Osama is Dead, Now Time for True Reflection

I am a bit shocked.  I am in the midst of flashback to the early days of the second Gulf War.  The news that has been reported is that Osama Bin Laden, the great boogeyman of the 21st century, has been killed in Pakistan.  Untold billions of dollars has been spent on this elusive manhunt over the last nearly 10 years.  Many US lives have been lost, along with an unknown number of Afghans, Pakistanis, and Iraqis.  Has all the costs been worth it?  Some of course will answer yes, and many of these same Americans are out in the streets chanting and rejoicing in death of Osama Bin Laden.

However, for me my heart feels heavy. I am not sad, nor joyous at the news of that Osama has been killed.  I am already thinking about who, or what will be the next great evil that America will have to present to the American public.  In the 1940s and 50s that great evil was communism, which evolved into the Anti Soviet days of “Evil Empire” of President Reagan.

I was in New York city a few weeks after September 11th 2001, with my camera in hand.  I was shocked at how America had so quickly demonized the others that they held responsible for the 911 attacks.  Everywhere I went I was confronted with anger, hate, all cloaked in patriotism.  It actually caused me to become physically ill.  All my images and emotions culminated with a photo essay in Chuo Koron Magazine in April 2002.  (Click the link to see the images and the translation)

So here we stand at a crossroads.  The evil witch in many eyes is dead.  Yet we should not rejoice.  We should not fall into the fear that is already being poured out by the media.

The time is now for change.  I am not talking about changing of politicians, but real change that can only come about for looking into your soul, and knowing your relationship with yourself, an with all the others that inhabit this place.

The image I have selected from my series from the images that I shot in 2001 in New York City, takes on new meaning today.  I never noticed that written in pencil within the stenciled WTC letters reads “love conquerors all things.”  Now is the time for more love.  Remember the costs to our wallets and souls that has led us to this day.





4th Street and 3rd Avenue, NYC 2001

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