Todd Hartley: I’m With Stupid
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
I consider myself to be a fairly patriotic guy, as patriotic as the next guy, anyway. And by that I don’t mean I’m one of those morons who thinks everyone’s a communist if they don’t wear an American flag pin on their lapel, but rather that I stand firm in my conviction that America is the greatest nation in history. Being so pro-America, I wholeheartedly agree that our armed forces should be out there hunting down those who wish to do Americans harm.
Naturally, like most Americans, I was ecstatic when I learned of the death of Osama bin Laden. If ever we had an enemy who deserved to be killed, he was certainly the one. If there were any way to kill him another 3,000 times or so, I’d be all in favor of that, too.
As happy as I am about bin Laden’s death, however, I have to say that I’m more than a little embarrassed by America’s reaction to it, which to me seems unbecoming of a country as great as ours.
Let’s look at what we really did, shall we? After nine and a half years, we finally succeeded in tracking down and killing one man who, given that he couldn’t exactly show his face anywhere on the planet, didn’t personally pose much of a threat to us anymore. I’m sure we all would agree that by this point, bin Laden was little more than a figurehead, a symbol for the bad guys in our global war on terror.
Regardless, we found him, and we killed him. That’s awesome. Kudos to the men and women of our armed forces and intelligence community for a job well done. In these bleak times, it was nice to get an emotional boost like that.
What we didn’t do, though, was win the war on terror, or the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, for that matter. In fact, we really didn’t change anything about any of those wars by taking out bin Laden. If anything, we probably stirred a bunch of lazy terrorists to action who might have otherwise been not so sure they wanted to blow themselves up.
Judging by our reaction to the news, however – from Phillies fans interrupting a baseball game to chant “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!” to people dancing in the streets of Washington, D.C. – you’d have thought we won World War II all over again.
I’m not going to get into the questionable morality of celebrating someone’s death, even someone as despicable and deserving of death as bin Laden. Trust me, I’m definitely not the sort of bleeding-heart type who thinks every life is sacred and worth saving. But I do question the extent to which we celebrated this particular death.
The correct way to have handled this situation, in my opinion, would have been to shout a collective “Hooray!” and get back to business. Understated, classy, and not giving that scumbag any more time than he deserves. Instead, what we did – and continue to do – is the equivalent of Chad Ochocinco doing some over-the-top, well choreographed touchdown Riverdance while the outcome of the game is still in doubt. Not that America is the Cincinnati Bengals or anything, but you get the idea.
In one story I read online, a woman likened our response to bin Laden’s death to the celebrations that swept the Middle East following the events of 9/11. I certainly wouldn’t go that far, but I’ll admit she has a point. I’m sure most people in the Arab world weren’t all that fond of bin Laden, but to dance on his grave like this is a guaranteed way to make sure they’re not terribly fond of us either. It makes us look like a bunch of bloodthirsty savages.
And then there are our news outlets, which have basically aired nothing but bin Laden coverage and analysis since the moment the trigger was pulled. If you didn’t know better, you’d swear that bin Laden was the only problem America had. Sorry about your pain and suffering, Alabama, but apparently nobody cares about you since one jackass Arab is now sleeping with the fishes.
Here’s the thing: We scored a touchdown. Good for us. We should feel happy about it. But let’s act like professionals. Let’s hand the ball back to the referee and get ready to play some defense. Yes, we made the score look better, but we’re still a long way from winning the game.
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