Ever since Sunday night I have felt so dualistic about the execution of Osama bin Laden. I know the horrible things he did, that some on the religious Christian right consider him the anti-Christ, and the rest of the world as a horrible monster who was responsible for multiple deaths. And he was a mass murderer. I agree that his death is justified and I am listening with what I hope is an open mind about all the after-debates. I cannot make any judgment calls on whether a death photo should be posted, whether he should have been buried so abruptly at sea, or what the ramifications of his death will have on the fringe right of Islam. I am basically a pacifist by nature although I understand that sometimes wars are necessary--and that some people are born bad.
What has gone against the grain were the initial joyous celebrations in the U.S. and around the world about his death and those in his compound. And those celebrations continue. Then my friend Sandy posted this article by Starhawk from today's Washington Post. It speaks to my heart.
I was speaking to a psychiatrist friend today about the joy most people seem to feel and he reminded me that the Old Testament talks about "Vengeance is Mine." Vengeance is apparently deeply built-in to human beings, unlike animals, even when we know that technically we "shouldn't" be so vindictive. He reminded me that human psyches are incredibly complex. Or maybe I somehow was born flawed because I don't want to dance on the grave of Osama bin Laden. But, would I want to if I had a lost a loved one? I just want to be an ostrich with my head in the sand. His death and all the political and media coverage has opened a wound that, in my ostrich-like way, I had hidden from.
I know I run the risk of really upsetting some people who read here, but I just have to express how I feel. I keep thinking of his wife(s), kids and others who survived, but I guess they are just collateral damage. Just like the people left behind when their loved ones were killed on 9/11.
Another friend forwarded a poem written by spiritual teachers Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat in Spirituality and Health in 2011 after 9/11. It is called "I Am," and I keep reading it over and over. It helps me with my wild tangle of feelings.