Immediately after the news of Osama Bin Laden’s death, conspiracy theories have been popping up all over the place. The key problems people seem to be having with the circumstances bin Laden’s death? (via Reuters)
1. Quick Burial – Islamic burial rules call for a 24-hour turnaround period between death and burial
2. No Photos – The White House’s decision not to release photographs of the body out of respect for the Muslim world
3. Re-election Scam – Obama is up for re-election next year, and this might all just be a ploy to heighten his numbers
Now my goal here isn’t to dismiss or invalidate these claims. Nor is it to proclaim them valid and provide proof. Rather, I want to explore what these conspiracy theories mean–for America, for the war on terrorism, for the world as a whole.
So what if these conspiracy theories are true and Osama bin Laden was never killed? Americans feel justified and relieved, and this is the first time in a long time that America has felt unified as a nation. The levels of patriotism are astonishing–at least from personal experience I’ve seen numerous flags around the neighborhood and Facebook profile pictures changed into American symbols. American pride–and pride in those who serve our nation–are shown all over the place, and Sunday and Monday’s TT on Twitter included ones about the Navy and SEALs, though I can’t remember what specifically. His death–or “death”–has raised increase awareness about the war on terrorism that some might have forgotten over the years. OBL is still a TT, and Google cited over 2 million searches for “Osama bin Laden” on Sunday alone. So this all comes back to the question: So what if he isn’t dead? If he’s not, he is still able to control al-Qaeda, though his death would surely warrant the rise of another powerful individual. Thus, does the disproving of his death really do anything for America, for the war on terrorism, or the world? Is it so bad to have a surge of American patriotism, a rise in national unity? Is it so bad to feel united amid talk of partisan politics? Is it so bad that those affected by 9/11 feel some sense of comfort, some sense of relief?
I really can’t say how much it would matter if people were to find out that bin Laden had died earlier, that he still wasn’t found, or that he was still alive. But what I can say is that I find nothing wrong with American pride and unity, even if it does come at the price of misled information.