I recently had a tense conversation about 9/11 and Osama Bin Laden’s assassination with an old friend of mine that left me feeling abused, neglected, and ignored. This friend was always interested in debating, has a major in The Dark Ages, is an atheist, and an avid political watchdog. He’s darned smart. But he reported some of the news that came out prematurely on the killing of a woman who the press said, “had been used as a human shield during the fire-fight” (to assassinate Osama Bin Laden) and the conversation grew from there.
What made me so angry is his statement that basically said that after years of torture and takeovers by big government like the USA, Al Qeada was basically simply firing back as retribution. In his eyes, this boomerang effect was just, considering. I promptly fired back something only an ex-military man would say: “Yeah? If it’s so fair, them volunteer your own loved-ones for the death squad.”
The response I got back was evasive. “Volunteer? Nobody volunteered. What are you talking about?” Obtuse moron. I was referring to the fact that he should volunteer his loved ones for the next bombing, if he felt it was so justified. I don’t see it as “America” was the sole hand in all of Afghanistan’s problems. So why weren’t other countries so affected? Why not bomb Big Ben, or the Eiffel Tower? His response was once more obtuse. “What do you mean?”
When I finally gave in, I simply named the two men in my life that meant a great deal to me, whom I lost due to 9/11. He knew both these talented musicians. He met them. He shook their hands, he ate meals with them, and he lived with them. How he could give them up in retribution for acts that every country outside of Afghanistan committed in the past, I can’t fathom. His answer was just as blank: “Yeah, that’s who we’re talking about here. You mourn in your way, I in mine, but we shouldn’t dance in the streets over Osama’s death.” I couldn’t stand it any longer. Scientist or not, Atheist or not, political watchdog or not, I flushed his account right off of my Facebook page.
I didn’t do it to be mean. I just can’t take it when someone suggests that the lives of two smart, handsome, musically, poetically talented, and very sweet men who hated politics were wiped off the Earth by a man who really only wanted power. Killed by a religious zealot. Art to be, destroyed. Children growing up, ruined, families ripped apart, the city bereft of one of its musical leaders. I didn’t dance in the street. I blinked in surprise, read the story, and went to bed. I continue to mourn for my lost friends. And nobody can tell me that they were “payment”, in any sense of the word.