and so we see the death of a terrorist…

May 2, 2011

Usually, I try to avoid current events. Too many blogs and news sites tend to be swamped by them and they’re really not my trade since I prefer to ponder a topic for a bit before writing about it. However, when our globe is captured by a singular event, it’s impossible not to acknowledge it. Osama bin Laden is finally dead and gone thanks to years of effort. As odd it may sound, it seems like everyone got what they wanted from this event. We got to kill our modern day political bogeyman, and he got to die as a martyr for his misguided cause. Though we’ll never know his last thoughts, I wonder if bin Laden had a moment of clarity before he was shot, unsure if his boasts of wanting to be killed for his beliefs should’ve been anything but boasts, wondering if he really did want to die like that. His legacy will be that of a typical wealthy and obsessed sociopath with weapons: a long swath of destruction in which he declared that anyone who his men hurt or got caught in the crossfire as a fair target, including fellow Muslims who were no fans of American foreign policy but didn’t want war either, killed by bombings and shootings all because they wouldn’t bow before bin Laden’s crusade.

It’s one thing to protest what’s happening in politics and on the world’s stage, and I think we can all agree that every nation makes missteps or decides on courses of action which are almost guaranteed not to work. But there is no situation in which it’s acceptable to simply declare war on anyone and everyone who doesn’t share your obsessions and religious beliefs, demanding that people who want no part of any battle do your bidding and kill whoever catches your ire that day, or become targets. Yet this is exactly what bin Laden did, and while we can argue the mechanics of the conflicts engulfing the world today for decades to come (and I assure you that many historians will be doing just that), I think it’s fair to say that his influence only lead to more death and more violence. Like so many religious fundamentalists on a warpath, he treated the lives of others as cheap, and even his foot soldiers seemed little more than disposable pawns to him, used as human weapons, told that the people they’ll kill in their last moments on Earth, be they American soldiers or terrified little children in their mothers’ arms, are all legitimate targets who need to be slaughtered. The fewer monsters with such an unspeakably evil attitude towards other human beings exist in this world, the better.

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  • Anonymous

    Well stated.
    Thank you

  • Hume

    Actually I don’t think he was a sociopath. He just had his worldview warped by religious viewpoints founded by an early medieval warlord. His willingness to use his footsoldiers as pawns makes sense from that point of view, given that the overarching goal is to impose Allah’s will, and humans are merely slaves of that entity (actually the name “Abdullah” means “slave of Allah”). Presumably Allah is almighty, yet needs humans to carry out his will.

  • Greg Fish

    “Actually I don’t think [bin Laden] was a sociopath. He just had his worldview warped by religious viewpoints…”

    Well, since a sociopath is defined as someone with “…a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others” according to psychologists, the vehicle used to justify his behavior doesn’t really matter, does it? After all, there are countless Muslims who believe that what bin Laden did was evil, immoral, and sinful. You need to have a certain mindset to even be able to take your religious fervor as far as he did and there’s a reason why those we’d call terrorist sympathizers far outnumber actual terrorists who go out and kill others.

  • Hume

    Ok, my fault. I read “sociopath” as synonymous with “psychopath”.