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A Historic Day for the US

How to feel about the death of Osama Bin Laden is complicated for me.  I am so proud of all of our citizens who were involved in locating him; very proud and grateful to any soldier who risked this assignment; but celebrating any death is a little delicate for me.  Also, I worry just a bit that in our euphoria we will miss the important part of this.

Watching Morning Joe on MSNBC, I had the opportunity to listen to comments by Zbigniew Brzezinski, Pres. Carter’s National Security Advisor and a very smart man.  He cautioned that how important this event is depends on what comes next.  He emphasized that this gives our government opportunities and it is important whether we take them or not.  Opportunity, because the President’s prestige is much higher than ever, to emphasize that our enemies are the terrorists, not the Muslims of the world.  It is an opportunity to reevaluate our role in the Middle East vis-a-vis the war–and the millions of dollars and the young lives we pour into it each week.  We, the people, must not be distracted by this from our concern about our economy.

We also need to take the opportunity to look at the reasons for this success.  Obama, even if he didn’t want to, continued the policies of Bush and that continuity led to success; the Bush administration made a seamless transition to the Obama administration possible, at least in this area.  Somehow behind all of this people of diverse opinions worked together.  Intelligence agencies had to curb their competition and cooperate.  The military also worked together in amazing cohesiveness.

There is a lesson here for our politicians in Washington and at home;  there is a lesson here for each of us, in our professions, our communities, and our families.  Disagreement and civilized argument is good for us; it produces more ideas; it makes good decisions and solutions possible.  However, we must always emphasize civility.  Am I the only person who thinks that is what is missing from the modern world?

Thanks for allowing me to share my thoughts with you.  By reading this, you have given me, the teacher that I am, a chance to do what I think good teachers do–raise questions for others to think about.  I appreciate it.


5 Responses

  1. Well said! Thanks for crystalizing some very important thoughts!

  2. I lament the dearth of civility in society much too frequently these days. I am concerned about how his successors will retaliate. We are dealing with pros at retaliation and they will jump on any excuse. This? Major.

  3. Jane,
    Very eloquently expressed. Thanks!

  4. think you should do as all good teachers do learn when to be qiuet Thank you

  5. Thanks, Jane, for your thoughtful comments. I agree with what you say here and agree that civil debate about the issues (not the distractions such as the birthers keep throwing out) is more important than ever. As a country, we’ve got real problems, here and abroad. I hope that finding bin Laden has a galvanizing effect that brings the country together, even though I fear we’ll see some reprisals. I’m going to quibble with a very minor point in your post: while I can see where people think Obama has “continued the policies of Bush,” I also think that distinctions can be drawn between the foreign policies of the two presidents. The world respects us much more than they did with Bush because of Obama’s attitude toward the rest of the world. Remember, he got the Peace Prize not because of anything that he did but because the world saw him as NOT Bush. That’s important. You can have civil worldwide debate with Bush’s “bring it on” posturing.

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