(NPR's Morning Edition.)
I've stayed away from media all day, on purpose. There's a limit to the amount of coverage of different people's opinions on one man's death I can take. But I turned on the radio this afternoon, just to see if anything's changed.
(Coverage and interviews in New York, VPR interviews, clips from youtube videos of last night.)
This is not "closure", okay? This is not "justice". This does not prove the superiority of the United States or our foreign policy, and this is not an excuse to party. This is a death. This is the death of someone who caused a lot of other deaths, which triggered an invasion which resulted in a huge number of deaths. But his blood is what's gonna baptize us clean, wash all the rest of the blood off our hands. Yeah, this, this is what made it all worthwhile.
I went online and saw clips of celebrations, college students pumping their fists and wrapping themselves in flags. Dancing. Chanting. Singing. A note I found reposted on a friend's blog: quote, "'For a people who constantly attacked Arabs/Somalis/Pakistanis for celebrating death, Americans are out in force celebrating this death tonight.' That made me think. Take George W. Bush: he is as hated among Arabs and Muslims as Bin Laden is hated in the US. If Bush were to die, and if there are scenes of celebration among Muslims, the US news would be disgusted and guests would be invited on TV to speak about the sickness of Muslim culture." Unquote.
(Chanting from a youtube video.)
I closed the browser window. I turned off the radio. I left the room. I was frightened by the blatant display of nationalism that I saw everywhere. Just unthinking celebration, like a nationwide sports victory. We're so proud of ourselves.
(Coverage from New York.)
One less wicked person. One less bad man. I was in third grade on 9/11, and I remember everything. I know, in child's terms and in network news buzzwords, he was wicked-- as close to evil as you can get outside storybooks and mass media. But this war didn't start when he was born, or when he began to plan, or when those planes hit those buildings or when we invaded in retaliation. It started centuries ago. The forces that created him and drove him to commit the deeds we just executed him for-- are still there, just as strong, even more complicated.
(Celebration in Boston.)
God bless America. God bless patriotism in all its terrifying forms. God forbid you be labeled unpatriotic or a terrorist sympathizer, which evidently are pretty similar. God forbid you criticize this, this hour of America's victory. We shot a man. Congratulations to us. We didn't solve anything.