Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Osama Bin Laden is Still Dead

with 3 comments

The death of OBL is the most significant historical event I have ever been around to blog about. At least in terms of current American history. For the past decade OBL and 9/11 have been one of the primary themes of the American experience. From almost the hour of 9/11 Osama was made out to be an enemy of almost mythical proportions. Well, the myth is dead. I wonder what else will die with him? This is a very speculative post. I speculate that the USA will take this wonderful opportunity to make the world a better place and totally flub it. In fact the USA will take this opportunity to pursue its own interests in defiance of what would be good for the world and ultimately itself. Still, as with any watershed event, unexpected consequences are to be expected. My ongoing thoughts, in no particular order:

The plethora of conspiracy theories is already a cottage industry. Heck, the fact that his body has already been disposed of is mighty suspicious. In fact, it’s so suspicious … that it’s suspicious. Was the Obama administration deliberately trying to give fodder to conspiracy theorists? Very possibly. This is something that conspiracy  theorists overlook.  The 9/11 truthers and the birthers and such are doing exactly what the government wants … distracting the populace from the real conspiracies. The main one being that since 9/11 the USA has wildly exaggerated the threat of terror in order to justify foreign intervention, military spending, and the consolidation and expansion of federal power in unconstitutional ways.

And speaking of exaggeration, Obama made it clear that the US policy of exaggerating terror is to continue unabated. He made the claim that the death of Osama made the world a safer place. That’s always been Obama’s great strength, he can utter the most transcendentally absurd statements while looking serious and professional and presidential. The world is not safer with Osama dead, because the threat Osama posed was trivial. In comic books and Hollywood movies evil geniuses can destroy the world. In the real world, people like Osama are bit players. His resources were incredibly limited compared to the awesome firepower that say, small governments like Libya can muster. 9/11 was a fluke, as much caused by our own complacency as anything Osama did. If you piss off a midget, and turn your back on him and he sucker punches you, is the midget some sort of evil genius?

Which leads to another point that our government wants us to ignore. Yes, 9/11 was a terrible crime, killing innocents is never justified. However, and it’s a big however, Osama didn’t take up arms against the USA because he was some nutbawho hated us for our freedoms. He was a nutbar who hated us for our support of dictators in the Muslim world, the presence of American troops on Saudi soil, and our unequivocal one sided support for Israel. This doesn’t justify his actions, but it does mean the USA should seriously debate the wisdom and consequences of our foreign policy. “Kill all the bad guys” isn’t a foreign policy, it’s a recipe for endless terrorism.

We’re not safer since 9/11. The opposite in fact. Before 9/11 how any Americans died from terrorist attacks? One a month on average? Now American troops come under attack every day, and just in general the level of carnage in Iraq and Afghanistan is ghastly. Not to mention that we have taken sides in just about every insurgency on the planet. Basically our response to 9/11 was to create failed states and paint a bullseye on the back of every American everywhere. Not to mention stripping Americans of their freedoms. I’ve never understood that one, if they hate us for our freedoms, wouldn’t giving up our freedoms be doing their work for them?

Sigh. And yes, I’ll say it, I am ashamed of Americans who celebrated Osama’s death as if the USA had just won the world cup. There’s just something unseemly about celebrating a death. This wasn’t much of a victory, if any, and it certainly wasn’t justice. Justice would have been Osama getting a fair trial. That’s what once made us the good guys, not killing people in foreign lands. On the plus side at least some are calling for a reassessment of the USA’s foreign policy, especially our involvement in Afghanistan. When Americans start coming home from our foreign wars, that’s when I’ll celebrate.

In any event, this is all I have to say about Osama’s death unless there is some stunning new news. Next, fascism and fundamentalism, will we all be living under sharia law soon?

(The above image dates from World War One and is public domain under US copyright law. Its a dead German soldier mostly buried. I chose it to illustrate that there’s nothing particularly romantic or appealing about killing people, it’s just killing people. World War One didn’t end all wars, pretty much the opposite in fact. I fear Osama’s death will be the same.)


Written by unitedcats

May 4, 2011 at 6:04 am

3 Responses

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  1. 1st- if USA won World Cup most Americans wouldn’t give a flaming turd!
    7th and 8th grade soccer teams would celebrate, but thats it… United States, to be fair, wasnt celebrating his DEATH so much as what he represents. I submit if you were ACTUALLY THERE AT GROUND ZERO right after the attacks, maybe you would understand… Your world cup reference displays your absolute ineptitude and lack of understanding of U.S. Citizens, and culture


    May 4, 2011 at 7:17 am

  2. The people of the United States are good people– not all the crazed serial killers (or soccer fans… Jeez!!!) them out to be… The actions of the government in no way represent the wants, needs or desires of its people– multinational corporations have eclipsed them since Dupont received contracts to arm the Continental Army… And. The reason it was called the ‘Continental Army’ is cause it wasnt supposed to fight in other places than this Continent, or stand in times of peace.
    I digress… The people of the United States have a vast capacity for caring, and charity and kindness. Dont overlook the fact that every time there is a disaster who ALWAYS DONATES THE MOST MONEY? U.S. Citizens. Not the govt. U.S. Citizens from their own pockets donate more than ANYONE ELSE.
    Also– its a good thing that Osama Bin Laden is dead, cause he was an asshole. In the big picture he (and his entire organization) was of little consiquence after 9/11, but he represented an evil ideal that was just begging for a termination order– i mean he had NOT ONE POSITIVE QUALITY than Americans could identify with… Just a straight up asshole.
    Seriously though, take that platoon of SEALS to North Korea and have them flatten the top echalon of that government… That would make the world a little safer.
    Osama was a symbol… Just like you are a symbol of foriegn intellectual whose basic misunderstandings and misconceptions color his opinion. Americans are great people, perhaps the finest on Earth. Look at who they elected President! Hard to believe he has kept up so much of the precidents Bush set, but his order to take out Bin Laden was AWESOME! That took guts– that op could have easily — and almost did– end up like Desert One in Iran 1979. Obama displayed real leadership and strength, and impressed the shit out of me. Keep up the good work, and try not to be so jaundiced towards U.S. Citizens… ET IN ARCADIA EGO


    May 4, 2011 at 7:56 am

  3. Thanks for another interesting and thoughtful post. It reminds me somewhat of this (by Flanders and Swann):

    Simon Thomas

    May 4, 2011 at 2:39 pm

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