Archive for May, 2011

Today I’m Gonna Try and Change the World

May 20, 2011


I hope you’ll enjoy this song by a great Canadian artist, Johhny Reid.


Reaction to the Death of Osama bin Laden

May 9, 2011

Two Cents Worth in the Nickel City
Reaction to the Death of Osama bin Laden

I remember the day, September 11th, 2001 like it was yesterday. I know exactly what I was doing and who I was with. It was a day that will remain forever etched in my memory. I saw images I never thought I’d see on American soil. I heard and felt things that most Americans shared that day. Shock. Disbelief. Pain. Outrage.

This week we got the news. Osama bin Laden is dead. Killed by an elite group of U.S. Navy Seals that is so top secret even most government officials didn’t know they existed until the deed was done. Our president watched the raid go down in real time. Pakistan officials denied knowing bin Laden’s whereabouts and vowed to help us locate him. Now suddenly they claim their sovereignty has been violated even though he was the world’s #1 terrorist and had been camping out in their back yard.

As the news unfolded on the Internet my emotions were mixed. “We finally got the bastard!” and “What happens now?” popped in almost simultaneously. When I went to work on Monday my co-workers were a-buzz with the news, but naturally since they are Canadians it didn’t hit home quite the same way it did for me. There were skeptics, of course. Some thought it was a hoax put up by the government which I quickly downplayed.

“I doubt they would say they killed him if they hadn’t. I’m sure Barack Obama doesn’t want a video popping up on YouTube with bin Linden sticking his thumbs in his ears going, ‘N’yah. N’yah! You missed me!’” Everyone readily agreed with that assessment.

Finally one person spoke up and quieted the room.

“So, seeings how you are an American, how does it make you feel to hear Osama bin Laden’s dead?”

Honestly? I think it was political. I think we could have gotten him anytime we wanted to. They can track a man down for delinquent parking tickets, but they couldn’t find the world’s most wanted terrorist? They have satellites that can zero in on a man sitting on a park bench and read the headlines of the newspaper he is holding, but they could not locate Osama bin Laden? They have surveillance equipment the size of a mosquito that can zip in and out of buildings undetected but they couldn’t find a single conversation that might lead them to the man with a 25 million dollar bounty on his head?

“Anticlimactic,” was my answer and I was sorry I felt that way. But it was true. The feeling that this was a political maneuver made me feel like a radical skeptic or a conspiracy theorist but government actions of late have made me suspicious of most everything they do. Fear has always been a tool the government has used to control the population, from the spread of communism and Mutual Assured Destruction to heightened security risks and terrorism denials for nearly every incident. We live in fear. Maybe that is one of the casualties of 9/11. We just don’t know who to trust anymore.

Now almost a week later I’ve seen images of people rejoicing. Perhaps they have that right. I think every lawbreaker should be made aware that there are consequences for their actions and victims may well feel relief to various degrees. On the flip side I read one commentary from an American that declared the killing of Osama bin Laden was “murder”. An American highly respected in some circles.

While President Obama was declaring “justice has been served” all I could think about is the changes we have witnessed in the past 10 years. Do I feel safer now that Osama bin Laden is gone? No. Is the world better off? Yes.

Did he get away with it…?