Standing United

Joan Ganz Cooney reacts to last night’s milestone in the war on terror

Last night, as I was watching a TV show and the announcement came that there was breaking news coming up in a moment, I thought, “Oh my god, something terrible has happened.” I simply could not imagine good news coming from a late night presidential statement. Then the announcement and then the President. The sheer joy I felt amazed me. I wanted to shout “Some good news at last!” I realized that this has been the unluckiest president we’ve had in years — and we have gotten so used to wars, oil spills, natural disasters and financial woes that it was impossible to imagine that this wouldn’t be another calamity. It was the first really good news we had heard in years. In the midst of all the shouting, arguing, and anger that our country had been enduring, here was something that made all of us smile — and for one moment, united us, as 9/11 itself had done.

But in the nearly ten years since 9/11, America has changed and the world has changed — and not for the better. For the moment, though, we can feel pride and satisfaction that everything worked — the armed forces, the intelligence gathering, presidential decisions — everything. So I say: “Go, U.S.A.!”

8 Responses so far.

  1. avatar Maggie W says:

    Like you, Joan, I had that sinking feeling that something dark was on the horizon… again.  Perhaps, I thought, Libya and Syria have gone off the cliff  completely , and the President is announcing more boots on the ground in yet another ( or more ) countries.  I wanted to watch…. but then I didn’t.  When David Gregory broke the news first, I was truly elated.  At last that SOB no longer exists !!! 

    But there is something else.  This President has taken heat for being an aloof Commander in Chief.  After the McChrystle dismissal, the heat was turned up.  More ridicule.   It appears that he has been far more involved in the two wars and in the hunt for the most notorious man on the planet than many believed.    I am guessing this has also caught many of his critics flat footed…. temporarily , of course.  They will never be silenced long.

    Very nice and heart felt comments from George W. Bush. 

    • avatar Lila says:

      Maggie, re: the criticism that Obama has taken for “being aloof” and for dismissing McChrystal, etc., contrasted with the results we got in that raid: this is a rare glimpse, and ONLY a glimpse, into what goes on behind the scenes. And that’s the point that his critics won’t remember for two seconds… the President is always doing a LOT that the public does not know about.

      It’s also a great demonstration on why some things should stay secret. But of course it won’t change the minds of the Wikileaks defenders, either.

  2. avatar Rho says:

    I felt the same way, also watching TV.  When I heard the news, I jumped out of bed elated.  Thing is, I live in NYC, and we are on high alert.  I just pray nothing bad happens.

    Yes, GO USA!!!

  3. avatar Rho says:

    What did I say wrong?  My comment has been deleted.

  4. avatar Rho says:

    My mistake, sorry, I could not see my first comment.  Don’t know why, must be my computer.

  5. avatar Mary says:

    Last night I was only half listening to the television as often is the case.  All of the sudden I heard the President and thought to myself ” I sure hope we are not having massive flooding or more tornadoes”.  Then I heard it and I think I was a little stunned as I didn’t immediately react.  A lot happens in ten years.
    Ten years ago I stayed home glued to the television.  I was scared to death and worried sick that my ex husband was one of the pilots as he flew for American Airlines and one of the flights was one he frequently flew.  As it turned out he was not, but one of the pilots was a very good friend of ours.  Regardless, I know that I turned to my father via long distance.  If anyone could ground me I knew my Dad could.  Calm, nerves of steel, ex military man who was active in WWII and Korea.   Not much un nerved him.  I could almost hear his voice last night and the voice of my mother saying in the phone, ” here, talk to your Daddy”.  They are both gone now and there was no one to call to cheer the news of Bin ‘s leaving the earth.   Winters turned to Springs and Summers came and went.  Life moved on and as it moved on our country continued changing.  We seem to have grown a skin that protects us from bad news and shrug at it like it is nothing.   We seem to have become numb to the bad.  We hear it and we feel bad but we don’t seem to give things too much thought.  An oil spill?, Collapsing mines, collapsing bridges, collapsing economy,  The seasons change and the clock ticks away and we make it through as if in slow motion because the clock ceased moving in normal time 9/11.

    About 15 minutes after the news broke I finally reacted.  I quick found my flag and put it up on the pole.  I felt my heart thaw and I relished the moments that there can be hope and there can be justice and there can be, if only for a short time the coming together of Americans everywhere.


  6. avatar macwoof woof says:

    While i am glad Osama is no longer a threat, i find it disturbing that we celebrate the murder of anyone.
    “I will mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” ~Martin Luther King Jr

  7. avatar Bella Mia says:

    We know SEALS well. They are phenomenal. Osama was a dangerous fugitive from justice – a mass murderer and a serial killer. Charles Manson times thousands. Would average people have felt badly about Charles Mason if he had been killed by a SWAT team after evading capture for 10 years and meanwhile killing thousands, and while resisting arrest?

    Maybe people need to review the long list of heinous crimes and murders this Evil Monster has committed, and his psychotic threats to kill millions more with his nuclear dirty bombs. If this is NOT the definition of a MONSTER, I don’t know who would be:

    This is a PARTIAL list;

    * 1993 (Feb.): Bombing of World Trade Center (WTC); 6 killed.
    * 1993 (Oct.): Killing of U.S. soldiers in Somalia.
    * 1996 (June): Truck bombing at Khobar Towers barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, killed 19 Americans.
    * 1998 (Aug.): Bombing of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania; 224 killed, including 12 Americans.
    * 1999 (Dec.): Plot to bomb millennium celebrations in Seattle foiled when customs agents arrest an Algerian smuggling explosives into the U.S.
    * 2000 (Oct.): Bombing of the USS Cole in port in Yemen; 17 U.S. sailors killed.
    * 2001 (Sept.): Destruction of WTC; attack on Pentagon. Total dead 2,992.
    * 2001 (Dec.): Man tried to denote shoe bomb on flight from Paris to Miami.
    * 2002 (April): Explosion at historic synagogue in Tunisia left 21 dead, including 11 German tourists.
    * 2002 (May): Car exploded outside hotel in Karachi, Pakistan, killing 14, including 11 French citizens.
    * 2002 (June): Bomb exploded outside American consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, killing 12.
    * 2002 (Oct.): Boat crashed into oil tanker off Yemen coast, killing 1.
    * 2002 (Oct.): Nightclub bombings in Bali, Indonesia, killed 202, mostly Australian citizens.
    * 2002 (Nov.): Suicide attack on a hotel in Mombasa, Kenya, killed 16.
    * 2003 (May): Suicide bombers killed 34, including 8 Americans, at housing compounds for Westerners in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
    * 2003 (May): 4 bombs killed 33 people targeting Jewish, Spanish, and Belgian sites in Casablanca, Morocco.
    * 2003 (Aug.): Suicide car-bomb killed 12, injured 150 at Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia.
    * 2003 (Nov.): Explosions rocked a Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, housing compound, killing 17.
    * 2003 (Nov.): Suicide car-bombers simultaneously attacked 2 synagogues in Istanbul, Turkey, killing 25 and injuring hundreds.
    * 2003 (Nov.): Truck bombs detonated at London bank and British consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, killing 26.
    * 2004 (March): 10 bombs on 4 trains exploded almost simultaneously during the morning rush hour in Madrid, Spain, killing 191 and injuring more than 1,500.
    * 2004 (May): Terrorists attacked Saudi oil company offices in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, killing 22.
    * 2004 (June): Terrorists kidnapped and executed American Paul Johnson, Jr., in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
    * 2004 (Sept.): Car bomb outside the Australian embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, killed 9.
    * 2004 (Dec.): Terrorists entered the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, killing 9 (including 4 attackers).
    * 2005 (July): Bombs exploded on 3 trains and a bus in London, England, killing 52.
    * 2005 (Oct.): 22 killed by 3 suicide bombs in Bali, Indonesia.
    * 2005 (Nov.): 57 killed at 3 American hotels in Amman, Jordan.
    * 2006 (Jan.): Two suicide bombers carrying police badges blow themselves up near a celebration at the Police Academy in Baghdad, killing nearly 20 police officers. Al-Qaeda in Iraq takes responsibility.
    * 2006 (Aug.): Police arrest 24 British-born Muslims, most of whom have ties to Pakistan, who had allegedly plotted to blow up as many as 10 planes using liquid explosives. Officials say details of the plan were similar to other schemes devised by al-Qaeda.
    * 2007 (April): Suicide bombers attack a government building in Algeria’s capital, Algiers, killing 35 and wounding hundreds more. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claims responsibility.
    * 2007 (April): Eight people, including two Iraqi legislators, die when a suicide bomber strikes inside the Parliament building in Baghdad. An organization that includes al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia claims responsibility. In another attack, the Sarafiya Bridge that spans the Tigris River is destroyed.
    * 2007 (June): British police find car bombs in two vehicles in London. The attackers reportedly tried to detonate the bombs using cell phones but failed. Government officials say al-Qaeda is linked to the attempted attack. The following day, an SUV carrying bombs bursts into flames after it slams into an entrance to Glasgow Airport. Officials say the attacks are connected.
    * 2007 (December): As many as 60 people are killed in two suicide attacks near United Nations offices and government buildings in Algiers, Algeria. The bombings occur within minutes of each other. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, formerly called the Salafist Group for Preaching, claims responsibility. It’s the worst attack in the Algeria in more than 10 years.
    * 2007 (December): Benazir Bhutto, former Pakistani prime minister, is assassinated in a suicide attack on Dec. 27, 2007, at a campaign rally in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. President Pervez Musharraf blames al Qaeda for the attack, which kills 23 other people. Baitullah Mehsud, a Taliban leader with close ties to al Qaeda is later cited as the assassin.
    * 2008 (January): In the worst attack in Iraq in months, a suicide bomber kills 30 people at a home where mourners were paying their respects to the family of a man killed in a car bomb. The Iraqi military blames the attack on al-Qaeda in Iraq.
    * 2008 (February): Nearly 100 people die when two women suicide bombers, who are believed to be mentally impaired, attack crowded pet markets in eastern Baghdad. The U.S. military says al-Qaeda in Iraq has been recruiting female patients at psychiatric hospitals to become suicide bombers.
    * 2008 (April): A suicide bomber attacks the funeral for two nephews of a prominent Sunni tribal leader, Sheik Kareem Kamil al-Azawi, killing 30 people in Iraq’s Diyala Province.
    * 2008 (April): A suicide car bomber kills 40 people in Baquba, the capital of Diyala Province in Iraq.
    * 2008 (April): Thirty-five people die and 62 are injured when a woman detonates explosives that she was carrying under her dress in a busy shopping district in Iraq’s Diyala Province.
    * 2008 (May): At least 12 worshipers are killed and 44 more injured when a bomb explodes in the Bin Salman mosque near Sana, Yemen.
    * 2008 (May): An al-Qaeda suicide bomber detonates explosives in Hit, a city in the Anbar Province of Iraq, killing six policemen and four civilians, and injuring 12 other people.
    * 2008 (June): A car bomb explodes outside the Danish Embassy in Pakistan, killing six people and injuring dozens. Al-Qaeda claims responsibility, saying the attack was retaliation for the 2006 publication of political cartoons in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten that depicted the Islamic prophet Muhammad.
    * 2008 (June): A female suicide bomber kills 15 and wounds 40 others, including seven Iraqi policemen, near a courthouse in Baquba, Iraq.
    * 2008 (June): A suicide bomber kills at least 20 people at a meeting between sheiks and Americans in Karmah, a town west of Baghdad.
    * 2008 (August): About two dozens worshippers are killed in three separate attacks as they make their way toward Karbala to celebrate the birthday of 9th-century imam Muhammad al-Mahdi. Iraqi officials blame al-Qaeda in Iraq for the attacks.
    * 2008 (August): A bomb left on the street explodes and tears through a bus carrying Lebanese troops, killing 15 people, nine of them soldiers. No one claims responsibility for the attack, but in 2007, the army fought an al-Qaeda linked Islamist group in Tripoli.
    * 2008 (August): At least 43 people are killed when a suicide bomber drives an explosives-laden car into a police academy in Issers, a town in northern Algeria.
    * 2008 (August): Two car bombs explode at a military command and a hotel in Bouira, killing a dozen people. No group takes responsibility for either attack, Algerian officials said they suspect al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb is behind the bombings.
    * 2008 (September): In its first acknowledged ground attack inside Pakistan, U.S. commandos raid a village that is home to al-Qaeda militants in the tribal region near the border with Afghanistan. The number of casualties is unclear.
    * 2008 (September): A car bomb and a rocket strike the U.S. embassy in Yemen as staff arrived to work, killing 16 people, including 4 civilians. At least 25 suspected al-Qaeda militants are arrested for the attack.
    * 2008 (November): at least 28 people die and over 60 more are injured when three bombs explode minutes apart in Baghdad, Iraq. Officials suspect the explosions are linked to al-Qaeda.
    * 2009 (April): on April 6 in Baghdad, a series of six attacks kills 36 people and injure more than 100 in Shiite neighborhoods; April 23: at least 80 people are killed in three separate suicide bombings in Baghdad. This is the largest single-day death toll due to attacks since February 2008. One of the bombings is reportedly set off by a female, who was standing among a group of women and children receiving food aid.
    * 2009 (December): a suicide bomber kills eight Americans civilians, seven of them CIA agents, at a base in Afghanistan. It’s the deadliest attack on the agency since 9/11. The attacker is reportedly a double agent from Jordan who was acting on behalf of al-Qaeda.
    * 2009 (December): A Nigerian man on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit attempted to ignite an explosive device hidden in his underwear. The explosive device that failed to detonate was a mixture of powder and liquid that did not alert security personnel in the airport. The alleged bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, told officials later that he was directed by the terrorist group al-Qaeda. The suspect was already on the government’s watch list when he attempted the bombing; his father, a respected Nigerian banker, had told the U.S. government that he was worried about his son’s increased extremism.