Osama bin Laden: Matters Arising


The news of this week was undoubtedly the finding – and immediate despatch – of Osama bin Laden. Here are a few thoughts for the weekend…

I heard the news Monday morning (about 9 am, GMT), and what struck me most (apart from question of whether indeed it was true) was that it didn’t strike me very much. It was obvious, even that early, that the news of the week was already in, but it didn’t feel like news of the week.

In fact, compared to the buzz around the Royal Wedding, it felt (and I say this with the greatest respect for the very real sorrow of all those affected) almost anticlimactic. (Makes you wonder at how quickly we forget even tragedy when it’s not us affected, doesn’t it?)

Is it just me, or did you feel that too?

I was also intrigued by the variety of responses. There were the expected ones: suspicion about the veracity of the news (it wasn’t the first time Osama was “dying”) and, when that was accepted, celebration of the death of the world’s most infamous terrorist. There were the quirky ones, such as the New York Times decision to refer to him as “bin Laden”, without the appellation of “Mr.

There were refreshingly sensitive responses too: many questioned whether the US was justified in sending its forces in to kill an unarmed man in his own house. Others wondered if it was morally right to rejoice in the death of a man, any man. These are not easy questions to answer, but I think it is important that they were asked. Here is one response I found helpful (and here’s another).

What about you – how did you respond, initially and later?

One striking thing about it all, though: whatever your opinion of the justice of America’s method, you have to applaud their preparation and patience. Imagine locating the house since August, but not until considering their intelligence sufficient to move in until a week ago! What I wouldn’t give for such personal restraint!

Tell me, what else struck you about the news of the week for the first week in May 2011?

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5 thoughts on “Osama bin Laden: Matters Arising

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