Random ramblings of a mind damaged by years of disuse and abuse. Also a place to go to be bored to tears.
The Random Comic Strip
Words to live by...
"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."
(The right to looseness has been officially given)
"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."
Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Death of an Evil Man
Normally, I would not post this except on my political day (Saturday) but it is what it is and I felt I needed to say this.
It seems that some Special Ops folks (Navy SEALs, we are told) slipped into Pakistan, located, and killed Usama bin Laden on May 1st. This is one of those "seminal moments" in history. There will be consequences from this event that will affect us for many years to come. Some good, some bad.
There are reports that the U.S. now believes it can destroy al Qaeda. Maybe so. Maybe not. Bin Laden's death may have some adverse effects, it may become a recruiting tool, it may become an inspiration to jihadists worldwide. Soon, some will begin to question his death. Claims will be made that it was faked and that bin Laden is still alive. There will also be stories that he was slain in some cowardly way; executed because they didn't want to arrest him, because they feared him. Yes, these will be contradictory but they will both be believed. He will become a rallying cry.
Or maybe not. Maybe sanity will strike the minds of his followers and jihadist "wannabe's" and they'll turn away from thoughts of revenge and violence.
No, I don't think that will happen either.
The complexity that is terrorism will not go away quietly. And we are in for a long period of attempted attacks. Some of these attempts will be successful. We will again be horrified, angry, and vengeful. A new face will become the very image of evil.
Already, the Taliban is claiming we (the U.S.) should now withdraw from Afghanistan. After all, the reason we invaded and stay was to kill or capture bin Laden. That's done. What reason do we have to stay?
What reason will the U.S. public accept?
I understand why bin Laden was killed. I understand why he was buried at sea (I would call it "dumping"). What I don't understand is the apparent belief that things will get easier in the next few years now that he's gone. It won't. He wasn't calling the shots anymore. I read one article (or maybe a comment) that said bin Laden was the "mastermind" behind the 9-11 attacks. He wasn't, that was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. I belive that bin Laden's role was primarily as financier. Regardless, his role in the past several years has been to hide successfully and make the occasional audio tape condemning the "Great Satan" and the West in general and promising more attacks, spectacular ones.
I think we should have simply mentioned he was killed as a small story in the news.
"And, in Pakistan, Usama bin Laden was found by U.S. troops and died in the operation. Now for the weather..."
But I am rational enough to know that would never have happened. The president has decided that the picture of bin Laden's dead body will not be released.
First reason: "It is important for us to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence or as a propaganda tool."
Rebuttal: The fact that he was killed by U.S. military peronnel is enough incitement and enough propaganda for the jihadists of the world. A picture being released will not add anything to that.
2nd reason: "And I think that given the graphic nature of these photos, it would create some national security risk."
Unless it reveals some great secret about how the SEAL teams operate then it causes no more security risk than the fact of his death does.
3rd reason: In response to the following question:
"There are people in Pakistan for example, who say, look, this is all a lie. Obama, this is another American trick. Osama is not dead. "
The president said: "[W]e don't think that a photograph in and of itself is going to make any difference."
Then why not just release it? The reasons are patently absurd. It will not affect our standing in the world, it will not change the minds of jihadists, and it will not create any national security risk.
Personally, I don't care if it's released or not. In addition to not causing any real problems, it won't create any "closure" or bring any of the dead back. What I care about is honesty. I am not seeing that coming from this White House. And I am tired of it.