In my latest post over at Pagan+Politics, I ramble on a bit about my reaction to the news of Osama bin Laden’s death, what it means for the future of foreign policy in this country, and how these questions all lead me back to the larger questions concerning justice, reconciliation and peacemaking:
Has justice been done? I’m not sure. When I turn a reflective eye on my own reactions, I have to admit that I feel very little more than mild surprise. I don’t feel relieved or happy about the news, but nor do I feel particularly sorrowful. I might even describe my reaction as curiosity, albeit a wincing, hesitant kind, that leaves me wondering, “What next?” After a decade of using bin Laden and the threat he represented as the raison d’être for so much of U.S. war-mongering and justifications for our violent, heavy-handed foreign policy — after three on-going wars, thousands dead, millions of civilians turned overnight into refugees — I wonder if the death of a single man can do much of anything to restore balance and see justice done. It seems to me strange to believe that the death of one person could somehow satisfy the demands of justice, if the thousands dead in Iraq and Afghanistan could not. And if those deaths were not for the sake of justice, then what is it we’ve been doing? What have we done?
Has justice been done, now that bin Laden is dead? Do we really think we can keep up these wars forever, stamping out terrorists one by one, without ever redressing the underlying imbalances and abuses that define our relationship with the rest of the world?
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