So yes…the US has reportedly finally killed Osama bin Laden, our one-time ally against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Last night, hundreds of young people in DC and NYC took to the streets to gleefully chant “USA”, and revel in the success of the US military. Motivating most of this revelry is the belief that justice has been done. It is this point that I am having a hard time accepting.
Our collective history as human beings has never been a shining example of the better qualities in man. Wars and violence haunt us and ever threaten the dreams of peaceful men. In all our failings, though, a spark has always existed to bring hope for the future and guide us onward to better times.
Those who came before us were no greater than any one of us. They were imperfect men and women striving to create a better world for themselves and their children. They left us with ideas and inventions and paved the way for our modern civilization. They gave us the rule of law and the concept of individual liberty.
As Lincoln said, “…our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” Unfortunately, they brought with them slavery, genocide, and war as well. It is a great irony and a testament to the conflicted nature of our struggle to be free.