Monday, May 02, 2011

Revenge is Sweet

I am not talking about the USA's revenge against Osama Bin Laden, who was finally killed by US forces. Nobody really knows what this act will bring in terms of foreign policy or domestic security in the long run. 
My instincts are that it's better that it happened now, when the notion and the power of Islamic terrorism seems to have been greatly diminished, not only by the pounding they've been getting ever since 9/11, but more significantly, I believe, by the recent popular uprisings in the Arab world, that seem to distance the majority of Arab citizens from a desire to live in darkness under brutal, stone age theocracies. The Islamonazis have become highly irrelevant.
To see idiots celebrating in front of the White House as if they were cheering for a winning sports team, made my stomach turn. If they are really so proudly invested in this victory, the lazy asses should be serving their country in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, instead of beating their hollow chests from the sidelines.
But for President Barack H. Obama, this is a great vindication and hopefully (one can dream) an opportunity to end the demeaning discourse from his detractors and professional insulters once and for all. As a symbolic act, it is highly meaningful, making the former Bush administration's silly victory theater and pathetic posturing even more stupid and incompetent in retrospect, if that is possible. But for all those Republicans who fan the flames against the president with their insidious accusations of displaced loyalty, lack of patriotism, the wrong religion, and no citizenship, I wonder what are they going to say now. It was interesting that while the three major networks were covering the news last night since 10:30, only at the very last minute did Fox News start their coverage. Is John Boehner going to erupt in tears of joy and gratitude to Obama? At the very least I would hope that this will make Donald Trump go back to his filthy hole and stay there. 
I could have done without the heavy handed mawkishness at the beginning of the speech, even as I understand it is an attempt to temper, rhetorically, an action that is nothing but stone cold, almost Biblical, revenge (and hence not all that civilized, but some things have to be done). Would it have been better to capture the guy alive and start a whole new legal, media and political circus? With the horrible legal issues that we are still mired in with KSM and other terrorists in our hands, probably not. I bet the calculation was, better that Bin Laden be a stupid martyr than for us to have to treat him well and clothe him and feed him for years. Just wipe the bastard out. (Now go get Al-Zawahiri).
But what was important, besides the President's clarification to the Muslim world, which for the most part seems to understand Al Qaeda as an insane distorsion of their religion, is that Obama placed himself at the front and center of this decision process. It was not narcissism that prompted Obama to make clear that it was HIM as the Commander in Chief, who gave the orders to go ahead with the action. And it was HIM who has been involved in its planning and execution (far more impressive that putting on a bomber jacket and behaving like a child on the deck of a ship).
It was a timely show of leadership, and a huge domestic political victory. Hopefully a line has been drawn to stop the rhetoric of humiliation and show the POTUS some well deserved respect.


  1. I did feel a little weird to see people "chanting in celebration"... it too made my stomach turn... just like seeing people in another side of the world "chanting in celebration" almost 10 years ago... Ah, irony... I guess it's all about perspective.

  2. Anonymous2:11 PM

    I don't think the majority of Arabs ever wanted to live in stone-age theocracies. Also note that none of the uprisings were in states anyone would want to describe as theocracies, and that the rebellions were often asking for more, rather than less religion. Also note that the most successful popular uprising (and thus: democratic revolution) brought us the Islamic Republic of Iran. Democracy may very well bring organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood into power eventually. Unless, of course, the US / NATO military succeeds in imposing a "democracy" on these countries that is to our liking.

    And yes: it is a major achievement in terms of US domestic politics. And no: that should not be the only way to think about this -- whereas it seems to be.