their people. Instead, we have been rightly disgusted -- not only because they are lauding the death of our innocents, but because, more fundamentally, they are celebrating death itself. That latter part had been anathema to a nation built on the presumption that life is an "unalienable right."
But in the years since 9/11, we have begun vaguely mimicking those we say we despise, sometimes celebrating bloodshed against those we see as Bad Guys just as vigorously as our enemies celebrate bloodshed against innocent Americans they (wrongly) deem as Bad Guys. Indeed, an America that once carefully refrained from flaunting gruesome pictures of our victims for fear of engaging in ugly death euphoria now ogles pictures of Uday and Qusay’s corpses, rejoices over images of Saddam Hussein’s hanging and throws a party at news that bin Laden was shot in the head. Read more at salon.com.
Killing of Bin Laden: What Are the Consequences?
By Glenn Greenwald
...I'd have strongly preferred that Osama bin Laden be captured rather than killed so that he could be tried for his crimes and punished in accordance with due process (and to obtain presumably ample intelligence). But if he in fact used force to resist capture, then the U.S. military was entitled to use force against him, the way American police routinely do against suspects who use violence to resist capture. But those are legalities and they will be ignored even more so than usual. The 9/11 attack was a heinous and wanton slaughter of thousands of innocent civilians, and it's understandable that people are reacting with glee over the death of the person responsible for it. I personally don't derive joy or an impulse to chant boastfully at the news that someone just got two bullets put in their skull -- no matter who that someone is -- but that reaction is inevitable: it's the classic case of raucously cheering in a movie theater when the dastardly villain finally gets his due. Read more at salon.com.
Celebrating Bin Laden's Killing: It's Complicated
By Petula Dvorak
A generation of young Americans slammed the door Monday on the great big boogeyman of their childhoods with an epic woot-woot and rounds and rounds of “U.S.A.!”
At the news of Osama bin Laden’s death, thousands of people — most of them college-age and in requisite flip-floppy collegiate gear — whipped up a raucous celebration right outside the White House gates that was one part Mardi Gras and two parts Bon Jovi concert.
There were cigars, a few beers, a lacrosse-stick-turned-flagpole waved by a kid who just climbed a statue, joining others aloft in trees and atop lampposts. Well past midnight, cars zipped up and down the streets of downtown Washington with women standing up through sunroofs waving ginormous American flags and guys blowing vuvuzelas, spring break style.
It felt a little crazy, a bit much. Almost vulgar. Read more at washingtonpost.com.
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