Media practitioners must have been very exhausted this past weekend. After all, three big events consecutively happened, with each one so big in scope that it could potentially alter the course of global events.
April 29, Friday morning in England – The Royal Wedding
May 1, Sunday afternoon in Vatican – Pope John Paul II’s Beatification
May 1, Sunday evening in the United States – Osama bin Laden confirmed dead
The first two ones were planned ahead of time. The Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton was hyped up as early as last year, after their engagement. Meanwhile, the beatification of the late Pope John Paul II was also expected as it was announced early this year. Both events are considered of global significance. The Royal Wedding served as a testament to the symbolic relevance that the British monarchy holds in this age of modernity. On the other hand, proclaiming John Paul II as Blessed will surely inspire millions of Catholics around the world whose lives he had touched.
Just as people thought that these two big events were already enough for the week, one breaking news erupted in the United States when President Barack Obama confirmed in a prepared statement that Osama bin Laden is finally dead. The world cheered for this good news, as this is thought to be one big blow towards forces of terror. Bin Laden is acknowledged to be the global face of terrorism and with his death, the Al Queda group would surely be paralyzed. This is a clear vindication for former US President George W. Bush, who started the war on terror in Afghanistan and Iraq. Bin Laden’s death also brings justice to the thousand of innocent lives lost as a result of terrorism attacks and the campaigns against it.
However, his death carries unfavorable repercussions as well. For one, the remaining forces of the Al Queda might be preparing to avenge their beloved leader’s death. Just like cases in the past wherein some terror attacks happen as a result of retaliation if they become aggrieved, this instance should be not different. It is even more likely that the impact and scope of the attacks might be greater this time, since their leader is the one they’re avenging.
His death sparked a worldwide commotion that also shook the cyber world. During Obama’s televised speech, Twitter was said to be receiving 4000 tweets per second. Well, that is how I found out about the news before I turned on the the television to CNN. Also, just minutes after the news broke, several features about the event were already published online. Here are the interesting ones:
- Google Map of where the raid happened
- How did the TV networks discover the news ahead of Obama’s announcement?
- The Twitter user who unknowingly live-tweeted the raid on Bin Laden
As usual, conspiracy theorists were quick to use their wit and they were able to connect its relation to history. The most notable one concerns the date of Bin Laden’s death. Tweets spread that both Osama Bin Laden and Adolf Hitler, the German dictator responsible for the death of many innocent lives, were both pronounced dead on May 1. Hitler died on May 1, 1945, while Bin Laden died on May 1, 2011 – a spread of 66 years! Then May 1 (5/1) adds to 6. So conspiracy theorists seem to see a connect between this to the devil’s number (666).
Bin Laden’s death will surely change the landscape of the continued war against terrorism. However, it doesn’t stop there. Rather, this development poses a very powerful message. Terrorism is an acknowledged global crime, and it is not to be tolerated now nor in the future. Civilians and governments must constantly remain vigilant as forces to destroy peace are always on the loose. What’s next or who’s next after bin Laden is a question that will linger unanswered until terror forces strike again. The only thing sure for now is that the struggle for a peaceful and better world transcends his grave.