I must admit that my next-day reaction to the news that Osama Bin Laden is dead is a great and profound apathy.
I imagine that my sentiment would be similar to having a girlfriend who broke your heart ten years ago, for whom you carried a torch for some time, call you ten years later at 10:30pm on a Sunday night to tell you she has been miserable ever since.
You would have a momentary flash of–good, it serves you right. But then you think, does this really matter anymore?
Of course, I know that the death of Bin Laden means, and should mean, a great deal more to those who lost loved ones on 9/11.
On the one hand, I know that Bin Laden declared war on the US and there is some sense of justice knowing that the war finally found him.
But yet my ambivalence remains. I find no joy in the news and even something akin to a let down. If we have captured or killed him in 2002 or 2003, I know that my sentiments would likely have been very different with a greater sense of justice. But now, ten years later, I don’t know. I feel a modicum of relief, but all the other feelings have been muted over time. Does he really matter anymore? Does this make us safer in any verifiable way? I hope so, but I don’t think so.