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Osama bin Laden Killed. Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead -- Or Not?

Lissa Rankin's picture

bin Laden dead

I just found out from CNN that a senior U.S. official says Osama bin Laden was killed by the U.S. forces in a mansion outside the Pakistani capital of Islamabad. Apparently, President Obama is gearing up for a press conference to tell us more.

I’m sitting here on my sofa working on my book, and I wonder whether this will be one of those moments I always remember -- like the day the first Space Shuttle exploded or the day Princess Di died, or the day 9/11 happened.

This ghost of evil has been spiriting around caves for a decade now, and just before 9/11’s anniversary, he’s gone. The almighty United States triumphs again.

My first reaction...

I felt a rush of relief, almost glee.The Wizard of Oz song, “Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead” rang through my mind, and I wanted to jump on the rooftop and yell, “Rejoice, munchkins!” or start yodeling the Hallelujah chorus.

But that lasted only about ten seconds, and then I caught myself. Wait. Someone just died. Someone’s child lost a parent. Some friend lost someone they trust.

It was a sobering thought, and my Inner Pilot Light lit up just thinking about it. My heart filled with compassion and forgiveness, and I genuinely hoped he didn’t suffer in the end. After all, I don’t want revenge. I certainly don’t want him killing more people, so I’m not sorry his mass-murdering ass is toast. But I don’t hate him. I don’t like to fill my mind and heart with such toxic feelings.

And then I started noticing how people were responding on Twitter and Facebook. "An eye for an eye!" "Take that, you motherf*cker!" and other such things.

I guess I feel all jumbled up inside.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not the least bit sorry that rat bastard is dead. At least this way he won't be able to mastermind another mass murder. And yes, I know the families of the victims of 9/11 wil finally get some closure. And I'm glad for that. I hope they heal.

But really. Must we be so HATEFUL? Where's the love, people? What good does it do us to start spewing venom around the world? The way I see it, more hate & celebration will only incite more violence and fear. Pray for world peace & live in love.

Go America! Rah Rah Rah!

Once I got over the shock of the news, I started thinking about how this will affect our country. Osama bin Laden has been an icon of pure evil in American culture for as long as I can remember, long before 9/11. And when we couldn’t hunt that bastard down and kill him after he orchestrated such a horrific attack, he took on mythic proportions of an almost superhero villain nature.

And now people are already talking about how awesome this will be for United States morale. And Obama's speech was just...strange. Like "Rah rah rah! Go America!"

And I am happy for our country. I love my country. And this has been a huge weight hanging over us all for a decade which has made it hard for us to heal from a tragedy that tore us apart. Part of me wants to jump up and down with all the other munchkins and stomp on legs of that witch we finally knocked out.  Plus,I'm definitely an Obama fan.

Choose Love, Not Fear

But another part of me just feels awful that wild celebrations are happening on social media and elsewhere. Maybe it's because I'm an MD that I just can't celebrate death. I don't watch horror movies. And even when justice is done- as I believe it was in this case- I just can't celebrate the loss of another human life, no matter how justified.  Which makes me feel kind of lonely tonight as much of the country unites and yells "WOO HOO!" I just wonder why we can't bond in love, rather than over a shared hatred and a death? It just makes me sad. And it reminds me how fear-driven our culture is. Osama bin Laden was kind of like the Gremlins of fear that live within us all- you couldn’t see him, you couldn’t touch him, you couldn’t hear him, and yet, he was there. Always there, lurking like a shadow, making us feel afraid.

And now he’s gone. And I wonder whether we might celebrate this day, not as a “Yee-haw” because someone’s father died, but because today we can learn a vital lesson about fear. Osama bin Laden died today, but some other evil zealot can certainly replace him. We’re not safe, by any means, and if someone decides to hurt us again, they will, regardless of how many airport security measures we employ.

Our Gremlins work the same way.

We might overcome one little fear, and another one just sidles right in with its evil nothings spewed into your ear. You can’t get rid of them. Terrorists and inner Gremlins will never go away.

All we can do is manage how we feel about them. Are we going to live perpetually in fear? Will we let fear dominate our life? Should we start freaking out because now the terrorists are probably going to be pissed and want revenge?

Or can we manage to find peace, love, and serenity in the midst of the fear? Can we choose love instead of hate? Can we expand instead of constrict?

I choose to expand. I choose to open my heart. I choose to notice the fear and send it to time out. I choose love.

My prayer is that this event will bring closure to a country that got torn apart by a nationwide tragedy and that we can find connection with each other, not from hate, but from love. Let the healing begin- and continue.

"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. 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" --( a loose misquote of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr put out all over the internet they day bin Laden died- but hey, it's so great, it's worth repeating!)

What about you? How does this news make you feel? Tell us what you think.

Choosing peace,


PS. Are you ready to banish fear, choose peace, and skyrocket to the stratosphere? Get out of your own way and sign up for this free e-course on how to overcome fear and stop being so afraid, whether or not there are terrorists in the world.

Lissa Rankin, MD: Founder of OwningPink.com, Pink Medicine Woman coach, motivational speaker, and author of What’s Up Down There? Questions You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend and Encaustic Art: The Complete Guide To Creating Fine Art With Wax.



Ahmad's picture

Thank you but...

I observe how charitable, sincere and well-meaning most people are in here, still capable of giving love and respect to such a "despicable" human being and "terrorist", who was "responsible" for the death of so many innocent civilians. But I can't help thinking that they are also naive and ignorant to have fallen so easily to government and media propaganda, their spin, lies and exaggerations about everyone and everything that stand in their way to control and dominate others.

Osama wasn't an angel, but most likely he also wasn't the devil he was made out to be (he may have been dead through all of the terrorist acts in the last decade). He was once the darling of the American government in its fight against the Soviets in Afghanistan. After the Soviets were driven away, his services was still needed but as an enemy and a bogeyman, so he was demonized.
(Those who have the time may want to check this out: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=15601)

I hope Americans, ordinary Americans, will be more critical - the World will be thankful for it - when evaluating policies (especially foreign) and actions of their government and of what the media dishes out. America has a great deal of problems - social, economic, etc - it needs to go around making friends all over the world and not bullying, trampling and looting on the weaker nations. American geopolitics must not be too self-centered. We are, after all, brothers and sisters living on the same planet. We are like one body, when one part is hurt, the rest feels the pain too (meaning of a Hadith).

Martha Bridget's picture

Disgraceful not Graceful.

When I heard the news of Bin Laden's death, from here in Australia, all I could think was "Hmmm what is to come as a result of this?".Of course the world has to be protected by these senseless human beings that have absolutely no respect for life.

However,I was sickened how the media portrayed the event.The celebrations of the U.S Government and citizens on the streets screaming childish,school yard cheers of victory.

Gosh!,what are they teaching their children?. What values are these American people portraying to the rest of the world?. Certainly not grace,love and dignity.
To the many compassionate,sensitive and intelligent Americans on this forum, you give me hope one day we will come through these challenging years wiser and more enlightened for the experience.

May ALL of us in the World be blessed with love and peace.

P.S Lissa, big cheers for your Forum.Love it:)

Stephanie's picture

something to share

I receive a French word a day email and wanted to share the author's journal from today. Scroll down to "An Unsual Friendship." I apologiize if the link doesn't work; I'm not that internet savvy.

Everyone have an excellent day!


Heather's picture


Great post. This has all made think about easy it is for someone to bloodlust in another person but how blind people they become when they carry it within their own hearts.

The military had a dirty job to do. It is still dirty. We loose our humanity celebrating it.

Anna's picture

We loose our humanity celebrating it.

Not to be a grammar queen, but the typo makes for a very interesting alternative interpretation of what happens when we indulge our blood lust. We do not LOSE our humanity, but LOOSE it, as in, 'shake it loose.' Does this Freudian slip mean deep down inside we all need to draw blood in fits of rage or go mad, strangled by our own notions of how nice polite people should react in gut-wrenching situations? Stiff upper lip? Love thy neighbor just keep smiling as he hurts you and hurts your family and go home and smile and pray for him and slam the cat against the wall in mis-aligned fury? We are not saints.

Heather's picture

Interesting (and wise) take

Interesting (and wise) take on that Anna. And here I was typing away, trying to comment quickly while I was at work...

Bryn's picture

To the family and friends of Osama bin Laden

To the family and friends of Osama bin Laden; I'm sorry for your loss. I pray that his life and death, without guilt or blame, has taught you all you need to learn, just as it is teaching the rest of us.

Ahmad's picture

Gullible are us!

The celebrations over Osama's "death" was obscene, to say the least, especially coming from what is supposed to be the most civilised, progressive, nation on earth.

Why are so many Americans so gullible as to believe in everything the government and media say about Osama, Al-CIAda, oops, Al-Qaeda, "Muslim" terrorists, or for that matter, about everything else, including the economy, international politics, etc?

Take, for example, the WMD. The US and it's allies invaded Iraq on the pretext that Iraq had such weapons. But now we know, but not until thousands of lives of innocent men, women and children are extinguished, that it's a total lie. But there is no remorse. Where is American conscience? British conscience? France? Germany? What has happened to Western Civilization? Is it degenerating into Barbarism?

Coming back to Osama, have you all seen the photos that they fake [http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/02/osama-bin-laden-photo-fake]? Why is it even in his death (he may have died years ago due to poor health), they are still cheating on him? Why can't they let him rest in peace? Where is Western Conscience?

Now that Osama is "officially" dead, or rather they have killed off the character, will the future be more promising for peace? One would be naive to think so. Osama had been a convenient bogeyman for the US, but it had been overused and has worn off. The US government will will need to invent a fresh character, or unilaterally anoint one, real (maybe Ayman Al-Zawahiri, never mind if he also is already dead) or virtual, and so the threat continues.

With Osama 2 at hand, a War on Terror 2 is justified, and Americans will need to elect Obama for Term 2 for continuity! And the war goes on. Human lives, especially outside of America are, after all, cheap, isn't it, compared to the political survival of the leader of the world's greatest nation!

Things will remain the same unless the American people themselves wake up and see through the propaganda they are fed with day in and day out. Will they?

Rachel A's picture

I was just saying to my

I was just saying to my husband & son last night that I realized why the Bush Administration probably did not want to find/capture/kill Osama was that he was more valuable to them alive and "scary..." "He's still out there; you still need to be afraid" and fear is a powerful tool.

Thank you for posting your thoughts here.. I think it's very valuable for us to share/read a variety of perspectives, even if we don't all agree... Continued communication is better than ceasing discussion.

Diane Trees-Clay's picture

The death of Osama bin Laden

I feel profound sadness at the loss of yet another human life, even one responsible for an enormous amount of pain and heartache. After all, Osama bin Laden, you and I are all beloved children of God even though our thoughts, words and actions may not always please God. I would have liked to have spent time with bin Laden in hopes of understanding why, especially since he was born into privilege, he decided to use his life to kill, maim and destroy. The more that we understand about our misfits--as well as those we consider holy--the more tools we will have to co-create a more functional, loving world. It CAN be done. God through us has the ability to change hearts, as Love is stronger than Evil, but first we must warrant and be granted trust; then we must listen, and seek to understand.

Anna's picture

Be Wary of that urge to meet with Bad Guys

On a personal, not political level, I read your post and felt a maternal urge to tell you about a trap that caring women, particularly social workers and nurses (like me-I've seen it happen over and over) can fall into.
You might want to re-think the wanting to sit down and have a chat with these bad boys. They are masterful manipulaters and will have you in their grip before you realize what's happening. They take loving compassion and use it to satisfy their own selfish needs, and when they don't need you anymore, you are dirt under their shoes or worse.
Be careful. Not all people are capable of doing good. I'm sorry if that sound cynical, but I've seen too many hurt women and grinning men to not want to throw my arms around all naive women and protect their precious hearts from these evil things.

Diane Trees-Clay's picture

God bless you, Anna, for

God bless you, Anna, for reminding us of the dangers that attend trying to understand & "fix" bad boys and, in so doing, balancing my post. I work in a mental healthcare environment, so I know the truth whereof you speak. Additionally, I was blessed by being born into a family in which at least one member--now deceased--had mastered this art.

So and even so, I care about not only those who are manipulated but also those who manipulate. I believe that each particle of life is loved and valued by God. Too, I believe that our power to exercise free will means that God although God loves and values us, He/She/Whatever-the-Pronoun doesn't necessarily approve of everything we do, just as we may not turn cartwheels of joy when our 3-year-old moppet scrawls on the wall.

Further, I believe that each one of us, according to our talents, has a responsibility to co-create a mentally, physically, and spirituality healthier culture. Some are gifted at analyzing problems and setting in force the corrections necessary to reduce the chances of recurrence--such as, if we know fluorocarbons are harmful, we quit using fluorocarbons. It is in that wise that I expressed my disappointment that I could not have sat down for a l-o-n-g chat with Mr. bin Laden (although most assuredly there are many people much more capable of tracing his worldview to its etiology and working toward eliminating the reasons for such perceptions and actions).

As has been demonstrated in humankind's attempts to reach peace accords throughout history, when we don't dialogue with our adversaries--regardless of how oppositional they may seem--toward gaining bilateral understanding, we increase our chances of sliding further into barbarity and decrease our opportunities of evolving into a higher state of relatedness.

Thank you, Lissa, for giving us a forum where we can hear one another. Through meeting places such as yours, people throughout the world can break down the artificial barriers that separate us, and build the bridges that are essential to Life fully lived.

Anna's picture

It's a nurse thang

I do get over-protective. Thanks for elaborating.
Take care and keep talking...

MaddMadge's picture

In the Face of Evil There is Still Love

Lissa, and all ya all,
this weeks events and "posts" have brought up an experience for me that was the "popping of my cherry" with regard to unimaginable violence on the "Home Turf", in my own back yard. The first occasion as an Adult that suddenly shattered all my Other adult fears, and gave rise to fears, which until that moment, I had never concieved of.....
I was happily delivering all the bountiful, Organic Specialty Produce, that my family and I grow and sell....when on the radio of my van, I hear of a horrible, deadly mass shooting at Columbine High School, right here in the same city I'm driving around in, the same "metropolitan area" where I have 2 of my own children attending a public High School, at this very minute...The shock and terror was so stultifying....I just couldn't believe what I was hearing. As the Event continued to unravel, I was completely overwhelmed at the realization that no matter how many innocent people where killed or injured that day, there were surely a person or people who would end up Dead....those would be the "perps". I remember crying so deeply for their families first,
before even knowing of All the others, not just for the loss of their children,or Brothers or Sisters, or Grand kids... we didn't even know who was committing this horrific act, but the overwhelming sadness that any person would be so consumed in pain that they would take other peoples Lives..how could they feel so Disconnected, so Desperate, so Un-Loveable.? What could lead to this?? what was so utterly absent from their "reality" that would allow this atrocity to occur?? And soon how would Their relatives "feel"....They were infact the sons, grandsons', brothers, nephews of other human beings.?? Were these Horrid human beings?...or just people like me or my friends or my family??
The realization that there was certainly no way the perpetrators of that previously Unimaginable day would ever live another, was for me a heart breaking reality. At that point all I could do was pull off the road and pray for some miracle of Peace for everyone left in the wake....thier families, my family, the completely innocent families of their victims... all of us.
I cannot help but feel a very similar feeling now....again and again. On 9/11/2001, I felt an overwhelming sadness for the entire world. I saw and felt the "Loss of Safety in the world" that my own children experienced that morning. Their lives were forever altered by that evil event, perpetrated by many others, including Osama Bin Laden. I can't even fully describe what it felt like to watch my adult children question what they were seeing, as if any moment we would stop it all and tell them it wasn't really happening...and we couldn't do that...We couldn't explain, or help them feel they would be safe. For me it was a devasting moment- I had had the lugury of feeling Completely Safe most of my life...now I stand with my children of 20
&21 years of age....just when they should feel the most Hope and Excitement, and instead, they are filled with fear of the world...fear of "evil" people in the world.
But really for all of us, rather than "seeing the perpetrators" dead....If only we were able to comprehend the thinking..that led these murderers to commit such "incomprehensible acts of violence". If we were capable of fully....Understanding ....or somehow Expanding our comprehension (I don't mean condoning) but giving room to the idea, that any one of these "evil" people could in fact turn out to be Some one of my relatives, or yours. Probably given the rule of 7 degrees of Seperation... I am related to a murderer, somewhere, and so is everyone else.
I can only hope to be a Possibilty of repairing, of curing, of healing, of achieving Real Peace, killing the most recent Bad Guy doesn't achieve Peace. Like Jesus kind of Peace.... who was that who said "forgive them for they know not what they do". If we say we Know that Killing others is "wrong", how is it that we justify it Every time we choose to?
I thought I heard "Them" say that they were "justified" when they killed also. Where does this End???
We still have lots of work ahead. Lots of work. I actually don't feel safer just yet...but like I said our "terror" struck first right here in our own back yard, by our own children....Where are your Kids?
Until I can Love My Enemy as I Love my Brother...I am not a companion of Peace. I'll keep working. I will Keep Working.

Rachel A's picture

Wow....& thank you...

Thank you so much for this post & sharing your experiences... I was just telling my 13-year-old son about Columbine a few weeks ago (there must have been a reference or mention of the tragedy on TV or on the radio).
My boy is a lot like me (& you!) with regard to questioning how does it come to that point... We read online about all the planning & preparing that came before the actual day of violence, and wondered out loud what led up to these boys arriving at a point where they could imagine & plot such terrible acts. I, too, was filled w sorrow that day (& in the days after), for everyone involved but a different flavor of sorrow for the Klebold & Harris families.
And again on 9/11, trying to conceive of the mindset of the terrorists... I prayed for peace to somehow find its way into each broken heart, and that prayer continues... Each & every day... For all the different broken & mending hearts, some days and moments feeling truly that we are all One and the extreme importance of forgiveness and compassion, beginning with ourselves and expanding out with the ripple effect... Having compassion for those closest to us, and ultimately for those we've never laid eyes on halfway around the world. (Sorry for all the run-on sentences but it's still early here in CA ;-)
Thank you again for sharing.

MaddMadge's picture

Our Broken Hearts

Hi Rachel A,
Thank You for sharing, I just "know" "feel" "really Believe" that we are All One.....although, any real proof of that, still a bit allusive. I see that we can read about it frequently, even on the "best sellers" lists, and still it seems so hard to "Live as One". In the words of John Lennon. I do not mean that to be cynical, just honest. ya what if it was my Son or Daughter murdered in either of these two events (never mind the 1000's of soldiers/firefighters/police officers/journalists/innocent civilian children and families and all the other good souls we've lost)but really, My Son, My Daughter....could I still see the Oneness? I don't know, I hope....Eventually I'd come back to that. I hope. I know that as someone Least affected...i feel sorrow for, well, for all of us, I feel pain and i want answers and real progress....I'd be All for Just Stomping Out The Evil, but, what is The Evil? History has shown us repeatedly that what we believed was evil at one time, we later learned was just our own fear. Never underestimate our personal Fear.. good Lord, what we'll do when we are Afraid....what we'll completely Defend?? I'm so glad there are people here like you and your family who will talk with each other, share your fear and your Hope, and continue to raise the next generation of loving humans to continue the trek....So good to hear!! Cha Ching! Feels like tiny little Baby steps... but that's not new either, it's all we have. Walk On Mama!

Lilithe's picture

Why do we still believe...?

I am still not convinced that bin Laden was even responsible for 9/11, so how could I even begin to celebrate? He may have been a terrorist in many respects, who needed to be stopped, but that does not mean I am going to do some victory dance over the death of a man who may or may not have even had a hand in 9/11.

I am also still a bit disappointed Lissa to see you keep calling him a "bastard" and a "rat bastard" even as you are asking "where's the love?" All beings, no matter the extent that the evil of forgetfulness has masked it, are Source, are God/dess, the Divine - who has COMPLETELY forgotten this truth, and the truth that all beings are the same Source, therefore are the same as oneself.

Osama bin Laden is me, is you, is everybody. Yes, he needed to be stopped, but I do like the Martin Luther King quote above that I will not rejoice over the death of an enemy. Period. I will instead mourn our lost rememberance of who we really our that causes us to do such silly, deadly, evil things.

Blessings to All. And thank you Lissa for posting this, and doing what you do - you have inspired me in many ways, and though I may not always agree, I admire your candid expressions. - Lilithe

Jim Alex's picture

Mourning Bin Laden

I am deeply saddened by the fact that some
Americans are rejoicing over the death of Osama Bin Laden. I had hoped that we had evolved more than that...Why are we any different than those that we seek to murder? When did we stop being the beacon of decency and humanity for the World? Not that he didn't deserve to die for what he did, but there really is no need to gloat over it...As Gaby so apply put it...I hope that the evil he did here stays with him for Eternity...
I am also curious and a bit surprised that the former resident of the White House has had nothing to say about it...Bin Laden was the reason he took us to War, Bin Laden's family were (and probably still are) his close friends and financial supporters...Mr. Bush owes a lot to this man in many regards and he has not made a single comment...Very interesting...

Lissa Rankin's picture

Ah, thanks Mom!

So happy to hear your voice hear, my precious Mommy!
And thank you to all the rest of you for speaking your truth.
With love

Anna's picture

Is Lilithe your mom?

Wow are you lucky

Stephanie's picture

You wondered if this would be

You wondered if this would be a monumental day to be remembered like the first shuttle launch, Princess Di’s death, or 9/11 itself. I do not think it will. As happy or sad as those days were, they were monumental and touched us because of love… the loss of loved ones and the senselessness of 9/11, the loss of such a beautiful soul in Princess Di, the love and joy of what we as humans can accomplish by flying into space. For those directly affected by the 9/11 tragedy and therefore bin Laden’s death, I hope this will bring peace.

What we have seen from “the masses” is the opposite of peace. The energy generated by those “partying in the streets” is grossly skewed. One really could compare them to the very people they are rallying against. While they are not plotting with revenge, hate and ego; they are celebrating in them. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said it perfectly. Reading him quoted by so many here gives my heart hope. Let us strive to be lights of love in a dark world.

Please do not assume that I have a naïve, Pollyanna view. Most who know me consider me too pragmatic actually. My very first thought upon hearing the news was, “wow, can we finally get some of our troops the hell out of there?” I was a bit taken aback in my own home when my boyfriend asked, “Can’t you just be happy?” I honestly replied, “No.” I wasn’t happy or sad. The world didn’t change. The scales didn’t tip to the light by one with bin Laden’s death. There is no way it could with the “celebrations” that ensued. It has been over 40 years since Dr. King spoke those words. How far have we really come?

We still have a long way to go. Each one of us can make a difference, every day, by choosing to live in love and tolerance, not in hate and fear, by standing up and voicing our opinions. Touching a person once with your light might not change him or her, but always shining your light might. It is wonderful to have a venue such as this on which to share. Thank you, Lissa. And kudos to you for sharing your opinions in venues that aren’t quite as safe.

Ahmad's picture

Re: You wondered if this would be

Stephanie, I think most Americans would want the troops to come back , not just from Afghanistan but also Iraq and rightly so since there is no "progress" in the respective wars and American sons and daughters are being killed for nothing. Maybe the US govt wanted the same too, maybe not. But if they wanted it, the "death" of Osama would be a good excuse. And just like the WMD excuse to invade Iraq, I think they manufactured this one too.

 Trish Rankin's picture

Wow! The fact that there were

Wow! The fact that there were so many responses to this quote shows how strongly we feel about this issue. I too am against the celebrating. I have a former foreign exchange student in Turkey who is Muslim. So I asked her what the Turks feel.She said most of them are relieved but fearful of retaliation. As are Americans.We are on high alert. But cheering and more importantly showing and re-showing it on TV only feeds that movement. I feel some of the responsibility rests with the news channels.
I've been in a situation where I found myself being affected by the mass psychology that happens. Later I recognized that I was not proud of my behavior. I think some of that took place in NYC. At least I hope that is true. Why can't we just all see the good in each other and build on that? We can't change what has already happened but we can change how we treat others. Love someone today that is hard to love. It may change who they become. Isn't that what we want other nations to know us for? Let's strive to be better than those we hate. And let it begin with me.....

Lissa Rankin's picture

Thank you

I so value your insightful comments, your respectful dialogue and your affirmations of love the wake of too much hate.
Bless you, my friends!

Amber's picture

I don't see a difference.

Personally, when I heard the news it was pretty anti-climactic. My first thought was-- We haven't really "accomplished" anything with bin Laden's death. Why? Because WE, as a nation, have not changed. What I mean by that is, for the last ten years we have made of Osama a kind of poster child on our national 'boogeyman' of terror. And I think as a nation we are still scared, still feel like our security is at risk, and that we will never be safe again after what happened on 9/11. I'm not debating whether that fear is justified or not, I'm just saying it's still there as strong as ever. And when we live in fear "demons" are everywhere we look. I think because of this we will find a new leader or group to fill this position now that bin Laden is gone so that we can feel better giving our fears a face and a name and sleep easier for a time when it/they, too, are 'taken out'.

But I don't feel we're curing the problem so much as treating the symptom. If we're really going to heal and to change we need to embrace our LOVE and our power and our strength--and, yes, our compassion.

We need to remember Who We Are.

Anonymous's picture


I'm sad, sad for the victims, sad for the survivors, sad for the people in the Middle East, sad for all of us. I love America and I'm proud to be an American. That being said I don't believe in an eye for an eye, I believe that revenge is for God, not us and can't celebrate any murder.

Linda Rowland-Jones's picture

What would Buddha do

This is from the Dhammapada, which inspired Mr. MLK --
kinda says it all...
(btw the Dalai Lama apparently says "counter measures" are justified)

The mind is the basis for everything.
Everything is created by my mind, and is ruled by my mind.
When I speak or act with impure thoughts, suffering follows me
As the wheel of the cart follows the hoof of the ox.

The mind is the basis for everything.
Everything is created by my mind, and is ruled by my mind.
When I speak or act with a clear awareness, happiness stays with me.
Like my own shadow, it is unshakeable.

"I was wronged! I was hurt! I was defeated! I was robbed!"
If I cultivate such thought, I will not be free from hatred.

"I was wronged! I was hurt! I was defeated! I was robbed!"
If I turn away from such thoughts, I may find peace.

In this world, hatred has never been defeated by hatred.
Only love can overcome hatred.
This is an ancient and eternal law.

Anna's picture


for the beautiful quote.

Paula's picture

A sense of relief

Although the word, 'hate' has been used quite a bit in reference to OBL, I really don't think it is hate in the truest sense of the word. I think there was a lot of unspoken fear that he still lurked out there after the 9/11 attack. I truly believe that OBL did know how to hate in the truest sense of the word. Put that side by side to what has been labeled here as a celebration of hate, and I contend that we are talking apples and oranges. I don't think we Americans for the most part know how to hate at the level that terrorists do. I'm speaking in general terms. I'm sure there are Americans that can hate at that level, but I still think it is not the same kind of hate that is felt towards us by the jihad. Because we do not go out of our way and plot ways to annihilate those that do not share our views and way of life. It takes a lot of h ate to be able to do that.
I felt a sense of relief once I actually processed the information (it did not sink in right away). But, not relief that we are off the hook. Just relief that HE is crossed off the list as someone lurking out there looking for ways to destroy us.

Tinamarie's picture

I think you make an important

I think you make an important distinction.

Louise's picture

bin Laden

After listening to Alex Jones' vid on youtube re bin Laden, I tend to think that what he says is true. bin Laden has been dead for years based on evidence presented in that vid. Madeline Albright has also said this years ago. He was a dialysis patient with severe kidney disease. That's what took his life.

I have no idea why he was rolled out now but would venture to say that something is up and we'll know what that is soon enough.

I don't rejoice in the death of another because that would take me down to their level. I do believe that if we were privvy to the "whole" truth of events that occur our perceptions would change dramatically. Unfortunately that doesn't happen often enough for people to truly "see".

At any rate.... this is my perception.

Heidi M.'s picture


You may be right. I heard an interview given by Benazir Bhutto quite some time ago. She said that bin Laden had been killed not long after 9/11. But then she was assassinated. Odd, no? I thought so. She was the great hope for Pakistan.

The job of terrorists is to terrorize. But you have to wonder sometimes where they really are. As Pogo creator Walt Kelly said in the Pogo comic strip, "We have met the enemy and they is us."

Gina's picture

Hatred spews hatred

I'm actually very bothered by the majority of America's reaction to this event. When we spew hatred, especially in a collectively conscious way - that forms a mass energy of hatred. Mass hatred does nothing for bring our country into consciousness.

I would like to back up a minute - I don't think that we should have ever gotten into this war in the first place. I believe that "America fighting back against terrorism" was nothing more than a pathetic excuse to go to war. The country is just cutting off it's nose to spite it's face.

I'm ambivalent about Bin Laden's death, but I certainly don't think it's worth rejoicing over.

The light at the end of the tunnel here is that hopefully this will bring our troops home - enough lives have been spared.

Jen's picture

How I feel

I wrote on this on Monday: http://laughingatchaos.com/2011/05/02/its-a-different-world-today/

Still feel the same way. Cannot rejoice and feel only that it's the end of a terrible era.

Tweete Robinson Adams's picture

Reaction to the death of Bin Laden

I was one of the people who viewed several videos made by one of his son's prior to the reported incident with the Navy Seals. The Utube views that I viewed were those of a young man who presented himself as Bin Ladens son saying that, he had not heard from his father since early 2000. In the video he spoke fondly of his father Bin Laden,adding that he had participated in Al Queda training prior to 9/11 but he did not agree with his father. He at that time appeared with an older Anglo female who was at that time, was identified as his wife. This young man spoke of peace and his activities with fellow Muslims who did not agree with the violence and extremist behavior of the Al Queda Movement.

I went on to view more videos of Bin Laden on UTube, finding one announcing the death of the young man who had appeared in the previous videos. I viewed approximately 6 videos this past Saturday before the news reports that came on Sunday evening with the presidents announcement of Bin Ladens death.

On my viewing of the saturday videos, I came away with many questions and a personal sense of grief. Family discord and heinous acts done in the name of family honor or religion are real stomach turners for me. I have shared all this to put into perspective my feelings and understanding of the issues.

What happened on 9/11 was one colossal evil act of defiance and exhibitionism. Was it coordinated by Bin Laden? Was it a retaliation of some sort to bad business between Bin Laden and the U.S., an NGO conflict, or business with a Cheney associate prior to that day? We may never know. Was Bin Laden a mastermind?

Quite frankly, I do not see 9/11 as the work of a mastermind. The people who were killed were not murdered by a mastermind. America the beautiful was raped and battered. Growing up in the 60's with the end of Jim Crow, peace marches,Viet Nam, Bay of Pigs, assassination of JFK, MLK, MX & RFK, I view them all as a statement about world leadership and humanity. People who believe passionately in something, and remain in the company of cowards, have no storybook ending. We are all human, terrorism is a two way street. As American's we were not accustomed to living in fear even after Pearl Harbor. My dad often said, "mankind has two choices to love or to hate". "If we choose the latter we lose out quality of life", and it will effect everything around us. My dad served in the navy in WW2. The attacks on 9/11 were a heinous act, and the demon of "terrorism" grew out of a love of our country and our ignorance about who we really are. Some of us became extremist and formed or joined groups that worked with a few facts fed with fear and created a society that has distorted the "love" in patriotism into a nasty illness that is brewing a present day civil war. The real Americans, pulled themselves up after getting on their knees to pray and marched forward with an unquenchable determination to overcome what had happened and become stronger. 9/11 was a violent rape of the history and ideals of being American.

I do not celebrate the death of that Saudi extremist, I take a moment to look at my mirror and my country men and say to live is to love and to die is to give up the spirit. I refuse to give up the spirit of courage, brotherhood, tolerance, progress and humility. May the spirit of the real America resurrect an America that believes in true democracy and brotherhood. I am done with the tears and ready to march on.

Tinamarie's picture

Beautifully said.

Beautifully said.

Heidi M.'s picture


I too am a child of the 60's. Your statement is beautifully put. Thank you for sharing it.

Susan Mullen's picture

Bin Laden

I felt sad when I first heard about Bin Laden's death. I am very tired of my country being the "bad guys". I would so much rather our precious troops -- the future of our country -- were trained and deployed as healers, rather than destroyers.

The mission, as it's being described in the media, was such an in-your-face example of the arrogance that other countries see so clearly in our actions.

I voted for President Obama because I thought he represented a new way of life for our country. But this was just the same-old, same-old. It's shameful.

Janis's picture

Bin Laden

"I will mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. 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."

Loosly quoted (or misquoted) from Martin Luther King, Jr.

My feelings exactly!

caroline delisser 's picture

Bin Laden

I agree that to hate Bin laden or anyone is in essence perpetrating the very energy that we accuse him off.It is a self righteousness that has been the cause of a lot of suffering throughout history such as the witch hunts that in actuality destroyed a lot of innocent people. I am not suggesting that this man is innocent but one thing I am certain of is that we are being manipulated by the government and the media to believe what they are feeding us. What if Bin laden was a Scape goat all along to create a situation that justified going into Iran and taking over? What if he is not dead? What if.....? Do you actually believe what you are being told? The main thing to focus on right now is raising consciousness in the world and that happens when each individual chooses to be non judging, compassionate and focused on re-visioning a new world of peace and caring for the planet as one whole entity where we are all in this together instead of protecting our little spaces and conditioned belief systems, and thinking as an American or an Arab etc which just breeds separation and wars. look how easy it is to manipulate the public, how easy it would be to get the people to agree to war.Those of us who are waking up need to hold this space for the world, we cannot afford to get drawn into the drama.

Rev Connie's picture

Not elated in the least

Doubtful as well. The news story I read said they had yet to confirm it was him, that DNA tests were being done to ensure that yes, this is truly him. But like all icons of hate or love there will be another one to take his place. Regretfully we are programed to come together over a common cause, the strongest is hate. It is heard the loudest and the clearest because it is louder and clearer. For those of us who wish peace and love, we whisper timidly to those who are close and barely take a step towards someone who looks like they could hurt us for smiling at them.

I am a firm believer in shaking it up and living outside the box, but even I have fear of sharing. I hate being criticized and ostracized. At least I use to. There is no power in that statement any more. I do not relish it, nor invite it, but I am learning to hear my voice above the din of the hate.

I am sad for someone such as bin Laden, he was filled with disdain from birth. He is the result of his culture, his family, his life. He is the loudest confirmation of belief, what he learned. Because he felt so strongly about it, feared not believing in it he lived it to the loudest. He was a figure head, the sacrificial lamb set up for slaughter.

In the same day NATO bombed and killed another leader, this story was set to the side. Sadly his grandchildren, infants and toddlers were killed, they have not confirmed his death yet. At least the last story I read they had not.

Now our country is on high alert, again watchful, coming together to protect and pretend we care about each other. This is the lies we have grown up with.

I have sought a community of women that I could be a part of that is interested in teaching others how to speak louder than the hate. To raise our voices in unison and defeat the old way of life. I know this is the place for me.

Reading the Inner Pilot Light reminders every day keeps me focused and a smile on my face, my heart fills. I am grateful for the answer to my requests each day. Including those that I get to say "I hate it," when in reality it is just a nuisance. My life is a hundred fold better than what it was. A violence survivor who has fought for her rights, now just stands and says it is my right. I do not have to fight, I just have to own it. No one can take it away from me. NO ONE.

Thank you Lissa for a forum to share. Thank you all for listening and sharing your thoughts and feelings.

I ask for solitude, a moment of prayer to those who have passed on because of their beliefs. May they represent the change all parents and authorities need to make. Stop teaching hate. Stop teaching lies.

Bless you.

Tweete Robinson Adams's picture



Rev. Connie, you made some very good points. In life, we come in one way but leave another. It is history repeating its self and karma coming full circle. We start out as I, and then become we, when we realize we are common, When we no longer agree, we are now us and our others become them or they. Ashes to ashes and dust to dust. Could a loving God ever make life so complicated? I seriously doubt it. Thank you so much Dr. Lisa and all who contributed to this dialog. Faith, hope and charity still prevail. Blessings and hope came out of what everyone posted. If we still feel and attempt to reason, I believe there is hope. Peace

Rev Connie's picture

Thank you

Tweete Robinson Adams.

There are times I feel as if I have lived full circle.

Thank you for adding to the dialogue here.

Bless you.

AmazingSusan's picture

Bye Bye Bin Laden

Nice post, excerpts of which I've included in my own post here:


T's picture

I get it

I'm glad to hear he's dead, but I don't feel jubilant about it either. I actually kinda feel sorry for the guy. He got what was coming to him, I'm sure. It's just sad that he was such a horrible person, and he had to meet his Maker with so much blood on his hands. I'd hate to be in his position, especially having to face all the people who lost their lives due to his actions here on earth. He's going to be haunted by that forever.

Anonymous's picture

I do feel weird that

I do feel weird that Americans are chanting USA and galloping around the city in celebration to celebrate the fact that we killed someone. But, what I can't call the assassination of Bin Laden is a murder. There was no "unlawful" killing of Bin Laden this past weekend. He committed crimes and that was his sentence. I'm not his judge so I can't say he deserved it. I'm thinking about the woman who was used as a human shield for Bin Laden and her death. That's someone who lost a friend. Or that's a child who lost a mother. I think it's tasteless on America's part to be giving so much attention to this and turning it into a celebration. It disturbs to see Bin Laden's face on the front page and splattered over CNN. 9/11 just hurts my heart talking about and is so sensitive to me and I didn't even lose anyone personally. I do choose love over fear and I think with all of this spewing of hatred in the form of celebration only begets more violence and more hate around the world. But when I think of Bin Laden (if he's responsible for what the United States says he is) I'm numb. There's no hate and there's no love. So I can't think of Bin Laden's family or his friends losing him.

I'm thinking about Libya's Khadafi who lost his son. I'm not a Khadafi supporter, but I can't believe that his 29 year old son who was an exchange student in Germany was reponsible for his father's actions. He lost his life this weekend along with Khadafi's three grandchildren. And, for me that's when someone lost a friend and a relative. That was wrong. And, that's what brings me to choose love over fear.

Lissa Rankin's picture

Thank you all...

I'm blown away by the trust you all show by having your voices heard here. May you all know yourselves ever-better as you rest more deeply into who you really are and how big life events like this help you light up more brightly your very own Inner Pilot Light.

With love amidst the chaos

Nicki's picture

Thank you for voicing exactly

Thank you for voicing exactly what has been swirling around my mind. I am a Canadian and remember 9/11 like it was yesterday and although I was not there during the attacks so have no deep understanding of what it felt like to be there and to have lost someone, I certainly was glued to the television filled with compassion for those that were.

My husband told me the news last night and was surprised at my 'no' reaction when he told me. It was not a moment that I stopped in my tracks and felt the need to dance but instead felt fairly somber that the rest of the world was celebrating. I have always felt living life 'an eye for an eye' just leaves everyone blind.

Thank you for voicing how you truly feel, it leaves space for all of us to also 'own' what is truly happening in our hearts.

Elizabeth Rose's picture

Lissa.. I felt the same

I felt the same things... my heart weighed heavy all day... I heard news broadcasters on Fm Radio .. saying horrible things that we should never wish on anyone. I do understand as you said .. he was evil.. we do have to eventually pay the price for our actions. The fact that the hatred has been festering inside.. was and is scary to me. What if someone thinks that writing a blog is evil? Wanted to say Thank You .. for sharing your words
Elizabeth Rose

Tiffany's picture

Osama Bin Laden is Dead

When I heard this mornign Osama Bin Laden was dead I was shocked, I mean I had almost considered capturing and even killing this man virtually impossible after more than a decade of chasing him. Truthfully, the next thing I thought about was what this means for President Obama's re-election bid. I am a little ashamed to admit that, but it's the truth. Then I saw video online of so many college student's cheering. Then I got sad. Sad because I thought about that horrible day when so many Americans died, and there was news footage of some people in Arab countries rejoicing that we were attacked. And ten years later I see Americans rejoicing over the fact that a human life was taken. What made it even worse is that these were kids celebrating who were no more than 10 or 11 when 9/11 occured and now they were practically rioting with glee. I don't find pleasure and refuse to rejoice in the death of another. I don't hate Osama Bin Laden. I do hate what he did to our country and the pain and destruction he brought about to so many lives. For that I do think he needed to be stopped.

In the end I am most comforted by the fact that many of the people I talked to at work and friend on Facebook express the same sentiment as I do. A friend posted this as her status, and of course I stole it:

"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. 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" --Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

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