There is nothing normal about celebrating death
I thought justice was about bringing people to trial for crimes they have committed, not targeted assassinations. It seems I was wrong. I thought disdain for Britain and the US was born from our imperialist foreign policy, not one man recording video messages. It seems I was wrong. First, NATO bomb Libya and kill three of Gaddafi’s grandchildren, and people celebrate. What were the crimes of those children? Or is it acceptable to celebrate their deaths because they are ‘the devil’s spawn’?
Today, we are celebrating the death of former CIA employee Osama Bin Laden. Why are there no photographs of his body? Why was he buried in the sea? Why is he not on trial? Of course, we are not encouraged to question the official line.
Can one man be solely responsible for atrocities that kill thousands of people? As with Saddam Hussein, as with Muammer Gaddafi, the complete dehumanisation of Osama Bin Laden as an individual has served as the pretext for the killing of hundreds of thousands of people. If we were to follow the logic that the killing of one man called Bin Laden comprises ‘justice’ for the thousands of victims of 9/11, then what would ‘justice’ for the estimated one million Iraqis dead since the US and British-led invasion of Iraq entail?
The truth is, the conditions that allow Bin Laden’s ideology to proliferate still exist. The colonialist Israeli occupation of Palestine still exists. The occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan still exist. The bombing of Libya continues. We do not celebrate those victims of our ‘military humanitarianism’; rather, we completely ignore them.
If Osama Bin Laden was killed today, then is the world a better place? Should we feel safer? I do not feel safer to know that a country with a thousand military bases across the world still holds the arrogant vision of itself as the world’s policeman. I think there is another reason Bin Laden would never be put on trial; perhaps then, we could have found out who he was taking his orders from?
“I think that all the silence is worse than all the violence,” sings rapper Lupe Fiasco on his latest single, ‘Words I Never Said’, “Fear is such a weak emotion that’s why I despise it / We’re scared of almost everything afraid to even tell the truth…”
When will we stop allowing our fears to blind our sense of humanity?Tagged in: Al-Qaida, osama bin laden, terrorism
Recent Posts on The Foreign Desk
- Bribe-free Railways Minister in India's expanded cabinet
- India at last commemorates, with Britain, its role in the ‘forgotten’ 1914-18 war
- Narendra Modi merges myth and reality to say plastic surgery fixed Ganesh’s elephant head
- Narendra Modi strengthens political grip with Indian state election wins
- Good Indian sales at Sotheby’s London but contemporaries’ slump worsens
Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter