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Responses to Osama bin Laden’s Death


The news of Osama bin Laden’s death came as a surprise to most people around the world. And while there are still many questions to be answered, we have found interesting takes from those we turn to at times like these. Here are just a few.

UPDATED: 5/6/11: Al Qaeda has confirmed the death of bin Laden, according to National Post, and “vowed revenge on the United States and its allies, including Pakistan.” Not too surprising . . . Here is just a little bit more taken from an Islamist Internet forum: “It will remain, with permission from God Almighty, a curse that hunts the Americans and their collaborators and chase them outside and inside their country.”

 UPDATED: 5/5/11: Tom Engelhardt of TomDispatch looks at bin Laden’s legacy: a changed America, not a changed Middle East.

UPDATED: 5/5/11: Steve Chapman, writing for Reason, has this to say:

UPDATED: 5/4/11: Christopher Hayes at The Nation looks at how the term “bad guys” worked itself into our national conversation following 9/11. Using the term, Hayes argues, is a rejection of mature thought and an acceptance of a childlike view of the world. He hopes the death of bin Laden will allow us to “return to the world as our adult eyes see it, shot through with suffering and complexity.”

UPDATED: 5/3/11: Chris Good at The Atlantic examines the politics of the language used to talk about Bin Laden and the post-9/11 “war on terror.” He notes: 

Good continues:


UPDATED: 5/3/11: Jessa Crispin of Bookslut fame looks to an old comic strip to give her comfort from her annoyance toward the responses to bin Laden’s death.


UPDATED, 5/3/11: Associate Editor Peter Gabel and Founding Editor Rabbi Michael Lerner give Tikkun’s spiritual response to the assassination. First Gabel writes:

Lerner follows with a short statement addressing what the Jewish tradition says about killing murderous foes.

Adam Weinstein at Mother Jones notices similarities in the responses coming from bin Laden’s supporters and President Obama’s detractors:

Paul Waldman at The American Prospect wonders “Can Bin Laden’s Death Make Us Dial Back the Crazy?

David Sirota (who has a piece in the most recent issue of Utne Reader) writing for Salon thinks that all the celebrations and chants of “USA! USA!” following the news of bin Laden’s death actually give him his most “enduring victory”:

How many ways can you say Osama Bin Laden is dead? Not many, to judge from the selection of newspaper front pages posted on Jim Romenesko’s media blog at Poynter.org—although the East Coast tabloids eagerly worked the dancing-on-his-grave angle.

The Twitterverse was there first, reports Poynter’s Al Tompkins.

If Republicans are strangely dispassionate and Democrats openly gleeful about the news, what do the Libertarians think? In a press release, Libertarian Party Chairman Mark Hinkle says they’re glad to hear about bin Laden’s death—but eager to also see the “termination” of “the Department of Homeland Security, the TSA, the PATRIOT Act, warrantless wiretaps, the ‘state secrets’ doctrine, and other violations of Americans’ civil and economic rights.”

In “With Bin Laden Gone, Is the Jihadi Revolution Dead?” Mark Juergensmeyer, writing for Religion Dispatches, extends credit for undermining the jihadi insurrection beyond the U.S. forces that killed bin Laden.

Fast Company offers an early analysis of the Obama administration’s global PR war:

Source: Mother Jones, The American Prospect, Poynter, Religion Dispatches, Fast Company 

Image by hodgers, licensed under Creative Commons.