Osama Dead: Fear Next To Go?

Posted by Eric Stein - May 2, 2011 CE @ 06:00:49 UTC
Tonight, we all found out that Osama bin Laden was killed by the CIA. Very little detail provided, and the announcement President Obama made was delayed for some reason. Nothing much was lost there, as the entire Internet was already alight with the news and speculation about the details. This person to person propagation of the news when it was breaking reminded me of no historical event so much as the violent events of 9/11/2001.

Neither event in a purely rational world would have had much impact. More innocent people die in car crashes in the US in a month than died on 9/11. Many jihadis die at the hands of the US who aren't Osama. However, it's the mindset of the populace that changes. In 2001, Americans felt vulnerable. We felt hurt. We felt like our place in the world wasn't what we thought it had been. We were shocked. Many of us were scared, at least for a while.

We immediately overreacted and allowed ourselves to be led into 2 wars, one of which merely using our fear as a way to cloud our reason. It's easy to let the fight-or-flight reflex take over in exigent circumstances, and that's what happened. In a way, the US created the monster that was Osama bin Laden; both literally in Afghanistan in the 1980s, and figuratively as a symbol of Islamic Extremism. When you put a man at the #1 position on the Billboard Chats of Violence for 9.5 years, it lends a certain impact to his message, even in opposition.

A quote has been making the rounds over the last few hours on the subject of Osama's death. I find it quite apt.
You are not free until you eliminate all your fear. The big opportunity after the death of Bin Laden is for us to eliminate fear. - S. Awad

Most of us have got past 9/11, eliminated fear already. I hope Osama's death will inspire the rest to put aside the manacles of fear that they've allowed themselves to be restrained with; and that more citizens of the world let fear go now than take up the flag of revenge. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. Well, if we can get past the past.

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