A kinder, gentler nation

When someone I thought was a gentle, sensitive person sent me a gruesome photo of bin Liden’s face, with a link to a video of his demise, I was shocked.  That disgusting image has been popping up for me all day.

Why would I need to see this? I’m so glad President Obama has decided not to release photos of the corpse; maybe what I received was photo-shopped and not the real thing. I don’t want to see any of the graphic images whether they’re real or not.

One of my first reactions to bin Laden’s death, a patriotic or ethnocentric one at that, was that we wouldn’t behead him or desecrate his body. Although it was politically appropriate, I was surprised and heartened that before bin Laden’s burial at sea, pains were taken to wash his body according to Muslim ritual. Military personnel recited the proper words in Arabic. That was the right thing to do.

I liked Thomas Friedman’s NYT column today. He’s often too conservative for me, and he’s only one voice, but during this highly emotional time, he makes sense.

It’s ironic that bin Laden lived in a fine big house — by Pakistani standards — he who encouraged young Muslim men to give up everything to rid the world of “infidels.” No cave for him. I heard this morning that in his will he asked his own children to not continue his jihad.

Tomorrow President Obama is going to lower Manhattan to talk with family members of those killed on 9/11. He’s not going to yell about “gettin’ him.” He’s going to listen, give support to fellow human beings who have missed their loved ones for 10 years. That’s the right thing to do.

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4 Responses to A kinder, gentler nation

  1. Kasia says:

    So true. I, too, cheered silently when I read our president’s declaration that no photos would be released. And yes, Friedman has been a voice of reason.

  2. sheilawill says:

    I’m glad we’re on the same page — literally — Kasia.

  3. Totally agree with you! This week provided a bit of respite from mean-spirited American politics. May we continue on a kinder, gentler path.
    Marilyn

    • sheilawill says:

      Yes, I remember a sense of unity after 9/11. I think NYC has changed since then, partly because of that. But instead, divisiveness ensued with all the macho “we’re gonna git ’em” rhetoric. We missed such an opportunity for cooperation. I hope that President Obama — with his deep respect for collaboration and all humanity — will take the lead to reduce global hatred. Killing bin Laden was probably “a necessary evil” but I’m hopeful that Thomas Friedman’s stance about the Arab/Muslim world craving dignity and self-government will prevail.

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