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I have done so much reading over the past couple of days, about the events in Pakistan.  I have picked up the @WhiteHouse Twitter feed and I’ve done a lot of thinking about what’s transpired.  I’m grateful to so many for reading my post from Sunday night, and their comments.  I respect the opinions of all that have stopped by.

It’s been interesting to read the various opinions about whether we should have killed bin Laden, whether the President should get credit for tracking him down, and even whether the photos of bin Laden’s body should be released.  I’m finding that my own feelings are mixed.  On the one hand, I’m appalled that this sort of action is necessary, and I certainly don’t WANT to see pictures.  On the other, I’m not sorry that he’s dead, and I would more than likely look at the pictures out of some morbid curiosity.

I feel pretty hypocritical, spouting off about the notion that torture should be outlawed, and assassinations are monstrous.  Didn’t I watch EVERY episode of “24?”  How many times did I say or post, “Jack Bauer is a badass?”

It’s when I see that my son posted “Bin Laden’s Dead!  Oh, yeah!” on Facebook, that I worry about how what I say influences my children.  Don’t I want them to respect ALL life, not just those that I deem of value?  Haven’t I raised him without a specific religion, so that he would respect all faiths?  There are so many people who look at Americans as the enemy…disrespectful, rude, and dangerously ignorant to other faiths and cultures.  I worry that it’s actually true. 

 I always think of a line from “Under the Tuscan Sun,” when Diane Lane’s character stumbles into the villa that she’ll eventually buy.  There is another couple there, making an offer on the house.  When Diane asks the price and inadvertently sours the deal for the couple, they call her a stupid American, always ruining things for others.  She says, “Some of us feel really bad about that!”  And it’s the truth.  I have ambitions to travel the world, and while I am proud to represent America, I’m not always proud of my countrymen. 

I understand the need for armies, for certain actions carried out in the name of preemptive peace.  I do.  I just wish that there was more tolerance out there.  While I am a Democrat, and a pretty left leaning one at that, I know that we don’t corner the market on sensitivity to the world around us, just as Republicans do not have a lock on family values or patriotism.

If we could just let go of some of the vitriol, and show a little more respect for each other, we might get a lot farther in accomplishing a common goal – life.  I know, I know.  Can’t you just hear John Lennon now?

(image credit – Casondra Sobieralski)