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02 May 2011 @ 11:44 am

If you say something smug about Obama "getting" Bin Laden... or about how Obama only "got" Bin Laden because of Bush's efforts (and yes, I've been hearing quite a lot of both)... I am holding you in contempt.

We've been at war for years.  If Bin Laden's capture isn't the very definition of anticlimactic, I don't know what is.  Yes, I'm grimly relieved that he is dead.  But he hardly operated alone, and he perpetrated and participated in so many horrific acts, to so many different people across the entire world.  Anywhere he could point a finger of terror and violence, he attempted it.

Bin Laden was exactly what Hitler was:  a charismatic, power-hungry monster who had his finger on the pulse of his surrounding society.  A brilliant social tactician who knew exactly how to use the enraged among his people, and exactly how far to push the compliance of the rest of them -- and then the world.  And he pushed that compliance and that useful rage until he did massive amounts of damage, at which point, the world finally pushed back.

Afghanistan started out damaged, and now it's all but obliterated beyond repair.  Our economy is wrecked, and largely because of the damaged oil pipeline from the Middle East.  There is a direct relationship between the economic survival of the U.S. and the price of oil, something which people tend to conveniently ignore when deciding that oil is an insignificant, quibbling reason to go to war -- Saddam Hussein knew that, which was why he threatened to ruin the U.S. by cutting oil exports to us by 10%.  He didn't succeed on his own, but in taking the risk of engaging the Middle East, we've done it to ourselves, and in full knowledge that it might happen.  Despite our best intentions, we have in fact been effectively terrorized by the terrorists, becoming paranoid, xenophobic, taking extremist and often ludicrously impotent security measures that oppress our own citizens more than any international criminals.

When Obama called George W. Bush to tell him personally that Bin Laden's body was in our custody, do not doubt for a second that was a grim, sober conversation.  Both of these men have been sending people to die for years as a result of the consequences of what that man and his many supporters did.  No one of us can possibly understand what that feels like.  The two of them have more in common in this moment than they do with any of the rest of us.

But Osama Bin Laden was a symptom, not a cause, and this is a hollow victory.  At least when Saddam Hussein was killed we had the acknowledgment of the Iraqis that a tyrant had been deposed.

This?  It's a gesture.

A necessary one for the victims of his crimes, and a powerful one, but I don't feel the least joy about it.  His death just reminds me of all the death we've suffered to get to this point.  And I say that as an unwavering supporter of both wars we've been fighting over the past ten years.

A lot of very amusing things have been passed around Twitter since yesterday, and I'm grateful for them, because it's too easy for me to get bogged down in horror right now.  "Let's hope he didn't have any horcruxes" was golden, frankly.  :)  I appreciate the jokes.  I just don't appreciate the snide, smug victory talk on both sides of the political fence.

If there is anything that should be uniting our helplessly infighting nation right now, it should be this achievement, and the horrible cost we paid for it.

And instead, too many of us are scrabbling for the biggest piece of Bin Laden's hide to tack up on our side's wall.

Stop waving your damn dicks.  It is shameful.
Радаdigitalemur on May 2nd, 2011 04:48 pm (UTC)
The horcruxes bit made me laugh. Thanks.