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Initial Thoughts on Osama bin Laden’s Death

As much as I’d like to get on the subway downtown and celebrate with the rest of the New Yorkers at Ground Zero, I have a few initial thoughts on today’s news.

  1. Before bin Laden’s body was buried at sea, did anybody snap a photo? I know I’m just some stupid blogger and the New York Times has already determined that no proof is necessary, but I just figured I’d ask.
  2. Contrary to liberal Democratic principles, Obama has allowed American forces to flagrantly ignore Pakistan’s “sovereign borders”. This is a good thing.
  3. Now that bin Laden was shown to be not only inside Pakistan, but so close to Islamabad and relatively out in the open, what are we going to do about Pakistan?
  4. What are we going to do about every other country that continues to harbor terrorists?

Other than the obvious symbolic value of bin Laden’s death, and despite my annoyance at reading that the body would be “disposed of in accordance with Islamic tradition”, there is one key aspect to this particular military/intelligence operation. That is point #2, above. The fact that Obama has chosen to go along with the usual American policy of operating within Pakistan whether the Pakistani government likes it or not (of course, we and they will claim that they authorized our activities), is a good sign. It’s yet another sign that contrary to what a candidate spews during his campaign, (a) he will be forced to recognize some realities as President and at the very least make some decent decisions purely for pragmatic reasons, and (b) he will discover that there is an underlying military machinery that functions nearly autonomously and will continue to do so whether or not he decides to bury his head in the sand (in Obama’s case, the sand of a golf course).

I am not especially happy about the news of bin Laden’s death. On the radio on the way into work, I heard a woman who was celebrating at Ground Zero, whose relative was a fireman killed on September 11th. She claimed the news was “wonderful” and that there now was “closure”. With all due respect to this woman’s relative who might have been a hero: the operation that led to today’s news is so detached from what is necessary to eliminate the threat of Islamic fundamentalism, that we, as a nation, are as far from achieving “closure” as we were last week.

As to our president claiming any sort of credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden: it’s a bit like my local Pakistani deli owner claiming credit for last week’s winning lottery ticket. He just happened to be working in the fucking store.

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1 Jason Roth { 05.04.11 at 2:49 pm }

Ok, so over the past couple days I’ve felt happier about the hole in Osama’s head. It’s hard not to feel good about it. And, of course, the skill with which the SEALs performed this operation is mind-bogglingly great, even by American military standards. Still, we need to keep it in perspective. While Obama tells us we’re now safer, security levels are being raised all over the place. The fact that after nearly a decade post-9/11 there’s still cause for concern is disconcerting.

2 Michael Spitler { 05.11.11 at 8:48 am }

I know firsthand about the higher security levels. They pulled me out of my shop on base and now I work as an Air Force Security Forces Augmentee. Pretty much just work 14 hour days checking IDs at the gate. Fun stuff…

3 Adam { 06.20.11 at 12:36 pm }

This was quite obviously a PSYOP. I’d point people towards US Psychological Warfare Consultant, Dr Steve Pieczenik’s report on this. He states clearly that Bin-Laden was just a pasty for the ‘war on terror’, and died of natural causes in early 2002. His ‘death’ was rolled out as more of a symbolic event to boost Obama’s popularity, vindicate US foreign policy, and paint Pakistan as the next target. All the photos were photoshopped and even CIA Director Leon Panetta stated that there was no satellite coverage of the killing, so the ‘war-room’ photo was staged. This can be seen clearly when you look at how they’ve cut-in certain people with questionable skill. A big PSYOP to whip up the flag wavers and make the more discerning people feel angry and hopeless.

4 Ambrose Mugwump { 06.21.11 at 7:40 am }

Given how much the government lies i’ll believe it when i see it.

5 Jason Roth { 07.25.11 at 9:52 pm }

Ambrose, you linked to a website called “Random Goofiness”, but the first video I saw was a model named Kate Upton walking down a catwalk twice. Well, in the video she only walks down it once, but my YouTube player somehow replayed it.

6 Anon { 02.06.12 at 6:48 am }

Let’s not forget that the US was happy to accommodate NORAID, which raised funds for the armed struggle aka terrorism in Northern Ireland. Perhaps the US needs to invade itself?

7 Jason Roth { 02.06.12 at 7:54 am }

Ah yes, Anon, the classic “People who live in glass houses don’t have the right to do anything, ever, regardless of new information or events, or whether anyone’s life is at stake.”

Yes, consistency is preferable. But if their house is getting invaded, people in glass houses should throw the damn stones.

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