I consider myself a pacifist and I’ve definitely been anti-war and continue to be so. I’ve voted Greens Party several times, and I’m consistently pro-life in the sense that I don’t believe we should lightly kill anyone, innocent or not. That having been said, I was and still consider myself to be a New Yorker. I walked past the smoldering ruins of the twin towers every day for weeks on my way to work. I had friends who had to dodge falling bodies to escape. I watched the towers fall in person, and in my lower Manhattan apartment watched them burn for days. And listen – I was lucky. I didn’t lose anybody close to me, my brother who lived in New York at the time met up with me on a street corner while F-16s roared overhead, and we were OK. I was not deeply impacted. But I was surrounded by human tragedy, from my friend who cleaned up body parts at ground zero and drank himself into a stupor because he couldn’t deal with that to the crying people who’d lost loved ones who were standing near Ground Zero handing out flyers. I worked maniacally at a loading dock for a couple of days with the Salvation Army putting together loads for the responders at Ground Zero – mostly loading cases of beer, cigarettes, gloves and socks. People around me spontaneously wept. And you know what? It happens everywhere in the world – Darfur, Bosnia, and on and on.
But in the end this is it: I was (and am) a New Yorker, and despite my peaceful leanings I am glad, glad, glad Osama bin Laden is dead of unnatural causes. I’m glad he wasn’t allowed to peacefully die in a cave. I’m glad he died in violence like so many of his victims. I’m happy that an American man put an American bullet in his head. I’m sorry – it’s not in accordance with a positive mindset that I preach so often – but I’m glad to know he’s gone. Nothing is restored – we still have a decade of permanent war and the horrors of 9/11 which won’t go away just because he’s dead – but he’s dead, and that’s not a bad thing. We’re all still animals at our core, but – to paraphrase Orwell although not in the spirit in which he intended – some of us are more animalistic than others. Good riddance to bad rubbish.
Off to links.
I had a guest post up at Dough Roller: We Are All Consultants Now
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