N.B.: This post has nothing to do with the usual subject of this blog.
Three thousand people were killed on 9/11.
The wars that resulted from 9/11 have caused the deaths of 1,000,000 people, about half of them civilians who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. That's payback of 300 to 1, if anyone's keeping score or if your morality requires an eye for an eye, which I hope we can all agree is a kind of thinking that really has no legitimate role of any kind in public policy decisions.
To dispatch these 1,000,000 people, we've spent 3 trillion dollars on two wars that have lasted ten years and show no signs of stopping. To put that in perspective, consider that 3 trillion dollars is 3,000 billion dollars. This means we have spent a billion dollars, or 1,000 million dollars to avenge the death of each and every person killed in 9/11. A billion dollars. Per person. So far.
My heart is sick over the public reaction to today's news about the death of Bin Laden. I have no idea if extra-judicial killing (by order of a U.S. president) in the case at hand is legal or advisable. Perhaps it is both; perhaps neither. I'm not going to weigh in on that question as tempting as it is. But I do know that dancing in the streets over the violent death of another human being is not something I will ever do. Ever. I don't care who the person was. Whether the killing had to be done or not, it's not something that requires a party.
Sometimes I feel very, very out of touch with the spirit of the times.