Bin Laden deserved to die. He deserved no trial, nor anything else. He invoked war to describe his struggle with the West and he was treated as a combatant; which is to say, he was shot in the head. On this point, I don't think many will disagree. But our reaction here in the U.S. last night left me with some serious disquiet, watching the crowds grow in DC, NYC and elsewhere.
The cheering and chanting didn't inspire me, it reminded me of Damascus, Tripoli, Kabul and the countless rallies since the US invasion of Afghanistan wherein crowds in cities such as those burned American flags and chanted Death to America. All the people in DC and NYC were missing were some Pakistani flags, and it would've been a scene familiar to most of us.
When it mattered, we were no better. We showed no more dignity, nothing. We stooped and we cheered as we heard that our soldiers had shot an unarmed man. And tomorrow, if there are celebrations at the death of American soldiers, we will watch in annoyance and incomprehension.
Murder should not be greeted with celebration; regardless of who or where it's done. It should be treated with seriousness and sobriety. Osama deserved the bullet he got; murder can be justified, I'll never argue otherwise, but if you're going to do it - show a little class. Respect the gravity of what you're doing. Understand that you are destroying an immensely valuable, and to some family somewhere, beloved person forever. And pull the trigger. And let that be the end of it.
It's an animal that rejoices in the slaughter of another, and yesterday my nation shamed generations. It isn't the first time, and it won't be the last.