Break the hate cycle

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I just spent the last couple of hours watching history unfold. It is well-known by now, that last night (I write these words around 1:30 am of May 2nd) President Barrack Obama told the world that Osama Bin Laden, mastermind of the USS Cole and 9/11 attacks, was dead.

The news leaked about an hour before the announcement and by the time Obama took the microphone, there were already hundreds of people outside of the White House chanting and celebrating the fact. Crowds were also gathering around Ground Zero in New York City in what became an important and emotional chapter in US history.  

As the night progressed, discourse both in mainstream media and on the streets got charged up more and more and before long, what began with chanting of patriotic songs (God Bless America and the Star Spangled Banner) became a rowdy football fan-like behavior. “Yes, we can” evolved to “USA! USA! USA!” and “Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey, goodbye.”  On twitter, new users like OsamaInHell and GhostOsama were created and tweets making reference to the foursquare network  mentioning that Osama Bin Laden was the now mayor of Hell were retweeted all night. “Obama got Osama” T-shirts are already on sale. Admittedly, the trend was contagious and I even fell into it for a second. But we have to be better than this.

I can understand that the US needs to take a moment to celebrate achieving a goal they set a long time ago but we cannot let it become the catalyst of hate.

When the twin towers fell, I remember news media showing footage from Palestine of people celebrating in the streets. Watching Americans do exactly the same today, worries me. Death and vengeance should not be an occasion for joy and as Mohandas Gandhi famously said “an eye for eye makes the world go blind.”

I don’t mean to eradicate extremism. That would be naïve. But we cannot allow ourselves the easy privilege of going with the flow and letting the worst part of our human nature take over. I felt sick reading some racist comments from readers of news media saying that Obama’s speech should have started with “I got that cocksucker towelhead. We got him right between the frickin’ eyes.”  It is irrelevant to look for the root cause of the conflict, to point fingers and say who is to blame for all the hate… but far too quickly we’ve forgotten why the Taliban was in power in Afghanistan in the first place. In most conflicts, no one party is completely innocent and no one party is completely to blame.

Please, dear readers, let’s acknowledge this day in history for what it is and ONLY for what it is. Last night a man who considered his ends to justify his means which included targeting innocent civilians, was killed in a military operation in Pakistan. It was not the triumph of good over evil and it was not Obama “getting a cocksucker towelhead.”

Please break the hate cycle. It is time to call for unity, not vengeance (and you don’t want vengeance coming your way either).

All we are saying is give peace a chance.   

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16 thoughts on “Break the hate cycle

  1. Ali

    10 años despues de un raro y aun no aclarado atentado matas a un ex aliado y ex socio…. cómo estar feliz por MATAR a alguien???…. coincido…. esto me parece va más de la mano con distraer la atención y levantar la moral de un pueblo que aun no se recupera de su pultima crisis económinca… casualmente tambien provocada por ellos….

    Que raro es que lo “encuentran” en Paquistan… y no en IRAK… y no en AFGANISTAN…. y no en AQUINOESTAN….. nop.. en Pakistan… lugar donde la OTAN ni la ONU tienen presencia… cómo es que los buenos vecinos tienen operaciones libres en ese país??

    Al final de cuentas… que pasará con más de 150mil soldados que áun tienen repartidos en Irak y Afganistan?…

    Aprovecharán para de una vez echarse a otro “enemigo poderoso” o de los traerán para reforzar la frontera herida y tomada por el narco?? quien les hace más daño???

    Buen blog

  2. Lore

    Thumbs up Arjan!
    Me gustó este post y estoy de acuerdo con lo que escribes. :)
    All we are saying is give peace a chance.

  3. Totally agree with you. Now, am I being petty and small minded by seeing the silver lining in hoping that this will help swing votes for Obama’s reelection? I’d truly dread to see Republicans in the White House again. They’re pretty nefarious, not just for their own country but for the rest of us as well.

    • Not at all, my dear friend. All’s fair in love and electoral politics.. though I am hoping for Trump to run so that it’s even easier for Obama to stay in office for a second term. ;)

  4. Dieguitzin Del Potzin

    Good work Arjan! I agree with you, however I guess it would be better to have the zetas collapsed rather than Alqaeda…

    We all live in a yellow submarine!

  5. Definitively agree with you, couldn´t have explained it better myself. I think the US should be “the bigger man” in this situation and stop the nonsense. By the way I must point out how social media has changed the news, “The news leaked about an hour before the announcement and by the time Obama took the microphone”. If only we could use that speed of information to track down more people that attempt against the lives of others.

  6. Carmen Moreno

    Good job Arjan, but you are preaching to the crowd! Our as educators educators is to go out and try to make people understand that others are entitled to their own ideas, beliefs and life styles. Wish us luck!

  7. Carmen Moreno

    Good job Arjan, but you are preaching to the crowd! Our job as educators educators is to go out and try to make people understand that others are entitled to their own ideas, beliefs and life styles. Wish us luck!

  8. LUPITA BRITO

    Arjan, you are right to say that this is not supposed to spread hate instead of peace, but unfortunately, the whole world became victims in one way or another. His death was necessary as was Hitler’s, but Hitler was smart enough or so much a coward that he took his own life. Now we have to fear the retaliations that are sure to come….let us pray that they be stopped in time before others can be hurt. Unfortunately, the most hurt have been the Muslims who for the most part have nothing to do with this hatred. I am sorry to say….but I DID celebrate his death because it was necessary to rid the world of one more EVIL.

  9. Monsi

    Arjuan, concido contigo. Este tipo de filosofía debe de aplicarse para todos los terrenos y todos los conflictos. Local, nacional, internacional, casa, trabajo, sociedad. Hay que relexionar justo en términos de lo que mecionas: “In most conflicts, no one party is completely innocent and no one party is completely to blame.”

  10. Renata Villa

    Comparto el mismo sentimiento. Me entristecí mucho al ver a tantas personas considerando este suceso un motivo de festejo.

    La unidad es necesaria YA!

    Te mando un abrazo!

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