A place for reflection and introspection, communication and thoughtful conversation.
Monday, 2 May 2011
IN THE NEWS
“I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: Only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr
The news in the last couple of weeks has been rather dismal and unfortunately, the indications are that things will get worse before they get any better. Economic woes, more revelations of radiation contamination in Japan, a host more natural disasters, the devastation in Alabama wrought by the wild tornadoes are all stories that affect every sensitive person’s psyche in ways that interfere with the way that each of us deals with everyday existence. The search for safety valves and the attempt to release all that tension and quest for some good news stories was exemplified by the near hysteria that accompanied the royal wedding and the scenes of wild elation and abandon that was evident not only in the UK, but the world over.
However, dominating the news in the last two days is the death of Osama Bin Laden (March 10, 1957 – May 2, 2011). This has saturated the media and one cannot get away from the images of that well-known bearded face with the suggestion of a smile that somehow chills the marrow of an onlooker. The circumstances surrounding the execution of Osama Bin Laden have attracted much criticism, as has the reaction of wild elation that accompanied release of the news in the USA, especially. The quote that I started this post with, which I read sometime ago has stayed with me and it seems extremely apt under the present circumstances.
One cannot but deplore the thousands of lives lost as the result of terrorist actions instigated by extremist organisations driven by directives from leaders who thrive in a culture of hate and terror. Whether they are Christian or Muslim, Hindu or Atheist, hate engenders hate as Martin Luther King, Jr indicates. Some crimes are heinous and generate within us extreme reactions of revulsion and disgust. People affected personally by the violence, those who have lost loved ones yearn for justice and quote Mosaic law: “An eye for eye and a tooth for a tooth”. Blood shed seeks the revenge that can only be satisfied by shedding even more blood. Vendetta mentality in the past wiped out whole families and made once populous villages ghosts of their former glory.
There are those who already doubt that Osama Bin Laden is dead. The conspiracy theorists thrive in times such as these and under such circumstances. According to them, Osama Bin Laden is alive and well keeping company with Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley. The American task force that carried the execution apparently has incontrovertible proof of his death. However, the burial at sea and disappearance of the body have added fuel to the conspiracy theory.
Our world changed with the fall of the Twin Towers in New York City on September 11 2001. This terrorist attack that resulted in 2,752 deaths killed more than people. It wounded a nation’s pride, it created a sore that still bleeds in the people of the USA and an ulcer that fails to heal. Will Osama Bin Laden’s death help scarify these wounds? Will Al Qaeda be defeated or is this latest action engender even more violence, more terror, more destruction? Is this an end or a new beginning of even more abominations?
I have been blogging daily on this platform for several years now. It is surprising that I have persisted as the world is changing and "microblogging" is now the norm. I blog to amuse myself, make comment on current affairs, externalise some of my creativity, keep notes on things that interest me, learn something new and to surprise myself with things that I discover about this wonderful, and sometimes crazy, world we live in.
I sometimes get the impression that I am on a soapbox delivering a monologue, so your comments are welcome.