Sometimes You Just Can’t Win

The killing of Osama bin Laden has resulted in celebration by many in the United States and around the world.  The attacks of 9/11, planned by bin Laden, killed thousands of people and changed life as we knew it in much of the world.  Planning such attacks and carrying them out was despicable.  I can understand why so many people have rejoiced at the revenge that was exacted by the U.S. Government.  Myself, I find it hard to rejoice at the killing of anyone.  I would like to think that there was an immediate threat during this action, which resulted in bin Laden being killed.

My beliefs suggest that everyone must answer for their actions at some point, whether it is during this life or after.  It doesn’t bother me that some people “escape justice” because I know that no one truly escapes justice.  The killing of bin Laden, if it was for revenge, may make some people feel good in the short-term.  But a more important consideration is whether this makes things better in the long-term.

The U.S. reportedly buried bin Laden at sea, in order to comply with the Islamic tradition of a speedy burial.  I read a news report today that Muslim clerics have denounced the burial at sea because it “runs contrary to the principles of Islamic laws, religious values and humanitarian customs.”  Their assertion is that burial at sea is only permitted if the person dies at sea, which means they would have been satisfied only if bin Laden had been buried on land with his head pointing toward Mecca.  Even if this custom had been followed, there would have been something that wasn’t done right and the clerics would have denounce the U.S. anyway.

The heart of the problem is that it is impossible to get everyone to agree on something all the time.  Those in the Middle East are never going to completely agree with those in the West.  The elected members of our government in the United States can hardly agree on anything.  It is a wonder anything gets accomplished.

Locally, I read a newspaper article yesterday that described a typical evening shift with the local sheriff’s department.  There are frequently no more than 3 or 4 deputies on duty to cover an area the size of the state of Rhode Island.  I know what was written in the article was fact because I retired from doing the very same job.  But in the comments posted on the Internet in response to the article, several people suggested this was just a ploy by the new sheriff to improve the funding for his department.  One poster even suggested that the sheriff’s department would have more resources if they stopped going after medical marijuana dispensaries.

Some people will certainly feel good for a short time with Osama bin Laden gone.  I would not be surprised if this incident ultimately creates more problems than it solves.

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