Monday, May 2, 2011

Bin Laden Dead. Reactions. Conspiracy. How To Talk With Your Kids About It.

Reactions to Bin Laden's Death...


"This momentous achievement marks a victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001. The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done. " — former President George W. Bush
"This is a day of great honor to the survivors and victims of terrorism in the world. A day to remember those whose lives were changed forever. A day of great relief to us victims and survivors to see that bin Laden has been killed." — Douglas Sidialo, who lost his eyesight in the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombing in Nairobi, Kenya.
"I congratulate the president, the national security team and the members of our armed forces on bringing Osama bin Laden to justice after more than a decade of murderous al-Qaida attacks." — former President Bill Clinton.
   "The battle between us and international tyranny is long and will not be stopped by the martyrdom of our beloved one, the lion of Islam. How many martyrdom seekers have been born today?" — a top al-Qaida ideologue who goes by the online name "Assad al-Jihad2".
"This is great news for the security of the American people and a victory in our continued fight against al-Qaida and radical extremism around the world. We continue to face a complex and evolving terrorist threat, and it is important that we remain vigilant in our efforts to confront and defeat the terrorist enemy and protect the American people." — House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.
"This is the most significant victory in our fight against al-Qaida and terrorism, but that fight is not over. We will continue to support our troops and the American civilians who are fighting every day to protect our homeland." — Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.
   "The Americans have previously killed other Islamists leaders... Their students will continue the jihad and we shall retaliate against the Americans, Israel, Europe and Christians in Somalia with destructive explosions and other acts that will harm them." — Mohamed Asman Arus, spokesman for al-Shabab, Somalia's most dangerous militant group.
   "The news that Osama Bin Laden is dead will bring great relief to people across the world. It is a great success that he has been found and will no longer be able to pursue his campaign of global terror." — British Prime Minister David Cameron.
"To be quite frank, I am very happy that this man is dead. I was always raised, obviously, never to hope for someone's death, but I'm willing to make an exception in this case... He was evil personified, and our world is a better place without him." — Gordon Felt, head of a family group for United Flight 93, which crashed into a Pennsylvania field on Sept. 11.
Order Was To Kill Not Capture
 WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. special forces team that hunted down Osama bin Laden was under orders to kill the al Qaeda mastermind, not capture him, a U.S. national security official told Reuters.
"This was a kill operation," the official said, making clear there was no desire to try to capture bin Laden alive in Pakistan. (Reporting by Mark Hosenball, writing by Matt Spetalnick)

Interesting Stuff
Yes, we were hacked. Starting just moments before President Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden, our website was hit with what the hosting company described as a massive distributed denial of service attack, no doubt to prevent the public from accessing the documentation showing Bin Laden actually died in December of 2001 of natural causes.


"Those who own the country ought to govern it." -- John Jay, American statesman and first Chief Justice of US Supreme Court, 1745--1829

No MR.

The New York TImes broke with a long-standing precedent on Monday in its coverage of Osama bin Laden's death: it did not refer to him as "Mr."
Romenesko reported on a memo sent to staffers by associate managing editor Tom Jolly. "At Jill and Bill's request, we dropped the honorific for Bin Laden," the memo said in part, referring to Jill Abramson, the paper's managing editor, and Bill Keller, its executive editor. And, indeed, Bin Laden is referred to as simply "Bin Laden" in the Times'coverage.
It is a nearly sacrosanct tradition of the Times that everyone--from the worst criminals to the most revered heroes--is referred to with some kind of honorific (whether "Mr." or "Ms." or "Dr." or many others) in its hard news pages...
Osama Bin Laden dead: Reaction around the world ranges from joy to fear Al Qaeda will retaliate

A Pakistani newspaper hawker tells passerby in Karachi about the killing of Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden by U.S. troops.
Shakil Adil/AP
A Pakistani newspaper hawker tells passerby in Karachi about the killing of Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden by U.S. troops.

Osama Bin Laden's death was met with the hope that the world had turned a page on the War on Terror, but also warnings that the fight was far from over.

In much of the Arab world, news of Bin Laden's killing in a U.S. raid was greeted with relief and anticipation that life there would improve.
"Bin Laden's acts robbed us freedom to talk and move around," said Mohammad al-Mansouri in the United Arab Emirates. "He turned us into targets at home and suspects in every foreign country we traveled to."
In other corners of the world, people celebrated but worried that Bin Laden's death would change little.
"This is justice," said Filipino Cookie Micaller, whose sister was killed when the World Trade Center collapsed. "I don't think this is going to stop."
To that end, U.S. facilities went on high alert around the globe, bracing for possible retaliatory attacks.
In Pakistan, where Bin Laden was killed, the main Taliban faction vowed to strike back.
"If he has been martyred, we will avenge his death and launch attacks against American and Pakistani governments and their security forces," said the militant group's spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan.
In Afghanistan, government leaders erupted in applause when President Hamid Karzai told them the news.
"I hope the death of Osama Bin Laden will mean the end of terrorism," Karzai said.
Afghan Taliban fighters mourned Bin Laden's passing.
"My heart is broken," said one-named militant Mohebullah. "In the past, we heard a lot of rumors about his death, but if he did die, it is a disaster and a black day."
Read more:

Can US Offer Final Proof Of Osama's Death?

    The circumstances surrounding Osama bin Laden's reported death raise urgent questions over how the US is so sure it got its man.
Osama bin Laden gesturing an undated videotape broadcast in 2002
Reports suggest Saudi Arabia refused to take Bin Laden's body
US personnel have so far said they identified him by facial recognition, but have declined to say whether they used DNA analysis.
Reports have also suggested that Saudi Arabia was asked to take Bin Laden's body - but refused to do so.
The fact his body was buried at sea has so far only added to the speculation, although as a Muslim, he had to be laid to rest as quickly as possible.
Under Islamic law, people can only be buried at sea if they died there, or if there is a risk their body will be exhumed or dug up if buried in the ground.
The release of a photograph purporting to show Bin Laden's corpse - which was later confirmed to be a fake - added to the confusion.
Journalists have not yet had the opportunity to ask more than a few questions of the Obama administration about details of Bin Laden's death.
A former British ambassador to the US, Sir Christopher Meyer, told Sky News: "I imagine we will see proof.
Osama Bin Laden Dead Body
A photo purporting to be Osama was later confirmed to be a fake
"I can't concede the US president would go out to make a statement to the world that Bin Laden is dead without being able to produce evidence that he is dead.
"I think we will see some evidence - DNA or photographic - to prove there is not still some phantom Osama bin Laden riding the Tora Bora mountains."
The announcement is not the first time the world has heard of Bin Laden's death. Claims that the US and Britain kept up a pretence he was alive in order to continue their war on terror have been dismissed as conspiracy theories.
It has been suggested that Bin Laden died nearly 10 years ago during the battle for Tora Bora in Afghanistan, either from a US bomb or from kidney disease.
And as for his audio and video statements, their authenticity has continually been questioned.
One of his video statements, released just days before the October 2004 US presidential election, was said to have been crucial in helping George Bush secure a second term in office.
But his statement from December 2001, when he was seen to confess to the 9/11 attacks, has attracted the most attention.
Bin Laden had insisted numerous times, through the Arab press and in video statements, that he had no involvement with the atrocities. His sudden confession was picked up on by doubters.
Additionally, his appearance in the December 2001 video was markedly different. He sported a black beard, not his usual grey one, his pale skin had become darker and he had a different shaped nose.
He also looked in good health - a contrast to his earlier gaunt appearance - and critics have pointed to the fact he is seen writing a note with his right hand, although he was left-handed...

How are you talking to your kids about bin Laden's death?

So, how are you telling your kids about it?
"It," of course, being the death of Osama bin Laden. How do you explain the news? The question leads to another -- how have you told them about the 9-11 attacks? What do they know about terrorism, and the war on terror? Basically, how do you explain the existence of evil in the world? Wow. Hope everyone's had their coffee this morning.
Your answers, of course, depend on the age of your kids and their personalities. Some will have a million questions, some will be more interested in what's for lunch. And some will have questions that we can't quite answer. Here's a sampling of how parents have been reacting.
Jenny Lind Schmitt, mother of four, writes:
"It's good news," I told them this morning, "somber good news." Then we turned on the television to see if it was really true. We saw Obama's statement repeated about five times and saw the flag waving crowds jumping around victoriously at the White House in the middle of their night. "They don't seem very somber," remarked Apollo. Hmmm, no they didn't!
Blogger Jack B., like many parents, was caught off-guard by the news and the issues it raised:
Tonight my children learned about Osama Bin Laden. Tonight my children learned about 9/11 and the murder of thousands. Tonight they watched the news of Bin Laden’s death alongside me and I cursed him for it. I cursed Bin Laden for the murder of innocents and innocence. I cursed him for forcing my hand and having to take a piece of their childhood away from them.
Because tonight I confirmed that while there are no monsters under their beds or in the closets there are monsters who walk amongst us. My soon to be 10.5 year-old asked me if we murdered a murderer and whether we have to go kill his kids. My almost seven year-old asked why he was so mean and then told me that she wasn’t afraid because daddy will kill bad people. Her older brother nodded his head and smiled at me as he confirmed that she was correct.
Michelle Wolfson, who was pregnant with her first child on Sept. 11, 2011 and now has three children, is still trying to figure out what she'll say:
There are epic moments in parenthood that have nothing to do with our kids. They don't have anything to do with watching our kids take their first steps, or seeing our children off on their first day of school. They are moments where we as parents realize that our job is to hold and protect our children, to shield them from the bad, while simultaneously helping them grow and learn and become strong, mature, independent people. It's a fine line.
I wonder if they will find out. I wonder if I should tell them. I wonder if their friends will mention it to them. I wonder if it will be talked about at school. I wonder if they even care, or if they should.
Back to Jenny Lind Schmitt, who reminds us that kids have their own unique perspective on world news, justice and moral ambiguity:
My youngest son arrived downstairs in the kitchen. His sleepy eyes grew large and questioning. "Why is there a big flag?" At five, he is not yet so up on geo-political events. How to explain this, I thought.
"Well....a really bad guy who killed a whole lot of people finally got captured and killed."
"Oh," he said slowly. "So the really bad guy is dead?"
"Yes," I said with finality.
"Good. Can I have some oatmeal?"
Check back with TODAY Moms later today, when we hope to have some expert perspective on how to have this conversation with kids. In the meantime, share your thoughts in the comments: How are you talking about Osama bin Laden's death with your children?

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