Monday, May 2, 2011
Bin Laden murdered! Joy to the world!
Furthermore, in the months and years following 9/11, Bush made a conscious decision to let bin Laden and troupe hide without harassment for he had more important things to do, namely invade a country that posed no threat to the United States. Bush lied over and over again about his reasons for said invasion but it was obvious to much of the world that it was all about capturing Iraq's oil fields for his "pals" in the energy cartel.
So, when Elliot Abrams, a foreign policy advisor for G. W. Bush, whines that Obama is deliberately hogging too much of the spotlight and the credit for the killing of bin Laden, Abrams is blowing smoke. Abrams said that Obama should have given much of the credit to the Connecticut cowboy because "this work [of seeking and destroying bin Laden] began under President Bush."
The fact is that any effort to find and slay the bin Laden dragon by the Bush administration was weak and cursory. In fact Bush himself said he wasn't much worried about bin Laden and wasn't going to waste time and money looking for him. As we have learned to our sorrow, Bush had other things to worry about and spend BORROWED money on - Iraq and Afghanistan, two ongoing disasters which still threaten to bring our country down!
Now, lots of Repubs have commented about the murder of bin Laden. Most don't bother to mention President Obama at all. Some hinted that Obama might have had something to do with it, but it was really Bush's victory. Eric Cantor (R-VA), in his snide, sneering manner, said something about Obama carrying on Georgi's "vigilance ... in bringing Bin Laden to justice." What a bunch of asshats!
Finally, does it bother anyone else that when these Repugnican clowns talk about "justice," they are referring to a cold-blooded murder? Bin Laden was a bad guy, a "terrorist," and we seem to "know" he did lots of bad things - indeed he admitted doing them. Perhaps even worse is the fact that he was an Islamist and not an American. That in itself seems to be the criteria in this country now for committing murder.
Before I go further, I must say that deep down in the murky depths of my own heart, I am glad that the son-of-a-bitch is dead!
But I still must ask, does our Constitution and our legal system not apply to people we hate? If we hate someone enough, and if they are, in our eyes, bad enough, then do we set aside all the constitutional guarantees of which we claim to be so proud? Furthermore, there's the moral question. Is not murder something we shun, not celebrate? Is not murder a no-no according to the Ten Commandments which most of our leadership and much of our military hold in high esteem? Or have we slid down that slippery slope where the ends always justify the means?
We can whoop and holler and sing our national anthem or "God Bless America" 'til the cows come home, but that does not alter the fact that Americans under the orders of our president, committed a cold-blooded murder.
Perhaps that why our leaders like the term, "War on terror," for war "justifies" many atrocities and less-than-legal procedures. And we've been torturing our "enemies" for years (thanks to G. W. Bush for that, too) so what the hell's another murder?
Please understand that I'm conflicted about this. As I said, I'm glad bin Laden is dead and buried at sea. I think. There may be some horrendous repercussions arising out of this for us in the future and that's a bit scary 'cause we're not very good at guerrilla warfare which is the MO of the Islamist terrorists.
But it also bothers me more than just a little that I haven't heard of one single American in a leadership position question the manner in which bin Laden's demise came about. Murder, under any other name, is still murder.
And the main thing sticking in my craw is that our actions resemble too closely those of our so-called "enemies." To many Islamists, Obama is doubtless considered a terrorist, a terrible person who leads a country that commits terrible crimes against the people of Iraq and Afghanistan and no doubt these Islamists believe it would be a great victory to murder Obama in the White House.
How, exactly, do we differ from the Islamists?
I'll close with a quote from an article by David Sirota, titled "'USA! USA!' is the wrong response," at Salon:
"For decades, we [Americans] have held in contempt those who actively celebrate death. When we've seen video footage of foreigners cheering terrorist attacks against America, we have ignored their insistence that they are celebrating merely because we have occupied their nations and killed their people. Instead, we have been rightly disgusted -- not only because they are lauding the death of our innocents, but because, more fundamentally, they are celebrating death itself. That latter part had been anathema to a nation built on the presumption that life is an 'unalienable right.'
"...in the years since 9/11, we have begun vaguely mimicking those we say we despise, sometimes celebrating bloodshed against those we see as Bad Guys just as vigorously as our enemies celebrate bloodshed against innocent Americans they (wrongly) deem as Bad Guys. Indeed, an America that once carefully refrained from flaunting gruesome pictures of our victims for fear of engaging in ugly death euphoria now ogles pictures of Uday and Qusay's corpses, rejoices over images of Saddam Hussein's hanging and throws a party at news that bin Laden was shot in the head."
So, perhaps yelling "Hallelujah" and shouting "USA, USA!" is a problematic response which might also be very much premature. Maybe sober reflection rather than celebration would be a better way to deal with the murder of Osama bin Laden.
Posted by Lowell at 3:18 PM