Of Course We Can Celebrate Bin Laden’s Death
by Alex Urban | University of Georgia
Since the attacks on 9/11, Osama Bin Laden has been a thorn in the side of America. Finding him (dead or alive) never really had any intrinsic value in the War on Terror, but his ability to elude our crosshairs always seemed symbolic of our lack of success in the war. With his death on Sunday night, we can finally chalk one up in the win column and celebrate the symbolic victory. We deserve it.
In the aftermath of Bin Laden’s death, there have been conflicting opinions on how we should treat the event. There are many out there who are lambasting the jubilant celebrations across the country because they say it is wrong to celebrate the death of any human being. While I understand this line of logic, there is no part of my being that agrees with this sentiment in any way.
At some point, people like Osama Bin Laden cease being human and become monsters. Bin Laden was not just a normal guy with some misguided opinions; he was the mastermind of the death of thousands of innocent civilians around the globe.
Why is it wrong to celebrate the death of a man who masterminded the death of our own citizens on our own soil? He even took credit for the attacks and gloated about it on international television. There is no gray area here: Bin Laden planned and orchestrated the death of civilians to serve his own extremist ideology that also distorts the views of Islam around the world.
Bin Laden’s death doesn’t mean the end of the War on Terror — I doubt anyone truly believes that — but it does bring justice and closure to the man who started this mess. The families and friends of those lost in New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania now can say the man responsible for their suffering can’t live comfortably and can’t hurt anyone else in his twisted life. To me, that is a cause for celebration.
America changed forever on 9/11; I was just in the seventh grade when I sat in class watching the Twin Towers fall. At the time even I could sense the world was changing. Bin Laden orchestrated an event that will literally shape my entire life going forward: from airline security to foreign conflict, the effects of 9/11 permeate all aspects of life. This is probably why there was such an outbreak of celebration on college campuses nationwide. We were all in elementary and middle school on 9/11 and it was a moment that matured us just a bit more quickly than we might have otherwise. We remember the footage and the feelings of uncertainty and fear. 9/11 is a part of our lives and our maturation, so hearing that Bin Laden was finally killed felt like a weight lifted off our shoulders. To take away that celebration is to deny rational human behavior.
I have no sympathy for Osama Bin Laden. Maybe we wouldn’t all be celebrating his death if he didn’t kill innocent people for no reason other than to incite chaos. To say that it is wrong to celebrate his death understates how truly horrible the man was. He should be put in the same category as Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. Do you think Europeans restrained from celebrating Hitler’s death? Hell, even the Star Wars galaxy held large bonfire parties when Darth Vader and the Emperor were killed.
If you don’t feel that it is right to celebrate another human being’s death, even if that human being caused unknown amounts of pain and suffering, I respect your opinion but don’t try to make those that celebrated feel guilty. Don’t deny us the right to what is rational human behavior. Bin Laden was an absolute monster and deserved what was coming to him.
We celebrate Bin Laden’s death because it means he can’t hurt anyone anymore and because he actually had to pay for his actions rather than live out his life with his youngest wife in a million-dollar house. To me, his death is on par with Hitler’s death and nobody should feel ashamed to celebrate.
Alex Urban is a NGJ Voices Contributor and Public Relations Master's student at the University of Georgia. He graduated from Clemson University in 2011 and was the editor of Clemson's school paper's (The Tiger News) opinions section. He is interested in a wide range of topics from international relations to sports and pop culture.