Thoughts On The Demise Of Bin Laden

One part of me says, “it’s about time”. The other part is somewhat sad. I guess you could describe it as mixed emotions.

Mark Twain once said

I’ve never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure.

The humanist in me says that it’s somewhat hypocritical  to denounce the Muslims in other countries who danced in the streets after 9/11, then proceed to dance in the streets after hearing of bin Laden’s death. This need for bloodthirsty revenge bothers me, perhaps because it makes us no different that the masterminds of 9/11. On the other hand, I don’t shed a tear for bin Laden, because he made his own choices, and one of the consequences of the choice he made was exactly what happened to him.  The shame  is more in the delay, the amount of time he was able to continue breathing and directing the deaths of others, as he most surely did in Indonesia, Spain and London after 9/11. So, good riddance. As one commentator on Facebook mentioned

All life is sacred, yes, but I have absolutely zero problem with American soldiers NOT bringing along any food for bin Laden’s trip back with them….

It would have been nice if he had been captured, brought back to the US, and tried for his crimes, and punished accordingly, but he apparently chose his own justice, so – so be it. I hold no illusions that in the end this might not have been a better result, given the amount of time we’ve been keeping other so-called criminals in Guantanamo, without any sense that they will ever be tried or released. Sticking bin Laden into the middle of that mess would have diluted the catharsis the country and the world apparently craves.

I also have a problem with the way his body was disposed. Well…not so much the burial at sea, but the announcement of the reason for doing so. He supposedly had a weight tied to his ankles and dropped unceremoniously at sea. Or maybe there was a ceremony – it’s unclear –  because the official report is that it was done “in accordance with Muslim burial traditions”.  I don’t think that should have been the announced reason. They should have ignored all reference to Muslim traditions, because that just pays lip service to the “religion of peace”, arguably one of the underlying reasons for 9/11 in the first place, and gives more legitimacy to that religion. If they didn’t want to inflame Muslim passion more than it will already be inflamed, they should have glossed over any reference to his religion, instead announcing the real reason for the burial at sea was to deprive his followers of a martyr’s grave site, and leave it at that.

Of course, disposing of his body so quickly just creates a vacuum for the crazies to rush into, claiming it’s all a put-on, that the whole thing was staged, like the moon landing. I can hear Beck, Limbaugh and Trump now. Trump will, of course, require a long form death certificate.

I must say though that I’m glad the lead off on the news this morning wasn’t

Royal Honeymoon Delayed Because Of Top Secret Helicopter Assignment in Pakistan!

9 thoughts on “Thoughts On The Demise Of Bin Laden

  1. Haha! Yeah, we have some similar thoughts on this. Here’s something I posted elsewhere.

    Random thoughts – how long until we hear various conspiracy theories, headed by “he’s not dead”? Still, good week for Obama (“good” meaning helpful in the already under way 2012 campaign). Was it any coincidence that the scenes of celebration outside the White House and in NY which looked so much like a Super Bowl victory rally were repeated across the nation at many college campuses? (or did it look like Palestinians celebrating in the streets after 9/11?) I wonder if many understand (the media talking-heads surely didn’t last night) that this isn’t any more a victory against Islamic fundy terrorism than the hundreds locked up elsewhere is. I must have heard phrases like “turning point”, “final chapter”, “major victory”, etc., dozens of times. Naive, to be charitable. I never cringed more at Obama’s invocation of god than I did last night. Most people REALLY don’t get it. Obama might just be using it cynically, but even if that’s true, he does it in the sure and certain knowledge that it touches a cord with 90%.

  2. I think if any right-wingnut publicly questions whether we got him or not, I’d actually be surprised. Maybe they could get mileage out of it next year, but I doubt if even they’ll go there. Instead I’ll wager they cook up how this was due to something W set in place and/or it was against Obama’s wishes to kill him. They probably will use the Muslim burial traditions thing against him somehow. Oh, and this of course proves we can’t afford to cut military spending. Education and social programs sure, but not the military or else we’d have never gotten bin Laden.

    Well, I guess we can sit and wonder what the loon response will be all day, but I sadly have work to do.

    • How about, “he could have done it last August but just kept waiting to use it to switch attention from something else. In this case, he used it to stop the uncomfortable questions regarding that fake birth certificate”.

      You better get to work. This has endless possibilities, as nuttery does.

  3. I wouldn’t have been surprised if Fox News had a headline that read “Obama Loses Helicopter in Pakistan During Failed Attempt to Capture bin Laden Alive.”

  4. Here’s what I just posted on Facebook:

    “People are chanting “USA! USA!” as if the death of this one man, no matter how dangerous he was, justifies all of our own wrongdoings since 9/11: Widespread hatred and suspicion, the war in Iraq, the abuse/avoidance of our justice system and the abuses at Guantanamo, the Patriot Act, plane flight restrictions and TSA searches, etc. Don’t you think these realities would please Muslim terrorists?

    “Sure, breathe a sigh of relief. But don’t even pretend that our country is innocent of egregious wrongdoings in the last decade. Don’t blind yourselves for the sake of a small moment of relief.

    “The biggest flaw anyone could make is to not investigate the reasons for the 9/11 attacks. We denigrate all of humanity when we refuse to attempt an understanding of our enemies, instead labeling them “evil” and leaving it at that.

    “Justice is — or should be about — trying to compensate for wrongdoings and prevent them from happening again in the future. This can not happen if we blindly give in to tribal attitudes that separate humanity into ‘Us’ and ‘Them’.”

    The coverage is absolutely pissing me off. The chanting. The rejoicing. The many invocations of a deity in Obama’s announcement. I guess this country can do no wrong, huh? *sigh*

    Celebrating a death strikes me as exhibiting a truly disturbing level of blood lust. Something needed to be done about bin Laden. But his death wasn’t the only option. Indeed, it would probably have been better if he’d been brought back here and tried, as you say. It would have been an opportunity not only for true justice, but for showing the world that we have the capacity to competently uphold the same. It would have been a welcome break in the trend we’ve established in the last decade.

  5. bin Laden was one man, and one wonders at the timing of this. From what my father told me about his experinces with Operation Paperclip I’d be willing to bet that they knew where he was and even how fruitsome his farts were for quite some time. Political reasons why he didn’t face trial for his crimes. Those Stinger missiles, mone given him, back channel contact with “the enemy”. About any official story has the same veracity as the ones they told about Pat Tilman or Jessica Lynch.
    Obama’s approval will go up, my fellow Americans have a moment of concord (false, but the powers that be will take what they can get) and now, the next guy in line will call a few shots.

    From what I read about his aims, bin Laden pretty much got what he wanted, accomplished his mission. The guy who takes his place won’t have bin Ladens abstract, largely philosophical reasons for jihad, they’ve actually got a bloody shirt to wave thanks to the US taking the bait or just using 9-11 as an excuse to jump onto what they already had planned.

    SI, what’s the odds that Kadhaffi gets summarily offed as well, and what reason will they give? Not a nice guy, either, but besides standing in the way of the money boys, what’s he ever done to the US? And why did the US fairly recently sell him all that military hardware if he was such a toothache?

    We seem to be getting graduates of the Tony Soprano School of Gov’t in high places as well as the spivs who seem to rotate through gov’t agencies, academia, business, think tanks and back through. I was in Pittsburgh during the economic meeting, my wife and I were part of the relief effort for Katrina, and I can tell you, that and what’s going on over seas is what’s waiting around the corner for us all. If they’ll do it “for” you, they’ll do it to you at some point.

    Yeah, I’d leave, but my health will probably fail before things break too bad…and I can’t get a passport, anyway.

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