On villains and vengeance.

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Earlier today, I had this half-formed thought that I shared on Twitter: “The danger of basing national pride on the vanquishing of enemies is that it requires an endless supply of enemies to maintain.”

“Enemies” is a word I used to make a point. We allow politicians and media to use this word to categorize people — individuals and whole groups — as caricatures that, once extinguished, remove some of the evil from our perilous world.

I just started this post and yet I am written out on the topic. I have said it all before. Nothing and everything has changed. We killed one man, and we gave up a hundred freedoms. And it’s not over. The war isn’t over; which war are we on now? The tiny humiliations, the groping and the radiation, the three-ounce bottles, these little things we have been told are so small and worth our safety now, but who is deciding this worth?

We are still bleeding our fear over the whole world, and I don’t want it to be over. I want it never to have happened.

3 thoughts on “On villains and vengeance.

  1. I disagree with your statement on twitter–you are quite good at writing about this however much you dislike it. You are saying exactly what needs to be sait at present. If, in the exuberance of the very public execution of an undoubtedly vile person, we lose sight of the essential wrongness of what has happened to our personal liberties, that same vile “enemy” has already won. Our society is not what it was. It has become closer to the kind of authority state that those same enemies envision. If we really want to fight “terror,” step one is to stop being terrified.

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  2. David

    Bin Laden may be dead (and I will admit, even though it goes against my beliefs to celebrate someone’s death, I’m quite happy he’s dead…and if that costs me some karma, oh well). But if one looks at it from the big picture, we’ve given up so many of our freedoms and so changed our way of life, that even in death he has won. And while its true that a few bad people may have died, I’m sure the number of innocents killed **FAR** outnumbers the baddies killed, simply because that’s the way war always seems to work. Bullets and bombs don’t discriminate.

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