Monday, May 2, 2011

I Couldn’t Sleep at all Last Night, (1961) Bobby Lewis

We interrupt this blog

Obama got Osama! That was all over the Internet by eleven-thirty last night.

I was watching an episode of GLEE, finished and turned the DVD player off. And, what to my wondering eyes did appear? Safari was opened to CNN and at the top of the page the headline, “OSAMA BIN LADEN DEAD.” I had to pinch myself. Was it true? Nine Eleven happened almost ten years ago. George W. Bush had sworn to get bin Laden, and hadn’t succeeded during his eight-year presidency. We aren't even through Obama's second year, and Osama bin Laden is dead. Really!?! Evidently I had come to believe this would never-ever happen. I went to my partner’s room and we turned the TV to CNN, saw the rebroadcast of President Obama’s announcement.

Yes, the bastard was finally dead!

I'M PLEASED AS PUNCH. But, I shouldn't be - "A tooth for a tooth," and all that.

Then, I lay awake most of the night thinking about the apocalyptic first decade of this century, how every waking moment of everyone’s life was affected by the horror we watched unfold on that beautiful, clear late summer morning of September 11, 2001. How increasingly ultraconservative fundamental forces on opposite sides, here at home and in the middle-east were actively pursuing a course toward a Twenty-first Century Crusade, first one war, then a second, and finally, this year to everyone’s amazement, the Arab World goes nuclear with revolution, country after country seeking democratic freedom.

Tossing and Turning, and laying awake some more...

Bin Laden is dead! Damned amazing! So now, what? Of course, some crazies will come up with conspiracy theories that bin Laden’s death is a U.S. government hoax, or even more bizarre, it is Obama's hoax. There will be attempts at retaliation against the USA by al-Qaeda. But, what happens with these nascent Arab revolutions? Do they grow toward sectarian democracies or do some/all become fundamentalist Islamic religious states like Iran? Will the USA finally develop a foreign policy that actually fights against Islamic Terrorists rather than nation/states? Will fundamentalist religious fanaticism grow or diminish? More questions, elation, worry… over and over…

I just couldn’t sleep at all last night!

And, finally, I found this, posted today by a friend on Facebook.

"I will 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


E said...

Thank you for sharing this, John. I think you have powerfully captured the complexity of emotions, the vast uncertainties.

...The answers are few, the questions are critical, and the commitment to see the complicated humanity in each of us is essential.

Betsy Grant said...

Well said John. The idea of rejoicing in another's death is not a good thing, no matter who they are or what they've done. Rather it's a cause for sadness at the waste of a human life. The story of the man who wrote "Amazing Grace" comes to mind - the slave trader who had the epiphany and wrote the song which has inspired thousands. What if he had been shot before he learned his lesson? His regret and remorse at his wrongdoing would have never come about and the world would be without one of the most beautiful and inspiring songs ever written.