“I’ve never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure.” - misattributed to Twain based on a similar line by Clarence Darrow. Also popularly not said by Churchill
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that." - MLK
"He's dead, Jim." - Leonard "Bones" McCoy
"So it goes." - Vonnegut
The getaway is the essence of the crime. And for the last ten years, he had gotten away. Never seen "justice". That is no longer the case. The implications of the death of Osama bin Laden abound:
(in no particular order or organization)
A week (two?) ago we learned on Glee that a diva can schedule a meeting and then show up hours later as if nothing is amiss. The President proved last night (when he preempted Celebrity Apprentice, made all the major news anchors embarrass themselves and expose the limitations of their wit and extemporaneous speaking skills, and made Fox News not insult him for a few minutes (and also proclaim his death "accidentally")) that he still wears the big boy pants.
It was 11:30 on a Sunday, May Day. And, coincidentally the 8 year anniversary of "Mission Accomplished".
Symbols, symbolism, symbology.
There are quite a few things we learned last night:
The White House is, and remains, if little else, a voice of authority. It's version is the version.
Cable news is dead, or at least, impotent, irrelevant, dying. How many talking heads proved their worthlessness last night? I'm looking at you, Wolf.
Twitter: Scoop. Jokes. Rumors. Misattributed Twain quotes. Troubling desires to abuse corpses. Ghost, zombie, and Osama in Hell accounts. Humanity. (and it seems that the whole op was live tweeted).
What it comes down to is:
either we are naive enough to think that the killing of a man who has become little more than alienated figurehead (anathema, pariah, etc) will take down a worldwide network of autonomous cells, or that revenge can bring back those we lost.
Or we are jaded so significantly as to render this into a political move, a power play, a theater of cruelty (they were dancing in the streets of Palestine after 9/11). What is the shock doctrine selling us today?
Of course it's not as simple as that. It never is.
Sure it is a political move. Everything is politics, everything is power and shifting alliances, especially at that level of society. Daes Dae'mar, The Game of Houses, The Great Game. But I don't know that I am ready to ascribe that level of conspiratorial power to the US or any other government. Strings aren't that easy to pull. But it isn't just a happenstance revenge play, a Hail Mary pass in the last minutes of the game.
Everything changes. Everything stays the same.
1. The same people stay in power.
2. You can't say democrats support terror, are weak on nat security, didn't really want to pursue him
3. Bush couldn't do it and his mission was accomplished
4. Fox News had to spend a few minutes without anything bad to say about the president. (perhaps it was as close to an apology as they could get for when Geraldo "misspoke" and said that Obama was dead)
"Bring the boys back home." - Pink Floyd
Will this change the status quo? No, but it might make some people feel better about it. And aside from the breakdown of civilization and is gentle comforts in an armed insurrection, that really is all we have: accepting our pile of garbage and scraps from the masters' table with a smile or at least a smaller grimace.
Will it bring the men and women of the armed services back home? Probably not. Sure the war in Afghanistan was about 9/11and bringing Osama to justice. And the war in Iraq wasn't about much at all. And this war in Libya has nothing to do with either. But you can't just pull out now and pretend you were wearing a condom the whole time.
But if nothing ever changes, what does it matter? And what does it matter how dulled and deluded the masses are, remain? If they dance in the streets and celebrate death, is it surprising? Does it matter to those of us who cannot celebrate death? No one ever agrees (always agree). Preach to the choirs, because we have all chosen sides and don't want to listen to proselytizing from across the aisle, pond, universe. Utopia is a thought experiment, it was never a real place, an expected outcome, a consummation devoutly to be wished. Comes out as pretty depressing, I suppose. Defeatist, sure. But when you spend most of your days bouncing theories off a two-year-old, you realize that it doesn't matter if you convince anyone of anything. Keep them entertained, maybe. The world is a place. Go on...
At least the burial at sea leaves something for the conspiracy theorists to spout off on now that the President has shown us his long form.