Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Understanding May 1, 2011

What a difference a few days make! Last week the news was all about Libya, Syria, the debate over President Obama’s birth certificate, and the British royal wedding. This changed irrevocably on Sunday night, when I along with many other people turned on their televisions and computers to discover the news that a certain terrorist everyone has been looking and wondering about for almost ten years was shot and killed in the special operatives’ raid in Pakistan. This too shall pass of course, but for now it is the number one story out there. The architect of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and so much more was exposed and has been silenced forever. Now I cannot help but wonder what is coming next for us as a country and as human beings.

I was shocked with everyone else by the news that they actually found the man in question, living in a comfortable fortress of surrounded by pastoral splendor and just a short distance away from a military training facility. While the house didn’t impress me at all, the areas were quite lovely, and reminded me of areas in my parents’ native India, and where my cousin lives in Indonesia. I am used to seeing high walls, but not fortress-sized windows and doors with barbed wire to boot.

I do recall my cousin’s neighbors’ housekeeping staff never being allowed to speak to anyone or leave their boss’s homes, not even for the Ramadan holiday. I realized this was not right immediately, but there was nothing I could do about it. I saw the policemen receiving bribes everyday from employees of the first Indonesian schools; I worked with some of them there, so I knew that local police would be the least likely to do much (if anything) to respond and remedy the situation for them. In other words, I understand why Bin Laden’s unknowing neighbors had no idea who he was. Of course, Pakistan’s military and intelligence organizations have some serious explaining to do.

What are your thought about this past weekend?

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