By Steven Avila |Staff Writer|
In the aftermath of Osama bin Laden’s death, the Obama administration has made the decision not to release bin Laden’s death photo.
A more right decision could not have been made.
In an interview with “60 Minutes,” President Barack Obama said “It is important for us to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence.”
This couldn’t be more true. There is already a deep-seated hatred for us Americans among bin Laden’s followers; there’s no purpose to give them something to be further angered about.
There are of course those that think the opposite. The Sun reported Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) saying “the best way to protect and defend our interests overseas is to prove that fact to the rest of the world.”
Really? As for the conspiracy theorists, it’s not as if al-Qaeda is denying it. According to The Huffington Post, al-Qaeda has already released a video confirming bin Laden’s death and vowing vengeance.
The opinions on this issue do not end with the politicians. A personal survey of over 20 CSUSB students, professors, and alumni found a variety of answers.
“We can’t really take what they [the government] say at face value anymore,” said student David Prieto.
But while there were a few people on campus who felt the photos should be released, the majority sided with the administration.
“I don’t think it’s ethical,” said student Justin Ivey. “I don’t need to see a guy’s head blown off to believe he’s dead.”
“There’s no reason for us to see the photos other than to satisfy the guy who says, ‘it’s a conspiracy!’” said CSUSB alumnus Elise Turner. “I say have a little faith and some respect for the dead, even if he was an enemy.”
I couldn’t agree more.
Bin Laden was responsible for terrible things, true, but we as Americans are supposed to hold ourselves to a higher standard than our enemies.
Exhibiting video or photos of vanquished foes is what our enemy does; we shouldn’t lower ourselves to their level.
That’s why it’s ridiculous, actually downright frightening, to hear an opinion like that of Sarah Palin, who said via her Twitter, “Show photo as warning to others seeking America’s destruction. No pussy-footing around, no politicking [sic] . . .it’s part of the mission.”
First of all, I don’t know why Palin keeps having the illusion she has any actual credibility anymore but that’s a story for another day.
Secondly, it’s foolish to think that we could use bin Laden’s photos as a warning. Our enemies in the war on terror don’t fear death to begin with, so how exactly are you going to frighten them with a picture of their dead leader?
Finally, since when should we show a death as a warning or trophy? We’re not in the fifth century anymore marching around with heads on pikes.
Bottom line: the administration made the right and moral decision. The Dalai Lama said, “In the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher.”
We have held up the actions of men like bin Laden as the wrong thing to do. If we want to defeat men like him, we must not be a nation like him.