He’s Finally Gone

Bin Laden is dead. The mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks and numerous other attacks around the world for two decades has finally been defeated. This is not only good news for America but the whole world. Peace seems more possible with a monster like Bin Laden out of the picture.

Yesterday, May 1, 2011, the US Military shot and killed the most wanted man in the world. When President Obama made the announcement, the Internet exploded as people rushed to their social networking sites to announce their own reactions to the historical news. At one point, Twitter reported over 5,000 tweets a second. The world is celebrating.

My hope is that with Bin Laden out of the picture (along with many of al-Qaeda’s top officials over the past 10 years), and with more democratic revolutions breaking out all over the Arab world, global peace will become more plausible than it has been since 2001.

Of all the reactions and commentary, I found Jon Stewart’s to be among the best. On Monday night, he had this to say on his program, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart:

“Last night was a good night, for me, and not just for New York or D.C. or America but for human-people. The face of the Arab World in America’s eyes for too long has been Bin Laden and now it is not. Now, the face is only the young people in Egypt and Tunisia and all the Middle Eastern countries around the world where freedom rises up. al-Qaeda’s opportunity is gone… We’re back, baby.”

May the new chapter in history begin. May this be the century when the Middle East and the rest of the world become closer to achieving peace.

Crowds at Ground Zero celebrate the news of Bin Laden's death

 

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Jon Stewart Nailed It…

Comedian Jon Stewart is spot-on. This past weekend, at his Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear in Washington D.C., he criticized the media for exaggerating and polarizing Americans’ opinions. His message: We’re different and yet we still work together despite the reports.

“We live in hard times, not end times,” Stewart said. “We can have animus and not be enemies.”

Of course, partisans on both sides claimed he was an ill-informed commentator. Yes, people who have divided and polarized the country criticized a man for trying to unify the country into one people. Who’s the comedian again?

Most Americans know that our problems will not be solved overnight and that real change comes through working together.

“There will always be darkness and sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t the promised land,” to which Stewart comically added, “Sometimes, it’s New Jersey.”

Despite the media’s portrayal of racists, homophobes, Marxists, and Stalinists, we work together “every damn day” and make this country work.

In fact, when we call each other names, like “bigot” and “Marxist,” we insult people we disagree with and completely miss true dialogue.

“If we amplify everything, we hear nothing,” said Stewart.

The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear was designed to literally restore sanity to political dialogue, not demonize or insult anyone of any particular ideology (unless, of course, your ideology thrives on division and strife).

Stewart said it perfectly:

We hear every damn day about how fragile our country is — on the brink of catastrophe — torn by polarizing hate, and how it’s a shame that we can’t work together to get things done. But the truth is we do. We work together to get things done every damn day. The only place we don’t is here [in Washington] or on cable TV.”