These last few days have created feelings that many of us had forgotten in the 9+ years since the immediate aftermath of the September 11th attacks. I can’t speak for everyone, but in the winter of 2001 after the feelings of horror and anger subsided, a feeling of pride, unity, and commonality overwhelmed me for months. I was the least partisan I’d ever been in my life. For a while, I would think to myself, “Hey self, the Democrats may be bumbling idiots that want to create a socialist utopia, but they’re our bumbling idiots that want to create a socialist utopia.” Unity was on the tips of everyone’s tongues as national pride blanketed the country. Interestingly, those months following September 11th, the Bush administration made the wise choice to not squander and diminish that unity.
The Obama administration seems to have no such desire to do the same having decided for Americans what level of closure they can receive in regards to the bloody end of Usama Bin Laden.
Today, President Obama assured the American public that Bin Laden was indeed dead, not only confirmed by DNA but also by his own eyes. You see apparently, President Obama felt the need to look at the photo in order to confirm for himself that what was being claimed had indeed taken place. For the rest of America, that will just have to be good enough.
One of the reasons given is a fear that it will embolden radicals in the Middle East and cause them to retaliate, attack, or otherwise really not like us. Who knows? They may even burn a flag or two. This reasoning holds no water. Anyone who viewed Bin Laden as a Muslim leader in the first place is already no friend of the United States and probably doesn’t need to see a photo to want us all dead.
The photo is making it’s rounds in the United States Congress as of this writing. For what purpose? One would assume that the individuals we elected feel a need to see the photo for their own personal confirmation. Like a wake at a funeral except with less crying. This is an understandable desire and one in which the President of the United States has decided the rest of us cannot have fulfilled.
One would hope that while President Obama is applying moral equivalencies to the situation that at least our own GOP would be wiser. Apparently some, like GOP House Intel Chairman Mike Rogers, are not.
“Imagine how the American people would react if Al Qaeda killed one of our troops or military leaders, and put photos of the body on the internet,”
Jimmie Bise has the go-to piece for taking down this flawed way of thinking.
Once again, the concern is for the enemy. No I’m not saying all Muslims are the enemy. But we’ve been told over and over that the moderate Muslims are on our side and just as horrified at the events of 9-11 as we are. That being the case, it should be completely understandable that we need personal confirmation and closure here, just as we understood the same about Saddam Hussein and the need for the Iraqi people to have visual confirmation.
Anyone who claims that this is some type of “death porn” desire by myself and others is missing the point. Anyone who claims that it’s to settle wild conspiracy theories is purposefully distracting from the point. This is about the people in this country that have a need to see what they have been waiting 10 years to see. The orchestrator of an American nightmare dead, and no longer in a position to inflict harm on us. But more importantly, getting to literally see that justice was served.
But to this administration, and apparently to Rep. Rogers, our needs have to take a back seat. We need to make sure that the Muslims that idolized this monster get closure by providing them with a fully compliant funeral within 24 hours of the kill. The media gets their closure because their narrative is complete: President Obama succeeds where President Bush fails. The President himself gets closure because, unlike us, he saw the photo and confirmed with his own eyes and by his own adult decision to look, that Usama was dead.
But the biggest closure goes to Al Qaeda. They were able to witness an administration that is so petrified of upsetting them that they would sooner give an honorable funeral to a mass murderer than provide a simple photo to help close the darkest chapter in American history.
And I can’t speak for you, but that feeling of unity I mentioned at the beginning of this writing? It’s gone. And it didn’t have to be.