Bin Laden’s death- Has terror really been vanquished?

I was at a wedding this weekend that completely absorbed my time and energy that I had no idea that Bin Laden was killed this weekend. Hearing the news of that the next day gave rise to mix feelings- on one hand there were hopes that this meant that the ambiguous war against terror could now be put to rest. But on the other hand, if we were honest with our selves, one couldnt quell the feeling that more terror would be on its way.

I read an interesting article that speaks to how American ‘imperialism’ after 9/11 has only taught us to respond violently when faced with violence. ( Read This notion of justified violence has grown so strongly that when the world heard of how 16 year old Australian boy Casey Heynes ‘snapped’ after years of being bullied and responded violently to his tormentors, many people cheered. Violence can be justified, and more so if it is ‘political’. The bombing of Libya is an act of ‘humanitarian intervention’ as NATO is supposedly out to serve the people of Libya’s best interest. Similarly, humanitarian intervention was used in Afghanistan and Iraq but I am not sure that the local people from both regions would agree that life is less violent now under an ‘American regime’.

Let me be clear- I am not saying that I completely disagree with humanitarian intervention as a tool. And when Casey Heynes lifted up his bully and smashed him on the school floor, something inside of me grinned from cheek to cheek. But any act of celebration as a response to violence seems inhumane and unnatural. Self defence is an excuse for use of violence, but I wouldnt go so far as congratulating Casey. I wouldnt feel right singing and jumping around to the news that Bin Laden is now dead because I know more is to come (see Taliban’s annoucement of its spring offensive- Violence easily spirals out of control and its victims will be endless.

I have found Martin Luther King Jr’s words to be very helpful in helping me process how to deal with Bin Laden’s death. You may have seen them on facebook, but I’ll share them again here:

“I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that”.
Martin Luther King Jr

One Response to “Bin Laden’s death- Has terror really been vanquished?”
  1. juliaaw says:

    well done. love your blog

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