Bloggers React to Osama bin Laden's Death

BlogHer Original Post

Late last night (EST), United States President Barack Obama announced on television that American military forces located, fought with and killed Al Qaeda leader and 9/11 mastermind, Osama bin Laden.

This transcript of a conference call made promptly after the President's statement provides several intriguing and frankly chilling details of the actions that led to bin Laden's demise.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented measured yet gripping comments this morning:


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Perhaps no greater example of how social media presents us with a remarkably different view of news than print journalism can be seen in the headlines of the papers today versus the Twitter feed that unknowingly was live-tweeting the Osama operation as it unfolded.

World Trade Center Osama bin Laden dead
Credit Image: © Wu Jingdan/Xinhua/ZUMAPRESS.com

Here at BlogHer.com, Elisa provided an open thread through which many of us voiced as-it-happened emotions -- many revolving around concern mixed with gratitude for our military personnel as well as ambivalence about the use of violence against a person who unabashedly embraced violence. A sampling:

As the wife of an Army veteran, I am THRILLED at this and hopeful for the decline in this terrorist regime this could bring. At the same time, this will NOT be taken lightly by his followers and I'm still very worried for all of our troops that are still overseas. But overall I'm just really thankful for & proud of all the service men & women who've contributed to today, and just feel honored to be able to count so many of them as friends & family<3

and from Mel:

I rested my head on Josh's legs and just cried while the President spoke.

And from Elisa:

I'm all hippy anti-death. You know, don't believe in the death penalty. I'm a vegan, for goodness sake.

But.

I was in NYC on business on 9/11. And stranded there for days. And I smelled the air. And I sat in a bar with a bunch of guys who had been working down there and just listened to them.

I've never been so happy that someone is dead.

And there, I said it.

Our reactions, posted in blog posts, echo these sentiments and more. At this black sista's page, the balancing act many of us are attempting is evident:

I”m looking at the crowds of mostly flag-waving youth shouting USA, and chanting the song, “Nah-nah, Hey-hey, Kiss Him Goodbye” that have gathered outside the White House, many of whom were babies youngsters in 2001; of people milling about in Times Square in New York, and gathering at what many New Yorkers have called The Pit, the site of what had been the World Trade Center. I’m glad that Bin Laden is dead; however, I’m still uncomfortable. The reasons why some Muslims have trodden the path of extreme religiosity and extreme nationalism and violence still remains unaddressed. And until that happens, we may find that there will be no end to Bin Ladens.[emphasis in bold added]

I thought the exact same thoughts expressed by Nordette at Whose Shoes Are These Anyway?:

Even one Republican congressman, Peter King I think, put it this way, and I paraphrase: If the mission had failed, we would have blamed the president. So he gets credit for this success. He and someone else said the president showed guts. It was his call to take the shot and he took it. Others are praising the Obama administration for being able to keep the operation quiet, the way it kept the lid on security and avoided leaks.

And still, Obama is cool. Consider that he knew about this when they were releasing the long form of the birth certificate and as he did his comedy routine last night at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. (See clip of Obama smiling at Seth Meyer's Osama joke at WHCD on Saturday night before Osama was dead. To look at him, you'd think nothing like the Osama operation was brewing that night.)

Mare Contrare offers a jolt of reality for our troops overseas as she posts from Jalalabad:

Our FOB went from a Charlie Alert, to Delta and back down to Charlie. This means we don't have to walk around vested up with helmets, which I have to tell you is hot as hell, plus if you get a direct hit, mortar or RPG, you're dead. There are sandbagged bunkers everywhere for you to run for cover, but if the Taliban gets in the wire it's not good, especially for us that cannot carry a weapon.

Besides the possible retaliation for the death of Obama [sic] there is also the "Transfer of Authority". Last year this was a deadly time as it is spring and the Taliban is coming out from their caves.

So here in northeastern Afghanistan, close to the border of Pakistan, the celebration of the death of Osama Bin Ladin seems surreal.

After all these years -- the tenth anniversary of 9/11 is in just a few months -- maybe some people would think this is a non-event. But the post at celebrity and gossip blog Oh No They Didn't, has more than 10,000 comments (and counting) on its post about bin Laden's death. And at Muslim Matters, more tweets and a round-up help cover the moods which include:

Relief -– Well that’s one less “problem” to worry about.

Skepticism –- Yeah right, he was in Abbottabad! Just how in the whole world was he a stone’s throw from the Military training academy in Kakul and no one knew about it?

Dismay –- The claim that he was in Pakistan all these years was true!

Fear – May Allah protect us (the citizens of Pakistan) from the backlash that is surely going to stem from this.

Cynicism –- So what if he’s dead? There are many more such monsters out there that will continue to haunt us.

Anger –- Why is the Pakistani government / military not issuing any statements about an event in which they obviously participated.

Mistrust –- Was Osama Bin Laden really alive all these years? Or was he part of some grand conspiracy?

Sadness –- A misguided individual died without being able to see the light.

Among the BlogHer.com posts, Gail McBride offers some international commentary. And Julie's Think Tank gives a British take with which I suspect many would agree:

Before any moral-high-ground-nutter comes along and complains the death of a human being is nothing to joke about: I couldn’t give a toss about the human rights of a bloody mass murderer. Did he ask those innocent people who lost their lives on 9/11, if they were prepared to die? No, right. So move on.

Pundit & Pundette's Jill offers a good roundup of reax too and ledes with commendation to the Navy SEALs who did the deeds.

In the election-tinged blogosphere coverage, where the 2012 Presidential contest remains constant fodder, Jillian Curtin at U.S. Selection News rounded up the reflections from potential Republican U.S. Presidential primary candidates including Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty. Donald Trump tweeted kudos to Obama. (No record of statements have come yet from Mitch Daniels or Newt Gingrich.)

I want to personally congratulate President Obama and the men women of the Armed Forces for a job very well (cont) http://tl.gd/a7dhomless than a minute ago via TwitLonger Beta Favorite Retweet Reply

Looking back to before 2008, however, ABC News' blog, The Note, offers this collection of comments from the Bush 43 administration.

Have you blogged your reaction to this historic news? Leave your links and whatever else is on your mind in the comments below. Honestly? I'm still absorbing it all and looking for more information (per my usual!).

More resources:

Wikipedia has an ever-evolving timeline of Death of Osama bin Laden

Al Jazeera live-blog

Footage from inside Osama's compound via Goldy (via ABC) at Seattle's SLOG blog

Jill Writes Like She Talks

In The Arena: Jill Miller Zimon, Pepper Pike City Council Member

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