Well, breaking news and subject to modification, but it sounds as though former US ally Osama bin Ladden is dead. Dead as a tin of Spam. I’m getting this from CNN, CBS and others. The President is apparently going to speak on this soon.
If this is indeed true it changes… well, not much, really. He’s been largely irrelevant since he got lucky back in 2001, and with the recent so-called “Arab Spring” he and his message have become ever more irrelevant. But no doubt this means an end to terror, right? And somehow everything is better and stuff? I don’t know. I wish we’d caught him alive. A trial for him would’ve been a great thing, since we’re a nation of laws.
It’s also worth mentioning at this point that he and his kind did a lot of damage to us. Four airplanes, a couple thousand dead, damage to the Pentagon, a few buildings knocked over. It’s also worth mentioning that we did a lot more damage to ourselves than he ever did. He didn’t force us to start using torture. He didn’t make us hold people without charges and without trial. He didn’t make us launch invasions of two countries, one of whom had nothing to do with 9/11. We’ve killed far more people in our efforts to stop terrorism than any terrorists have ever killed. Now that bin Ladden is dead, I hope this nonsense stops.
But I don’t think it will.
*** UPDATE – 8:11pm ***
Sounds like we got him in a mansion outside Islamabad. That’s the capital of Pakistan, a nation which has gone out of our way to reassure us that they are working very hard indeed to stop terrorism and find bin Ladden. Whoops.
*** UPDATE – 8:38pm ***
Obama is talking now and making some good statements, including about how bin Ladden attacked Muslims, too. CNN is also showing people celebrating outside the White House. That’s classy. *eye roll* Regardless of what you think of bin Ladden he was still a human being and we really should not be celebrating this.
*** UPDATE – 849pm ***
The President said “Justice has been done.” No, it hasn’t. Justice would have been bringing him to trial, presenting evidence and getting a verdict. This was revenge. Better killing him than nothing, but a trial would have been much, much better and much more like the country we claim we are.
*** UPDATE – 9:43pm ***
The best comment I’ve read or heard about this so far comes from Andrew Sullivan (of course).
The more I hear the more Obama seems very close to this over the last few months: in weekly meetings, deeply involved in five national security meetings recently. This was not a lucky break. This was the end-point of several weeks of coordination. And Obama’s cool throughout. As Donald Trump was birthering out, Obama was aiming right at this country’s deadliest enemy.
While I disagree that bin Ladden was our deadliest enemy, I can certainly agree with the sentiment behind the differences between Trump and Obama.