Four hours ago, I woke up to a text from Travis about how Osama bin Laden was killed last night.
Then my roommate, Efua, who had also just woken up, said, “Did you know? Osama bin Laden was killed! I’m sure you are happy.”
I texted some friends about it. Then Efua and I turned on our radio to listen to the BBC news. We heard Obama’s announcement and quotes from leaders from all over the world- the French president, the German chancellor, an Egyptian brigadier general, a Pakistani mayor, a Russian diplomat. They all expressed their happiness and relief and cautioned that this doesn’t end terrorism.
I went downstairs to have breakfast with some ISEP friends. Jokes ensued. Evan alleged, “From what I heard, Obama challenged Osama to a gentlemen’s duel.” We talked about what this means. Is al-Qaeda finished? Will bin Laden be seen as a martyr? Why was his body disposed of so quickly? Is Obama guaranteed reelection because of this?
From what I heard on the BBC and from some of my Ghanaian friends in the dorm, people all over the world are happy about this but cautious to declare what it actually means. The response seemed balanced and intelligent.
Then I left the dorm to find internet access.
Right now, I’m sitting in an internet café in Accra. CNN is playing. I can’t think of the last time I was exposed to such terror and bloodthirsty rhetoric. The newscasters are worried about how Muslims in Africa and the Middle East will respond to this. This is in addition to their use of phrases like “Islam’s terrorism”. They seem to be painting a picture that the rest of the world disagrees with the idea that terrorism should be combated. That’s not the impression that I get from “the rest of the world”, and I’m there right now.
It’s infuriating. How can the popular media betray Americans like this? Why are they fueling paranoia and fear? It’s bizarre and not realistic at all. It’s understandable, if barbaric, that people are celebrating so much in the streets in DC. But why all this dangerous and irresponsible rhetoric from our “news” sources? If you’re watching CNN or any American news channel right now, please keep in mind their inexplicable and hazardous bias that only fuels violent sentiment. I don’t understand why they are intentionally so inflammatory. Are ratings worth the lies?
Quote of the day, from Travis, via text: So Osama bin Laden has been found and killed, which I guess is a good thing, but I find it disgusting that people are celebrating the death of anyone.