First the flashes of lightning came, then the thunder — great rolling cracks of thunder that had the dogs and me outside at 3 a.m. beneath a sky devoid of stars, yet strangely light. Two hours later, the world was brightening, though black clouds that never did deliver rain were piled thickly atop Waialeale and the lightning still flashed and the thunder still rumbled.
All the world, it seems, is rumbling with the news that Americans have killed Usama Bin Laden in an assassination that our President, taking ample credit, characterized as “justice has been done.”
Though it’s hard for me to see how justice is served by hunting down and murdering, vigilante-style, someone who has never been convicted of a crime, unless, of course, you’re talking about the Old Testament/Old West “eye for an eye” kind of justice, which is assured to keep the violence, and thus the war on terror and all its associated expenditures and abrogations of civil liberties, going for decades longer.
And besides, haven’t we, in retaliation, already slaughtered way more of “them” in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, than ever were killed in the events of 9/11? Last I looked, the civilian casualties in Iraq alone were over 100,000, but I guess we didn’t consider the score even because the lives of “innocent” Americans are apparently worth way more than those we deem guilty by virtue of religion and geography.
Obama claimed the decade-long manhunt was part of our commitment to the families who lost loved ones in 9/11 “to see that we do whatever it takes to prevent another attack on our shores.”
Yet his announcement was followed immediately by a breaking news headline on CNN: “U.S. State Department warns of "enhanced potential for anti-American violence."
So what, really, was the point?
Unless, of course, the “secret raid” of a mansion near the Pakistani military academy was intended to play out as the American version of a royal wedding — a media feast on which the sheeple can gorge, distracting themselves from the radioactive particles circling the globe, the crappy economy, the fattening of the corporate elite, while simultaneously reveling in the reborn greatness of America.
Besides, is Bin Laden really dead? As a Salon piece noted, even while unquestioningly accepting the most recent account as “the real thing,” there have been numerous previous reports of his death. And WhatReallyHappened.com, which reported that Bin Laden died in December 2001, claims its website came under “massive distributed denial of service attack” just moments before the Prez gave the news.
This time, though, you can take the government’s word for it, because they've got the body. Oh wait, no, seems he was already buried at sea. The U.S. supposedly had to move quickly, “in accordance with Muslim traditions.” Like we really give a shit about such things.
But there is the DNA proof — oh, wait, maybe not quite yet. As Reuters reported today, “the DNA results would be known “in the next few days.” Which makes me wonder why they didn’t confirm his identity before they announced it. Meanwhile, other media outlets — quoting senior defense and intelligence officials “who could not be named" — reported the DNA results were already in, offering “near 100 percent certainty” and “100 percent proof,” depending on the source — not that we’ll actually ever have any way of verifying any of it.
Of course, there is that gory photo. Yup. Looks just like him. Gotta be for sure real now.
But in the end, it really doesn’t matter if Bin Laden is long dead, newly dead or still alive, because the reports have two results.
One is an orgy of renewed nationalism, as led by Obama:
But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it’s the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place.
Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
And the other is reissuance of the blank check for the “war on terror:”
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security expects "threats of retaliation" from al-Qaida in the aftermath of Osama bin Laden's death.