I had just gone to bed Sunday night when my dad called me and said “They just killed Osama bin Laden”. I replied with something clever like “Oh well” and went to sleep–I thought I’d heard “Qaddafi” and was nonplussed. It wasn’t until Monday morning that I read the reports all over the internet and finally realized who had been killed.
But that pretty accurately sums up how much I cared in the end–a resounding “big whoop”. We’ve spent nearly a decade, trillions of dollars and thousands of lives chasing the bogeyman. Now he’s dead. And life goes on.
The first thing that popped into my head was a passage from my favorite Sci-fi novel of all time, Space Viking by H. Beam Piper. In a nutshell, protagonist Lucas Trask sees his wife murdered–and himself critically wounded–by arch-villain Andray Dunnan on their wedding day. He spends the rest of his life/the novel trying to locate him across space to mete out justice. In the final chapter of the novel, he meets up with the now even more criminally insane Dunnan and kills him:
Trask shot him through the head. Dunnan’s eyes widened in momentary incredulity; then his knees gave way, and he fell forward on his face. Trask thumbed on the safety and holstered the pistol, and looked at the body on the concrete.
It hadn’t made the least difference. It had been like shooting a snake, or one of the nasty scorpion-things that infested the old buildings in Rivington. Just no more Andray Dunnan.
This is exactly how I felt at the news about bin Laden–it was like squashing a spider or finally catching that annoying mouse that was chewing up the garden. Essentially, a non-event.
There are a couple of things about his death that disturb me even more.
First, that a bunch of people took to the streets celebrating. Talk about bad taste–not to mention fuel for further terrorist reprisals. How long before a suicide bomber wades into one of these celebratory throngs? Yeah, I’m glad he’s gone too, but so what.
Second, our idiot-in-chief is milking this like he single-handedly “saved the world” by locating and offing the bogeyman. Guess he really needs a bump in the polls since everything else he’s done since ’08 has been abject failure at the expense of future generations. Good thing “W” kicked off these wars so that Obama can now claim all the credit (while still blaming everything else on the former administration). If only “Operation Humanitarian Cruise Missiles in Libya” will have such a positive outcome for him…
Finally, does anyone seriously think his death is going to do anything to reverse the alarming destruction of our freedoms and concentration of power in the hands of our dysfunctional federal government that have resulted since 9/11? Will it mean that we can now disband the frighteningly named “Department of Homeland Security” and save some money (not that the feds aren’t busy printing it out of thin air)? Can we stop taking our shoes off at the airport and subjecting our 6 year old children to the naked scanner or allowing them to be felt up by TSA agents in the name of “National Security”?
I think Al Qaeda has won, frankly. We’ve all been stupidly playing along as our government becomes ever more totalitarian under the guise of protecting us. How many of you seriously believe that OBL’s death will actually solve any of this?
People far more eloquent than I have also spoken on this last topic. I’d encourage you to read the following two posts, since they are more clever than anything I can come up with at the moment:
Can I stop taking off my shoes now? by Simon Black at Sovereign Man.
A Few Thoughts On the Death of Osama Bin Laden by Charlie Broadway on Charlie’s Blog (sorry for the profanity–it’s his, not mine). You should read some of his other posts too…
Sometimes it’s shocking how much “life imitates art”. Life in the US of A is starting to look more and more like any literary reference you can pick up on the subject of a free people’s government slowly being corrupted–from Orwell’s MiniPax to Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and even to Babylon 5’s Night Watch. This all needs to be reexamined–and stopped…