And so we finally got Bin Laden. In the run-up to the President’s announcement as the news pundits could hardly find enough superlatives to fill the time, my only thought was “at what cost?”.
This war of retribution has cost us dearly, and by us I mean the global us. In Afghanistan and Iraq the most, countries ruined, so many innocent lives lost.
Here in the U.S., not only did we lose those who died on September 11th, but so many who were sent to fight, dead and maimed too. And in the process, we have all but bankrupted our country, social services decimated, education cut, children hungry, people without jobs or homes or healthcare.
How sad that this is how we define victory.
This morning I awoke to the image of a little girl in Afghanistan. I don’t know her name, let’s call her the Accidental Terrorist–she had the prettiest dark eyes, wide open staring sightless at the sky, her body mangled and bloody, a victim of one of the recent U.S. bombing attacks. She was just a little girl.
She must have run outside to play despite warnings from the soldiers to stay inside and keep her head down. She wasn’t a terrorist, and we are not safer for her death. Instead, we have destroyed a piece of the future of the world. It was not ours to so wantonly dismiss.
I wonder–did the young soldiers who dropped the bomb know that children would be killed? Can they live with that? What will they tell their children about the day they killed a little girl who ran out to play in Afghanistan?
Meanwhile back in this country it seems that a Saudi prince known for financing terrorism is now the 4th largest voting shareholder at Fox News’ parent company. You’ve got to admit, where Bin Laden left off, Glenn Beck has carried on quite nicely with his inaccurate, incendiary spew. Ingenious really.
We’ve gotten to a point in this country where it is almost like a case of mass assisted suicide. Jonestown without the koolaid. Our schools and roads are in disrepair. Sick, broke, unemployed and foreclosed have become our public lack of options. Our air is unbreathable and our water undrinkable, our press corp spends countless hours reporting on Tiger Woods’ apology and boys who don’t go up in balloons and teabag rallies and whether Sarah Palin is a creditable candidate for President. And in the name of ending terrorism, we send our children to kill other children half way around the world.
If Bin Laden is high-fiving somewhere out of sight, who can blame him for we have become the destructive force that he aspired to be.
She was just a little girl.