ISSN 2330-717X

America’s Self-Righteous Celebration – OpEd


By Mya Guarnieri

Osama Bin Laden is dead. And Americans are celebrating.

Last night, the crowds cheered and sang before the White House and in Manhattan. And, today, the jingoistic, congratulatory op-eds hit the papers.

It’s been particularly troubling to me, an American-Israeli, to watch these events unfold from Tel Aviv. I’ve heard too many Israelis justify the occupation of Palestinian territory with statements like, “They’re animals, they celebrate when we’re killed.” I’ve heard the same rhetoric come from American mouths, “The Muslim world cheered after the 9/11 attacks.”

Americans–many of whom consider their so-called War on Terror morally righteous–must ask themselves if the images of their celebrations really look so different than those that they condemn.

We must remember that a tremendous majority of the Arab and Muslim world did not revel in the horror of 9/11. The attacks were largely denounced–from Ramallah to Pakistan and almost everywhere in between.

A death of a human being should never be celebrated–whether that person was an innocent or whether he or she is guilty of an unspeakable crime. Bloodshed, and rejoicing in it, only perpetuates the cycle of violence.

Instead, I will spend today mourning. Not for Bin Laden, but for the thousands who were senselessly murdered on 9/11 and for the scores who died in the unnecessary wars that followed, wars that are sure to drag on for years to come.

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Mondoweiss is a news website devoted to covering American foreign policy in the Middle East, chiefly from a progressive Jewish perspective. Mondoweiss is maintained by Philip Weiss and Adam Horowitz. Weiss lives in New York state and Horowitz lives in New York City.

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