I had a post I was writing today on forgiveness. After hearing the news on the killing of Osama bin Laden, I didn’t think it was appropriate.
I thought this poem made sense. And summed up my feelings. The samurai are about compassion and the way of the warrior is found in forgiveness as much as anything. But there are some who do much more harm, than good. And for them, there is no room for compassion. There is no space for forgiveness.
Vengeance is just:
Justly we rid the earth of human fiends
Who carry hell for pattern in their souls.
But in high vengeance there is noble scorn:
It tortures not the torturer, nor gives
Iniquitous payment for iniquity.
The great avenging angel does not crawl
To kill the serpent with a mimic fang;
He stands erect, with sword of keenest edge
That slays like lightning.
GEORGE ELIOT, The Spanish Gypsy
I had to look up the work iniquity, and it means a wicked act. Or a sin. So that line reads ‘It tortures not the torturer nor gives a sinful payment for wicked act.’
I think bin Laden was more crazy than evil. And he was angry and out for revenge of wrongs done to him and Muslims all over the world by the West, either perceived or real. And that saddens me. Either way, I believe there was no other answer for the entire world, than his death.
I personally am not celebrating today. It’s a weird mix of feelings that leaves me staring at the TV watching the coverage. Mouth open. Remembering that awful day when I was in New York over a decade ago. Remembering how quiet the streets were that night. Remembering how many and how much was lost from that single incident.
But I understand if you are celebrating. The world is rid of a man and is a better place for it. I just can’t get past feeling for the victims of that day and their families. Those that still felt the pain yesterday before we knew we had killed bin Laden and will still feel pain tomorrow after digesting this.
Put all of bin Laden’s victims and their families in your thoughts today. Not just the ones from 9/11, but those all over the world that he killed, maimed, and psychologically injured; Christians, Jews, Muslims, and people of every other creed.
I say this with a straight face, with no emphasis…ding-dong, the witch is dead. Vengeance has been had.