02 May 2011

Dead or Alive? How's about Dead?

An already fantastic weekend has been punctuated with some even better news.  Osama Bin Laden, that a-hole, is gone.  I'm not terribly eloquent when it comes to stuff like this, but Andrew Sullivan is.  He said it better than I ever could have, as he live-blogged the news.

12.20 pm One piece of conventional wisdom over-turned: the Pakistani military was not cooperating with the US. It seems they were crucial in the operation, on the ground.
12.17 pm So Donald Rumsfeld's spokesman broke the news in the tweet: “So I’m told by a reputable person they have killed Osama Bin Laden. Hot damn.”
12.08 pm Can I say how deeply moving it is that a man named Barack Hussein Obama gave the order for the operation that killed Osama bin Laden?
The pre-eminent symbol of our the multicultural, multiracial society of the future defeated the pre-eminent symbol of the darkest, bleakest throwback to medieval religious fanaticism. Im not ashamed to use the following language: Good defeated evil. And hope rekindles again.
12.03 pm. This sounds like a highly dangerous, immensely courageous act of daring, a military and intelligence coup that will be taught in high schools for as long as America exists. This wasn't just a lucky bomb or a drone attack; it was an elaborate, carefully planned and successfully completed operation - deep in an urban area in deepest Pakistan. This was one badass achievement.
11.44 pm. The president's announcement walked the fine line between the appropriate sobriety of a profound moment and the immense pride and joy the United States must feel in bringing an end to this monster's threat to the world. It framed the successful attack as a result of a presidential decision to make getting Bin Laden the highest priority of American forces. And the way he revealed how long this has operation has been going on and how persistent the US forces have been, the prouder one becomes.
11.30 pm. I put the video up above for obvious reasons. The TV anchors are all abut the future right now, what the impact will be, how it will interact with the Arab Spring, etc etc. And that's understandable. But can we first take a moment to remember what was done to more than 3,000 human beings nearly ten years ago by this religious mass murderer? It was not just done to them, but to the families and friends of all of them, and to the principle of freedom of religion and freedom itself. That day changed a huge amount for all of us. We thought of it as a war (with all the awful consequences of that definition) because the act that started it was an act of war. And so we feel now that this moment is, in some ways, the end of that war.
We know, of course, that this struggle will go on with new groups and new plots and new atrocities. But this man symbolized its hideous beginning. Almost its meaning.
So victory. Yes, victory. And justice. Yes, justice.
God Bless America.
11.20 pm. What to say? To know that this mass murderer has been killed, and by US forces, brings a sense of joy that surpasses adequate expression. Finally, this ghastly ten year old war feels as if it has been for at least something. Saddam had not attacked us. Bin Laden had. This is the moment of justice for his despicable act of mass murder.

Well, well.  Happy, happy.

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