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Guilt Feelings About Osama bin Laden


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#1 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 01:58 PM

Guilt Feelings About Osama bin Laden

Has anybody noticed how Osama bin Laden's death is used for massive payoffs in the guilt-manipulation industry?

I have a few thoughts I want to share. As this is a rant, I am not going to provide links to news stories or anything else. (Maybe in the comments later...)

I suggest when someone tries to lay any of the following guilt trips on you, you check the premise and ask yourself, who gains what by that? You will almost always find control by the guilt-inducer at the root--using sanction of the victim as the instrument.


We Murdered an Unarmed Man

I keep seeing this over and over. We should feel guilty and we are hypocrites because we murdered bin Laden instead of capturing and trying him in a court of law--and he was unarmed at the time he was killed.

But ...

There is a massive blank-out in this formulation. Osama bin Laden was an enemy combatant who was at war with us. He took glory in his notoriety--he's even on video surfing channels trying to see himself on the TV news. He released tape after tape taunting the USA and owned up to mass killings. He promised more. That is the "unarmed man" the Seals killed; the "unarmed man" who did not receive a "fair" trial.

This guy was still actively commanding killing operations when he was shot.

I have said the following elsewhere and I will repeat it here. My desire for this jerk was for him to be shot dead in his own home while looking at a USA soldier. It looks like I got my wish.

Do I feel guilty about that? Nope. I feel perfectly satisfied.

(Of course, I am saddened by the needless carnage of innocents all these years, but I am not discussing that.)


We Took Such Glee In Death that We Needed a Marching Band

How's this for sanction of the victim wedded to altruism? In religion after religion and even here in O-Land, we get people trying to make us feel shame for celebrating bin Laden's death. They say we should celebrate life, not the death of anyone. The guilt-inducers often say that in a tone of moral disapproval.

Well, gimme a break!

Let's unpack this a bit.

There are many cultural reasons Americans jumped for joy when President Obama made his announcement. Go to any movie theater and see how the audience reacts when the bad guy gets it. Or look at the crowd behavior at sporting events when one side has been cheating and gets slaughtered. If you want to go on the seamier side of public fantasy about bad guys, look at the massive growth of professional wrestling and look how the fans behave.

Or how about psychological reasons? When you get closure on an open wound, you often feel such relief, it comes out as spontaneously dancing a jig or something similar. Ditto for when a grave threat is removed, or when you previously felt powerless and suddenly discover that you have great efficacy. You feel elation.

The important point is that this is who we are. This is how we habitually react to taking down bad guys. We do this day in and day out. Nobody should ever have to apologize for it.

But how about the people who do not feel that kind of elation? Is there something wrong with them? No. Not in the least. To me it's simple. They don't have to apologize for the way they are, either.

We are all different individuals and we can react differently.

There are three kinds of emotions: acute (temporary), chronic (long-term or mood) and social (what we show others).

Nobody can predict what his or her acute emotions are going to be from moment to moment. These emotions are temporary and simply happen during the course of the day. The outburst of glee on bin Laden's death was an acute emotion. But so were the other contained reactions.

There is no right or wrong about this. It doesn't matter how you reacted immediately on hearing the news. That is simply how you are. A person can only feel guilty for that if he is being manipulated to do so.

I grant that if a person walks around in a constant state of elation about death--even the death of a monster--that is not healthy. Constant state means a chronic emotion and there is a name for a person whose constant mood is being enthralled with death (and suffering): a sadist.

Also, on the social emotion level (the emotions we choose to show to others), if we show excessive glee simply to taunt and humiliate people, that's not healthy. That's bullying. This is relative, though. Some taunting (especially of bad guys) is very satisfying and not unhealthy at all. I guess the acute social emotion of joy on bin Laden's death is not all that bad while the chronic one is more bad than it isn't.

But I don't care what anyone says about schadenfreude and all that stuff. I felt intense gratification the moment I learned that the Seals had killed bin Laden. I was asleep when Kat woke me to tell me that they got him. I immediately popped up wide awake. As I flipped through the TV channels for news, I looked on the general jubilation of the crowds with total approval and identification. In terms of Osama bin Laden, I shad all over his freude a long time ago.

To be clear, I don't harbor even the faintest shadow of a distant misgiving inside my soul, much less anything resembling guilt, for having felt what I did. I don't think anyone should, either


President Obama was Wise to Withhold the Death Picture

This is a real nasty guilt trip.

We don't want to offend Muslim sensibilities or inflame violent Islamist passions. If you do, you are a bully and shame on you.

This is pure BS.

Primates learn by being showed something more than by any other means. A death picture of Osama bin Laden shows on a visceral level that he is human, not a larger than life figure. I can think of a host of reasons why this is useful. Starting with visceral clarity to any replacement bin Laden wannabe out there.

The guilt-inducers want to make you feel bad by insinuating that you are sadistic or like to wallow in gore for wanting to see the death picture published.

But look to your own life.

Are you a sadist in your other affairs? Are you a gore-monger? I know I'm not.

So why is this different?

The best thing to tell a guilt-inducer when he lays that trip on you is for him to cultivate his own unworthiness in the garden of his own soul--that you don't feel any guilt whatsoever--and you would love to see the death picture (that is, if you want to see it).


The Burial of Osama bin Laden at Sea

This is another vicious guilt trip they are trying to hit you with.

According to the narrative, we buried bin Laden following Muslim prescriptions because "that's who we are."

Translated, this means we are superior to others.

But answer this. Is that who you are? Would it ever have occurred to you to wash bin Laden's body, dress it in a special manner, and go through a step-by-step ritual to bury him at sea?

I know I wouldn't have thought of that. That's not at all who I am.

So, does that make me an inferior person who should keep my mouth shut out of hidden shame so nobody will ever learn the truth that I don't relate to the nobility of this act?

That's a real nasty hidden one. If you feel this kind of guilt, I suggest you check that particular premise and look hard at the person trying to induce that feeling in you.

As for the actual burial, I believe this was a stroke of genius by President Obama. It did cater to Muslim sensibilities and I have no issue with that. If you can keep the bad vibes down without humiliating yourself, that's OK by me.

But President Obama also catered to my sensibilities. You see, I am a man of modern times. I have learned all my life that the proper procedure for sewage disposal is to first treat it, then dump it into the ocean.

Michael

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#2 Ninth Doctor

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 06:23 PM

President Obama was Wise to Withhold the Death Picture

Photos of the hanged Nazis at Nuremberg got out, they’re available to see with a Google search. Whether they ever made anyone feel better I don’t know. But the photo of the dead Che Guevara was considered an inspiration by some, reportedly because he looks like Jesus in a Pieta treatment.

I don’t feel any particular desire to see the body of bin Laden. Not releasing it is a judgement call I don’t feel the need to second guess.
Prandium gratis non est

#3 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 07:37 PM

Not releasing it is a judgement call I don't feel the need to second guess.

Dennis,

I'm not being contentious, because I respect the taste of someone who does not want to look on gory pictures, but do you see any need for Big Brother to deny this to those who want to see it?

Would you deny them?

I'm not crazy about seeing the photos, myself, but I find Bog Brother a little too much of a control freak for my comfort. Let's say, after thinking it over, I want to see the photos on principle. I don't like government officials deciding what's good for people to think or not.

Michael

Know thyself...


#4 Ninth Doctor

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 07:58 PM

Not releasing it is a judgement call I don't feel the need to second guess.

I'm not being contentious, because I respect the taste of someone who does not want to look on gory pictures, but do you see any need for Big Brother to deny this to those who want to see it?

Would you deny them?

Those who want to see it, meaning whom? 9/11 survivors? Then maybe they’ll do a special exhibit, on a by request basis. Kind of like how they let people witness an execution if they choose.

Consider the examples I gave, hanged Nazis and Che. Which one is Osama more like?

Bog Brother

That’s f’ing precious!
Prandium gratis non est

#5 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 08:05 PM

Here's a story I lived through.

I once managed a Cello Festival in Brazil of Aldo Parisot. Part of it included a cello competition.

We had some very good prizes back then, too--5, if I remember correctly, starting with $25,000 first prize.

The competition was brutal and went on for days. The day of the final rounds came around, the last person played and the judges went off into a room to decide the prize winners. You wouldn't believe the amount of politicking that had gone on up to then. Talk about a festival of dirty pool!

By this time, everything had been arranged.

Aldo, in a stroke of genius, made a last minute change in the voting. He required everyone to say their vote out loud. All of a sudden all the intrigues fell flat. The judges knew the others would know who they voted for, so if they voted for someone lame, it would be very obvious and they would be called out on it. So they all ended up voting on merit.

And merit-wise, it was pretty obvious who would win. So the voting took exactly 5 minutes to complete. I was the secretary who recorded it all.

Then, the judges, knowing that the people on the other side of that door, were dying to know who won, smiled at each other. One asked how the weather was, another answered, then they all sat around and made small talk for 2 full hours. I think the only reason they finally said it was time to announce the result was because they started getting hungry.

I feel this same spirit with President Obama and his cohorts. He likes to sit on information and say, "I have it and you can't. Nyah nyah nyah..."

Michael


EDIT: LOL... I think I'm going to leave the Bog Brother typo as it stands. It's got a nice sound to it. :)

Know thyself...


#6 Brant Gaede

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 08:26 PM

No "we" = no guilt.

--Brant

Rational Individualist, Rational self-interest, Individual Rights--limited government libertarian heavily influenced by Objectivism


#7 Kat

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 07:30 AM

When OBL was killed a lot of people were posting Martin Luther King Jr. quotes and such on facebook and it really annoyed me. Here is what I posted. Hopefully, some people checked their premises.

"Osama bin Ladin was a truly evil fuck and I'm glad he is dead. MLK's words and Christian bromides do not apply to this situation. We needed CLOSURE. Sure there will be others to pick up the baton, but we had to take him down and there is no reason to feel guilty about it."

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Kat

#8 BaalChatzaf

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 07:40 AM

Guilty????? Moi???????

Ba'al Chatzaf
אויב מיין באָבע האט בייצים זי וואָלט זיין מיין זיידע

#9 Martin Radwin

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 10:43 AM

When OBL was killed a lot of people were posting Martin Luther King Jr. quotes and such on facebook and it really annoyed me. Here is what I posted. Hopefully, some people checked their premises.

"Osama bin Ladin was a truly evil fuck and I'm glad he is dead. MLK's words and Christian bromides do not apply to this situation. We needed CLOSURE. Sure there will be others to pick up the baton, but we had to take him down and there is no reason to feel guilty about it."

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Kat


So now that we have CLOSURE, can we finally get the hell out of Afghanistan? Can we finally end our occupation of Iraq? Can we finally stop flying drones over Pakistan and firing hellfire missiles into wedding parties? Can we finally stop bombing Libya? Can we finally put a stop to all of the wars and bring our troops home? No? Not this time? The danger of terrorism is greater than ever? That's what I thought. I guess that CLOSURE will have to wait for another day.

Martin

#10 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 01:38 PM

No? Not this time?

Martin,

Are you talking to yourself?

Michael

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#11 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 01:51 PM

There is one thing bothering me about the result of the bin Laden kill.

If you go to Drudge, or practically any other mainstream news source (at least the ones I have seen), there is a proliferation of stories touting the glories of socialism in one form or another.

There are always a few, but now it's way more than usual.

Michael

Know thyself...


#12 George H. Smith

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 01:56 PM


When OBL was killed a lot of people were posting Martin Luther King Jr. quotes and such on facebook and it really annoyed me. Here is what I posted. Hopefully, some people checked their premises.

"Osama bin Ladin was a truly evil fuck and I'm glad he is dead. MLK's words and Christian bromides do not apply to this situation. We needed CLOSURE. Sure there will be others to pick up the baton, but we had to take him down and there is no reason to feel guilty about it."

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Kat


So now that we have CLOSURE, can we finally get the hell out of Afghanistan? Can we finally end our occupation of Iraq? Can we finally stop flying drones over Pakistan and firing hellfire missiles into wedding parties? Can we finally stop bombing Libya? Can we finally put a stop to all of the wars and bring our troops home? No? Not this time? The danger of terrorism is greater than ever? That's what I thought. I guess that CLOSURE will have to wait for another day.

Martin


I'm awaiting the day when the U.S. government gets the hell out of the United States. I guess this means I will have to wait awhile for closure. <_<

Ghs

#13 Selene

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 02:09 PM



When OBL was killed a lot of people were posting Martin Luther King Jr. quotes and such on facebook and it really annoyed me. Here is what I posted. Hopefully, some people checked their premises.

"Osama bin Ladin was a truly evil fuck and I'm glad he is dead. MLK's words and Christian bromides do not apply to this situation. We needed CLOSURE. Sure there will be others to pick up the baton, but we had to take him down and there is no reason to feel guilty about it."

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Kat


So now that we have CLOSURE, can we finally get the hell out of Afghanistan? Can we finally end our occupation of Iraq? Can we finally stop flying drones over Pakistan and firing hellfire missiles into wedding parties? Can we finally stop bombing Libya? Can we finally put a stop to all of the wars and bring our troops home? No? Not this time? The danger of terrorism is greater than ever? That's what I thought. I guess that CLOSURE will have to wait for another day.

Martin


I'm awaiting the day when the U.S. government gets the hell out of the United States. I guess this means I will have to wait awhile for closure. <_<

Ghs


Now there is a bumper sticker!

GET THE US GOVERNMENT OUT OF AMERICA!

Excellent George!
"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice..and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."

#14 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 02:15 PM

Fat person to self: "I wonder when I am going to break the shackles of this body and set my spirit free."

That's one approach.

Fat person to self: "I wonder when I am going to take dieting seriously, thin down, and set my spirit free."

That's another approach.

I like the second better than the first. Others like the contrary.

I believe we are all agreed that we want to set the human spirit free.

Michael

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#15 Martin Radwin

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 02:31 PM

No? Not this time?

Martin,

Are you talking to yourself?

Michael


Not at all. I've asked a series of rhetorical questions. The obvious intent of these rhetorical questions was to illustrate that, despite Bin Laden's death, we should probably not anticipate that anything substantive will change in the lives of Americans. As a result of which, I don't feel any sense of closure at all. If you prefer to pretend that my purpose in making this post was that I like to talk to myself, so be it.

Martin

#16 Martin Radwin

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 02:37 PM



When OBL was killed a lot of people were posting Martin Luther King Jr. quotes and such on facebook and it really annoyed me. Here is what I posted. Hopefully, some people checked their premises.

"Osama bin Ladin was a truly evil fuck and I'm glad he is dead. MLK's words and Christian bromides do not apply to this situation. We needed CLOSURE. Sure there will be others to pick up the baton, but we had to take him down and there is no reason to feel guilty about it."

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Kat


So now that we have CLOSURE, can we finally get the hell out of Afghanistan? Can we finally end our occupation of Iraq? Can we finally stop flying drones over Pakistan and firing hellfire missiles into wedding parties? Can we finally stop bombing Libya? Can we finally put a stop to all of the wars and bring our troops home? No? Not this time? The danger of terrorism is greater than ever? That's what I thought. I guess that CLOSURE will have to wait for another day.

Martin


I'm awaiting the day when the U.S. government gets the hell out of the United States. I guess this means I will have to wait awhile for closure. <_<

Ghs


Yes, you'll have to wait even longer for that. The impending bankruptcy of the U.S. government may eventually force some significant cuts in the overseas empire. But getting the U.S. government the hell out of the United States? Much as I, like you, would love to see that happen, I don't imagine that either of us will live long enough to see it. But a boy can dream ...

Martin

#17 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 03:32 PM

Not at all.

Martin,

That's funny. I asked because you asked a question and answered it.

From what I saw, you were directing your rhetorical questions at Kat and insinuating that she was a hawkish neocon.

Is my understanding correct?

If you prefer to pretend that my purpose in making this post was that I like to talk to myself, so be it.

There you go again making unwarranted presuppositions.

I didn't pretend anything.

I asked.

I would suggest for you to please read more carefully, but I have found that this is an ongoing problem with you. You seem to like spouting from a soapbox far more than reading correctly.

Michael

Know thyself...


#18 Martin Radwin

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 04:07 PM

Not at all.

Martin,

That's funny. I asked because you asked a question and answered it.

From what I saw, you were directing your rhetorical questions at Kat and insinuating that she was a hawkish neocon.

Is my understanding correct?


And you accuse me of not reading carefully and making unwarranted presuppositions? Nowhere was I insinuating that Kat was a hawkish neocon. I never said any such thing and I never implied any such thing. My purpose in making the post, which I thought was perfectly obvious, was to point out that, despite the fact that Bin Laden was dead, it was very unlikely that anything was going to change with regard to U.S. foreign policy (or domestic policy, for that matter, although I didn't specifically refer to that). And so, from my perspective, there is no sense of closure regarding Bin Laden's death, given that nothing will likely change that will affect our lives in a positive way. Now, if the future proves me wrong, if, for example, the U.S. really does withdraw from Afghanistan now that Bin Laden is dead, I will be the first to admit that I was wrong and that something positive resulted from Bin Laden's death that was really worth celebrating. But I don't expect this. So far, none of the statements made by any of our illustrious leaders give us much hope to believe that anything is going to change for us.


If you prefer to pretend that my purpose in making this post was that I like to talk to myself, so be it.

There you go again making unwarranted presuppositions.

I didn't pretend anything.

I asked.

I would suggest for you to please read more carefully, but I have found that this is an ongoing problem with you. You seem to like spouting from a soapbox far more than reading correctly.

Michael


You asked? You mean that this was a serious question? You actually considered the possibility that I made the post because I like talking to myself, so you had to ask the question in order to see if this was true? If you think that I am the type of person who enjoys talking to myself in internet postings, I would suggest that you please read more carefully.

Martin

#19 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 04:11 PM

Nowhere was I insinuating that Kat was a hawkish neocon. I never said any such thing and I never implied any such thing.

Martin,

Good.

Thank you for the clarity.

(I won't go into your silly pretend-someone-answered-your-question rhetoric other than to say I 100% disagree with your perception of how it comes off.)

Michael

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#20 Selene

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 04:21 PM

Is Bin Laden still dead?


"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice..and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."




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