No one mourns the wicked

3 May

Wickedness must be punished
Evil effectively eliminated
Wickedness must be punished
Kill the Witch!
~March Of The Witch Hunters, from the musical Wicked

It was an ordinary morning.  A lovely sunny Tuesday.  Little did I know I would see something so horrific that I would never, ever forget it.

I was living in Atlanta when the Twin Towers were attacked.  I went with my aunt to my uncle’s clinic.  The clinic had a large TV in Reception and it was always tuned into FOX news.  I can still remember the shocked exclamations of the ladies in Reception as they watched the news.  I rushed from the storage room just in time to catch the image of the second plane crash into one of the towers.  At first it didn’t register.  I couldn’t seem to connect the images on TV to New York City.  There was a surrealness to the moment.  I think the rest of the day passed in a shocked blur.  We usually went back to the clinic after lunch, but we stayed home to watch the news.  It was a little touch and go for a while because a cousin and her husband were both in the area when this happened.  We couldn’t get in touch with them for a few hours and I remember my aunt being so frantic.  We got through eventually, and were definitely relieved that they were both safe, with my cousin stuck in New Jersey and her husband stuck in New York.

I was glued to the TV with a morbid curiousity for news.  It was like I was addicted to the news, even if it was something I had heard an hour previous, I still watched it, just in case I missed a snippet.  As the news came hard and fast, first the attack on the North Tower of the World Trade Center, then the second plane crashing into the South Tower, the plane crashing into the Pentagon, and then finally United Flight 93 crashing in Pittsburgh.  It felt like you were watching one of those disaster movies.  And the most shocking of all, it was happening to the USA, the near infallible USA!  There were panicked rumours that California was going to be a target, or that Atlanta Hartsfield and Chicago O’Hare were next because they were terribly busy airports.

The attack masterminded by Osama Bin Laden’s group was horrific, to say the least.  I think it won’t be an exaggeration to say that for a short while, the attack on the USA brought the world’s greatest economy to its knees.  For a while Americans lived in fear and panic was bubbling just under the surface.  The anthrax scare didn’t help any either, with so many people fearing even the post that was sent to them.

That one man could envision this much fear and destruction without an ounce of guilt or regret is beyond me.  That one man would encourage others to inflict this much pain on others is completely incomprehensible.  That one man could incite so much hatred towards others is unimaginable.  I cannot imagine how someone could be so driven that love and compassion, not just for the people that he plotted against but for his followers who trusted him so implicitly and followed his dictates so willingly, was never a consideration in his plans.

But then again, on the flipside, I don’t know the man personally (I don’t honestly think I’d want to, really) and everything I’m saying is definitely conjecture.

Am I happy that Osama Bin Laden is dead?  I’m not sure.  I’m not sure that this spells the end of this war that he and his followers seem to have.  I’m not sure that no one isn’t going to take his place and be even more vicious.  I honestly don’t know how I feel about him dying.  When his capture and subsequent death was announced yesterday, I felt so removed.  I mean there is a certain amount of relief.  But I’m not sure it really changes things.  Everyone who had a hand in planning all those atrocities on September 11 in the US and July 7 in the UK should be brought to justice.

Am I happy that he’s dead?  Not really.  But I’m not sad either.  I feel very ambivalent because I don’t think it changes anything much.  Not until everyone is brought to justice. 

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