Rumors of Osama bin Laden’s death were greatly exaggerated… (updated)

…until now, according to the New York Times.

Sadly, one part of the world, the Potemkin Village some call the United States of America, will be amazed to find that bin Laden’s demise will change nothing of importance, just as Saddam Hussein’s execution changed nothing.

Updated (5.2.2011)

Glenn Greenwald takes a position akin to mine:

But beyond the emotional fulfillment that comes from vengeance and retributive justice, there are two points worth considering. The first is the question of what, if anything, is going to change as a result of the two bullets in Osama bin Laden’s head? Are we going to fight fewer wars or end the ones we’ve started? Are we going to see a restoration of some of the civil liberties which have been eroded at the altar of this scary Villain Mastermind? Is the War on Terror over? Are we Safer now?

Those are rhetorical questions. None of those things will happen. If anything, I can much more easily envision the reverse.


And then there’s the notion that America has once again proved its greatness and preeminence by killing bin Laden. Americans are marching in the street celebrating with a sense of national pride. When is the last time that happened? It seems telling that hunting someone down and killing them is one of the few things that still produce these feelings of nationalistic unity. I got on an airplane last night before the news of bin Laden’s killing was known and had actually intended to make this point with regard to our killing of Gadaffi’s son in Libya — a mere 25 years after President Reagan bombed Libya and killed Gadaffi’s infant daughter. That is something the U.S. has always done well and is one of the few things it still does well.

There is, it seems, real political value in killing the Boogey Man. The men and women living in the Village can enjoy their servitude and celebrate their fate when someone different dies horribly. Blood flows and the guileless are intoxicated by it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: