I am 100% in support of our troops and have complete respect for our intelligence personnel as well. What I’m conflicted about regarding the killing of Osama bin Laden yesterday and the subsequent announcement last night were the celebrations that occurred in Washington DC, at Ground Zero, and elsewhere. I think a retweet that ended up in my twitter feed summed it up fairly well: “Tonight is a night for sober and mature reflection, not glee. Mindless celebration is both spiritually inappropriate and politically naïve.” (@marwilliamson)
I admit that the Team America: World Police song popped into my head last night – “America, f**k yeah!” – but I wasn’t ready to fly my American flag and chant “USA! USA!” with the others they were showing on TV. It was an important enough event that I made sure my oldest daughter was in front of the TV with us to hear Obama’s address, but as my husband and many others commented on last night: it’s morally hard to cheer for the death of someone else even if we know that person committed such atrocities against other human beings.
I’m grateful that Obama was able to come into office and focus on the mission that Bush seemed to lose sight of when he turned our military attention to Iraq as well as Afghanistan, but it’s still crazy to think that it took almost 10 years to bring bin Laden down. That means all the college students out celebrating in the streets were 10-12 years old when 9/11 happened and don’t really have the perspective that older folks have on it.
I am absolutely proud to be an American and to have such an amazing military to protect my freedoms, but I know that the celebrations are not the most appropriate way to mark such a serious event. I appreciate that Obama mentioned that we know bin Laden was not a Muslim leader since he killed just as many Muslims as not; I laughed when someone else mentioned that Obama’s speech was interrupting “Celebrity Apprentice”; and I grew quiet as I tried to figure out how I felt the event will shape America’s future. I thought to the fact that we’re supposed to be withdrawing our troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and that bin Laden’s death will only help in the long-term stability of the region. I also know that bin Laden’s al Qaida and the Taliban had parted ways so it’s not really as simple as that, but it is a step in the right direction.
I respect the political maneuvering that Obama made last week by “finally” offering up his birth certificate and stating that it was time to move on to more important things – knowing all the while that the final stages of the bin Laden mission were in action. I think he proved that there were certainly more important items on the horizon than his long-form birth certificate.
I’m avoiding the news today so that I can filter out the truth from the opinions as time gives us a little perspective on the events of yesterday. I can only hope that this perspective will bring us together as a country. I know that yesterday’s events probably mean more to the military troops and families as well as anyone directly affected by 9/11 – either through proximity to the events or relation to those who were killed. But even for this 30-something West Coast girl, I can appreciate that bin Laden’s death means a great deal to many people. I just hope that we can be respectful of the rest of the world as we mark the end of that era.
I am one of the amazed ones at the reaction to Obama bowing to the Emperor of Japan. It's called a culturally appropriate sign of respect to another world leader. What's the problem? So what if he combined it with the typical American greeting of shaking hands. It shows that both leaders can respect each other's cultural traditions.
I thought Stephen Colbert's Twitter post was great: did you know a gesture can have two meanings? i.e. in japan bowing is a sign of respect but in the U.S. it's a sign of a weak president
Even the State Department has a policy that says to respect the culture of the country you're in when giving greetings. Per AP article: In an online State Department posting from 2007 titled "Protocol for the Modern Diplomat," envoys are advised to be aware of greeting rituals such as kisses, handshakes or bows and to follow a country's tradition.
So to anyone who was offended at Obama bowing to another world leader - go take a nap and chill out. And please let those of us who are aware and respectful of other countries' customs be the ones who truly represent our country to the world.
I hate to be a downer on such a cool news headline this morning, but one of the first things that came to mind in this "surprise" decision less than a year into his first term as president is why give a man the Nobel Peace Prize when he's about to announce a troop surge in Afghanistan? And what's that now? It's because of his POTENTIAL to have an effect on the reduction in nuclear arms and his desire for diplomacy? Seriously?
If this is the Nobel Prize for Hope, then have at it, but it's the Nobel PEACE Prize - let's give him a chance to demonstrate some of his plans rather than give it to him to make sure he stays on the right path. I'm absolutely not saying that anything will change in Obama's plans, but this just seems a bit premature.
I'd love to have the attention from receiving this go towards actually achieving his goals. That maybe the Nobel committee had something going for it when it decided that giving Obama the award now would help boost his peace-loving profile to get the plans moving forward that much faster. Would absolutely love it.
Congratulations President Obama on winning the Nobel Peace Prize - if you thought you had pressure on you before to achieve your goals, it just got doubled.