Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ding Dong Bin Laden's Dead: Munchkins rejoice at the death of the Wicked Witch

Are you a good witch or a bad witch?  Dorthy frees the Munchkins
Just as the Wicked Witch of the West terrorized Munchkinland in the Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, Osama Bin Laden has terrorized the United States and the world since the tragedy of 9/11 with the destruction of the Twin Towers, the assault on the Pentagon and the downing of flight 93 in a Pennsylvania field.  Much like the Munchkins celebrated the death of the Wicked Witch of the East, the United States is celebrating the end of this bully and the cloud of fear we lived under as a result. Ding Dong the Witch is Dead indeed. 

Bin Laden wasn't a witch.  He was a maniac and the world is well rid of him and his malicious hatred. But underneath This American Munchkin-like joy at his death, there's ambivalence too.  To quote the Colbert Report:  "I'm as giddy as a schoolgirl who just shot bin Laden in the eye... I hope I am never again this happy over someone's death."   This quote from Martin Luther King in his book Strength to Love captures my sentiments: "Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."  But so does this quote from Clarence Darrow of Scopes Monkey Trial Fame: "I have never killed any one, but I have read some obituary notices with great satisfaction." 

The emotional reality of Bin Laden's death lies somewhere between Munchkin like joy and a Christ-like total forgiveness.

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