Punk Retrospective

Righteous Indignation?

"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that" ~ attributed to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., though only partially his words.

I rarely do work as an apologist, but the events of the last few days, since the death of Osama bin Laden, have been filled with some unfair condemnation of those who would celebrate his absence from this world. This is a multidimensional event and care should be given to see it from every angle.

I prefer the more pleasant side of being human. I'm not out there pursuing my enemies to send them into oblivion, but anyone who is willing to order others to kill innocent people is on my list of people who are better dead. There are several "leaders" from around this planet whose deaths would make it a whole lot better, if only their ideas would die with them.

I think it would be wise of us to realize that most of the kids out there dancing in the streets of America would have little recollection of Clinton being in the White House, and to also understand that Osama has been the personification of evil throughout their lives.

While it is sad that this is how humans, and the rest of the animal kingdom, fix their problems, I think adults forget how passionate 16 - 24 year-old humans are and fail to understand that their experience of life is very different and much shorter than "ours". I don't completely comprehend their jubilation, but most of the people doing the “rejoicing” were probably only nine or ten years old when 9/11 happened.

On a day not long after 9/11, after the “no fly” rule went into effect, I was walking with my five year old son to the car. As we walked around the corner of our house the sound of a military aircraft reached us and he scrambled for cover, crying and asking if the terrorists were coming to get us. While I was initially surprised by his enthusiastic response to news of the death of Osama bin Laden, it didn’t take long for me to realize a great, submerged weight had been released from his subconscious mind.

I can understand the shock and frustration of those who feel the need for somber reflection. I also remember the images coming out of the Middle East the day we were attacked. It seems to me, if we can forgive those who danced in the streets on 9/11 over there, we can certainly allow the children of this age of terror the opportunity to celebrate the end of this particular era without harsh judgment and criticism. Perhaps there will be blow-back from this, but for now seems a demon has been exorcised for a generation.

[play-button:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16850984/Osama/09-Circle_Jerks-Product_of_My_Environment.mp3] Circle Jerks - Product of My Environment Link source

[play-button:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16850984/Osama/kidsinamerica.mp3] Muffs - Kids in America Link source

[play-button:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16850984/Osama/01%20Rat%20Patrol.mp3] Naked Raygun - Rat Patrol Link source

[play-button:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16850984/Dont%20-%20We%20Wont%20Take%20No%20More%20-%20Parte%202/15%20-%20Worlds%20Going%20Insane.mp3] Insane - World's Going Insane Link source

[play-button:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16850984/Osama/03-Circle_Jerks-Under_the_Gun.mp3] Circle Jerks - Under the Gun Link source

[play-button:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16850984/Osama/01%20where%20did%20his%20eye%20go.mp3] Dickies - Where Did His Eye Go? Link source

Posted by ElDorkoPunkRetro

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  1. Good perspective. I will say that it is unfortunate that our government has thrived on instilling blind fear and hatred within a whole generation. As a result of this, I was forced to face the ugly facets of humanity from both the Arab and the American front. Indeed, those people who were filmed dancing on 9/11 in the Middle East are just as brainwashed about many things in regard to the Western world. It’s something that goes both ways.

    • It’s hard for most people to see things from a perspective that’s not their own. My life experience has put me on many different sides of many different issues, so I’m maybe too sympathetic to the POV of others. I know, after the attacks, I could understand why they would attack. I could also understand why we would go after them for doing it.

      It’s a complex thing, being human, and I think it’s a good idea to at least try understanding where people are coming from before condemning their actions…to a certain degree. Obviously, there are lines that should not be crossed…and they’ve been crossed.

      • There is never anything wrong with seeing something from another person’s perspective. It doesn’t make you weak, it makes you able to make a more informed and clear decision on matters.

        Personally, none of what has been said refutes the fact that this generation has been force fed fear in many ways right down to the Patriot Act and the formation of TSA. Lines have been crossed on both sides. I saw 9/11 happen in person. I knew people personally that were present when it happened. That still does not change my stance on this.

        This entire topic conjures up the feelings of animosity and hatred that I have received over the years from other US citizens as if I was the spokesperson of Islam while I was growing up. I do not feel sorrow for the man’s death but I see the people not in NY celebrating as the same ones that have dished out that discrimination toward myself and other Muslims.

        • Actually, I will fix something and add that not only did Muslims face discrimination, but Arabs did too. Since part of heritage is from Egypt, which is not technically Arab but still seen that way, that means that I was hit from both fronts. To further clarify some things, I still hold this stance even though I have not been a Muslim for a long time.

          • Now we’re going to reach into some controversial territory…well, I guess I don’t have to go that far. Suffice it to say, the U.S. government, especially under Bush/Cheney, used fear to push through their long-awaited agenda of Middle East disruption and a domestic assault, not only on the Constitution, but the populace in general. It’s divide and conquer, class warfare and scarcity tactics have brought us to a point where I could see one calculated incident sending this country into civil war.

            The right wing of this country has been taken over by zenophobes, homophobes and corporatists and will do everything in their power to continue driving wedges between religious, economic, ethnic and social groups. I think they understand that any form of peace in this world would disrupt their power and privilege.

            So, yeah, there’s been a lot of brainwashing…I guess I’m asking that we don’t blame the victims of it, which is what I was asking we not do before they started these wars.

  2. Yes, but sometimes I wonder if blaming them is one step toward helping to remove the brainwashing. I guess it comes down to simply stopping the blame of the victim and to actually attack the disease itself.

    • Education, right? I think the world is having this discussion now, so it might wake a few people up. I can remember being defended for wrong actions when I was young. That in itself was enough to correct me.

      It would be nice to have a media that doesn’t work against to goals of attaining something like peace. It would be nice to see a paradigm shift in the way the world approaches stories, problems, etc. There’s hope, at times.

      I think most blogs on this subject are approaching it as an, “Oh, how horrible, they’re rejoicing in another human beings death” manner, which is one side of the issue. I really think there are as many sides to the issue as there are people…some brainwashed, some young, some growing, some judgmental, etc. I, myself, would never celebrate the death of another person, and would hope our cultures would evolve in a way that would lessen hatred and violence, which, I believe, means reevaluation religious beliefs, economic systems and governing structures. That’s a whole lot of learning, so I imagine there will be more violence before that’s achieved.

  3. Osama won his battle a long time ago, his death will make no difference.

    If he had the power behind him that the US claimed, there would have been hundreds of attacks in succession. Look at how many suicide bombings there are every week in the Middle East. Al-Qaeda would have hit in the malls at the heartland of America, not just one city. He was not a threat that required military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    What he wanted to do was to bankrupt us through constant warfare, just as he did with the Soviets in Afghanistan. Force us to spend millions on programs and technology to chase an imaginary threat. To that end, he succeeded very well but not completely. The US has lost a great many of the freedoms that it had in 2000 and in that way Osama succeeded again.

    I don’t know all of the truth about what Osama wanted, nor am I certain that US political leaders created and manipulated a crisis for their own means. What I do know is that I was never in fear and Bib-Laden’s death means nothing to me. More Americans die from heart attacks every month than died on 9/11. I’m not at war with McDonalds. The US military has killed more than 3000 people in retaliation for 9/11, I say we’re even.

    One thing is certain. The US wants something in the Middle east and will go to great lengths to attain it. I don’t know if it’s oil, security for Israel, release of the US corporate assets that the Saudi princes own or something else. They will never tell us the truth. The government will continue to fuel the Christian-Muslim conflict until they have gotten what they want from it.

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