News

Quiet local reaction to bin Laden's death

Local watering holes report some celebratory shots, but not much commotion at news of Al-Qaida leader's demise

Rowdy celebrations took place outside the White House after Sunday's surprise announcement from President Barack Obama that a U.S. Navy SEAL team had killed Osama bin Laden in a firefight Pakistan. Closer to home, the reaction was far more subdued.

Bin Laden, the Al-Qaida leader who masterminded the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, has eluded capture for almost a decade.

"I believe he was an evil man," Mayor Jac Siegel said on Monday. "You can't kill people because they have a different ideology. I believe the world is a better place without that evil person here."

Siegel said he wanted to make it clear that "Islam is not evil and Muslims are not evil. This is clearly not a war with Islam or Muslims. People tend to think that way and that's wrong."

Employees at three downtown Mountain View pubs said that it was business as usual Sunday night, even as throngs of people gathered in public spaces in Washington D.C. and New York City to celebrate the news of Osama bin Laden's death.

Maya Worley-Mann, a manager at Tied House said that a patron broke the news to the rest of the restaurant and bar. "Oh, my God! Osama bin Laden is dead," Worley-Mann said, quoting the patron.

That was about the extent of the reaction, Worley-Mann said. "I think everybody was almost entranced by it."

Bartenders working Sunday night at Molly MaGee's and St. Stephen's Green -- both located on Castro Street -- said that crowds were no larger than usual.

A bartender at Molly MaGee's said that it took a while for the news to trickle into the bar, as the televisions inside had been tuned to sports, and that most of the patrons were sitting outside on the patio. The bartender, who asked not to be identified, said that a few patrons did order shots specifically to commemorate the occasion.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Know-It-All
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 2, 2011 at 10:06 am

Killed in Abbott-abad (founded by Major James Abbott in 1853). "abad" means "developed."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 2, 2011 at 12:04 pm

If our were our city's buildings that had been rammed by a 767 ten years ago, I'm sure the reaction would have been different.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Worthless
a resident of Cuernavaca
on May 2, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Because the comments from people hanging out in a bar late on a Sunday night would have added so much.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by vkmo
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 2, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Good news. Obama killed Osama. Obama has his own birth certificate and Osama's death certificate (Osama now Seal-ed at bottom of sea!!)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by vkmo
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 2, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Abbotabad is about 100 miles from Srinagar and close to the line of control with Kashmir, India.

Knowing Osama - it is likely that he had a strong hand in aiding insurgents in Kashmir. His residence in Abbotabad indicates that very likely he shifted his focus from attacking the west and USA to Kashmir and India. Most likely he participated in Mumbai 2611.

American citizen terrorist Faisal Shahzad's family lived close to Osama, and clearly had Osama's blessings when he attempted to do his bombing in Times Square, May 1, 2010 (1 year ago).

Osama didn't live in a cave. He lived in a large, high walled well protected structure. Despite that, the long duration- 10 years- of his survival shows clear complicity with the power structure in Pakistan- military and administration.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 2, 2011 at 3:45 pm

I thought that our society taught that both intentionally killing another human being was bad and that taking revenge on another person was bad. So is it OK for the individual American citizen to do these things?

Psychologically unmetabolized projections, rants, and rationalizations welcome!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by bogaigh
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 2, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Is it ok for the individual American citizen to do what things? Take revenge? Apprehend a criminal? I don't understand what you are trying to ask.

Unmetabolized projection: Bite me.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 2, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Osama Bin Laden died of kidney failure in Tora Bora on December 13, 2001. He had no involvement whatsoever in the 911 attacks. W used the fake Bin Laden videos to start wars abroad and void the Bill Of Rights here. Obama, being somewhat smarter, has just used the Bin Laden legend to boost his popularity ratings.

I can hear Dick Cheney and Bibi Netanyahu laughing.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sabrina
a resident of The Crossings
on May 2, 2011 at 5:49 pm

So this means we can finally end the invasion in Afghanistan, right?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 2, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Dearest bogaigh,

Thank you for your brief comment! Yes, on a societal level we seem to be very confused on these issues; a symptom of a low-synergic culture [see Ruth Benedict and Abe Maslow]. And yes, what criminal was apprehended? Thank you.

...And consider yourself bitten.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by JB
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 3, 2011 at 7:23 am

Finally the killer meets his fate.

What about all the killers on Death Row, there fate should be the same.

It's mind boggling how it would cost more to imprison someone for life in a luxury prison cell, then to execute someone. This is why our criminal system is so screwed up. All the lawyers and judges are laughing as they take the money to the bank.


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