Eerie scenes of rejoice in Washington and New York show you just how much hatred is directed at bin Laden, much of which it seems is a result of the September 11th attacks.
Quick to capitalise on this outpouring of emotion, many news agencies are using language like “mastermind of the 11 September 2001 attacks” (Guardian, NY Times) despite the fact that his appearance on the FBI’s Most Wanted List bears no mention of September 11th, and according to a well-cited quote “the FBI has no hard evidence connecting bin Laden to 9/11” (source)
This isn’t to deny other crimes for which he is wanted, but in the western world we are supposed to believe in justice (evidence supporting a charge, due process) and democracy (respecting sovereign nations) and yet we reduce the limitations these place on our actions when those actions are in our interest. Democracy as a safeguard places limitations upon us but these must be respected at all times or legitimacy will be lost.
It’s also very sad to see so many people rejoicing in the death of another person. Osama bin Laden is accused of killing thousands of people, but hundreds of thousands have been killed in searching for him and this is something that should not be celebrated but heavily contemplated.
Many mainstream news sources take a largely uncritical eye to the western allies and leave out important information that should be included in legitimate news. This is unfortunate as it results in their readers losing perspective and objectivity, two important characteristics we must employ to understand the world and improve the present situation.
Image: New York Times