Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Yes We Can

If this post were a movie, at the very end of it you'd hear a huge crescendo of music and a bunch of characters would stand up and loudly cheer at some kind of big win.

Which is almost what I just did reading it.

Oliver Willis: Yes, We Were Right To Kill Bin Laden. Yes, We Should Celebrate It./5.3.11


Oliver said...

Haha! Thanks.

Marsupialus said...

Sorry but Oliver is full of shit. If the reports are true that, in attempt to take Bin Laden into custody he resisted and was killed in the ensuing firefight, then yes, force was justified. If U.S. forces specifically went on a mission to execute him with no thought of and no attempt at capture, then no, not justified. This has been the problem with the so-called Global War on the abstraction, Terrorism: the Relativism, the ease with which our laws and sense of due process are simply tossed aside for expediency. As it should be with KSL, how great would it have been to try Bin Laden in an American court affording him the full protections of judicial system and then find him guilty. There's the testament that acts of terror don't win.

On Oliver's remark that we "lost our security." Are we a nation of pussies? Sometimes I think so. It's a big country. Not every building went down that day. There's two towers out here in Los Angeles that look remarkably like the ones in NY and they're still standing. We're still standing. It was a horrible event that was magnified and expanded and fetishized by a media which replayed and replayed footage of the towers going down until you did believe that every building in America had fallen. We lost our security because of a (Un)Patriot(iotic) Act that was rushed through Congress. We lost our security because, with the horse gone from the barn, we now protect the barn so the horse won't run out again. The kabuki theater that calls itself airport security doesn't make us safer. The incessant fear-mongering of the Bush administration, the repressive tactics of the government, the abrogation of due process, the targeting of Muslims -- that's how we lost our security.

Should we be in the streets celebrating. Absolutely positively fucking no. It's unseemly. It's vulgar. It's not much different from the Arabs who took to the streets to celebrate the deaths on 9-11. Were any of you pissed off that they were doing it spring break style, screaming how great is was Americans died? Flip the image. Now it's us in the streets. It's wrong.

Am I glad that Osama Bin Laden is finally gone. Yes. But that's as far as my celebration goes. A criminal has been killed. It's not fucking prom night at Newton North High School. Now we can leave Afghanistan, right? Now we can leave Iraq, right?

And finally you fucking conservative right wing teabagging Republican fucks, the Marxist socialist Muslim Kenyan Democrat fulfilled his campaign promise: He got his man. Unlike Captain Codpiece and the merry band of misfits. Mission. Accomplished.

FabMax said...

I have to second Marsupialus' thoughts.

Oliver mentoined that bin Laden was a criminal. In that, he is correct. But you don't just shoot criminals, you try to bring them in to put them to trial.

Also, I think it was a mistake to kill him. He's a martyr now, a hero of the jihad that future generations of terrorists will whack off to.

Chez said...

First of all, the debate over whether or not it was lawful to kill Bin Laden is completely academic considering that he got into a firefight with our guys. Second, bullshit -- killing Bin Laden was not only justified it was, in fact, our choice to make. I realize it's a slippery slope but just because that's so doesn't mean there isn't a certain amount of righteousness at the very top of it. Sorry, kids, I'm not losing a second of sleep over this one. I'm also not losing any sleep over the fact that the death of this mass murderer created a feeling of shared euphoria throughout the country.

Anonymous said...

Aside from second guessing an operation where (if you believe the basics of the story at least) our guys all lived and the bad guy (can't we at least agree on that?) died, does anyone seriously think Osama living and captured would have made things LESS complicated with terrorist types or the Arab world in general? Really?

Chez said...

Incidentally, I actually do happen to know a little bit about what special ops training dictates when it comes to these kinds of missions. Please keep in mind that our guys were dealing with people who absolutely have proven that they're willing to die for their cause; my attitude would be -- and I know the president's was -- that nothing, and I mean nothing, should be allowed to happen that would jeopardize even a single American life on this mission. If that means you be prepared to kill anyone who makes even a mildly threatening move -- because please, remember again who you're dealing with here -- then so be it.

Chez said...

Plus, just on Oliver's post -- calling Sirota serially stupid just made me squeal like a little girl. Anybody who's read any of the ridiculous assertions he makes in that new book of his -- the one that attempts to tie everything currently going on in this country politically and culturally back to the 1980s -- understands what I'm talking about.

VOTAR said...

The jubilation at the death of bin Laden serves another important purpose. Al Qaida and "binladen-ism" stand against U.S. foreign policy and our government's military involvement in the middle east, at least as they perceive it. Until 9/11 they stuck to attacking military and diplomatic targets close to home (The U.S.S. Cole, the Kobar Towers, etc.). Despicable tactics, yes, but thematically in line with their stated complaint.

The attacks on WTC (the first failed attempt in '97 and then 9/11) represent something else, though. al Q'aida attacked US. They made it personal, and murdered thousands of civilians who had nothing to do with deciding whether American fighter jets can land on the Arabian peninsula.

al Q'aida has demonstrated a contempt for human life in its campaign to win a losing argument, and they clearly don't understand the American psyche. We were expected to fall on each other like scared rats. Sometimes it might look that way, but the celebrations Sunday night for me represented something that goes beyond a macabre lust at the death of a single man.

A cult of primitivism and violence tried to scare us into capitulation, assuming that the resolve it takes to fly planes into our buildings would overwhelm and paralyze us. They murdered our friends, colleagues, family, neighbors. And they accomplished what? We are inconvenienced at the airport. Meanwhile, the current U.S. occupation of two entire countries in South Asia is clearly the opposite of what bin Laden intended.

al Q'aida's resentment of our government's foreign policy will now never be taken seriously, and their infatuation with plunging the rest of the world into the dark ages has been universally rejected. It may seem vulgar to celebrate a man's death so openly, but it is a vulgarity that that culture recognizes and understands. As a nation and as a culture, we can show a kind of resolve as well, one that is, when necessary, very patient, but devastating when it is unleashed.

For his misguided service to Allah, the body of the self-appointed godhead of al Q'aida currently resides in the bowel tracts of a few sharks in the Arabian Sea, where no one can ever build a shrine to it. Meanwhile, as we demonstrated Sunday night, WE ARE STILL HERE.

FabMax said...

Chez, I am not talking about lawful, I am talking about smart.

Was it really smart to make a martyr out of this guy?

Was it really smart to throw the body into the sea right after killing the bastard, so that all kinds of conspiracy theories will sprout (yes, I know about the 24 hour limit on muslim funerals)?

I think not.

Also, it was not 'your' choice to make, but the one of the soldiers on site (or maybe Obamas). Could be that they did not have a choice, if Uncle Osama chose to defend himself. We probably will never now.

But if Obama gave the order to kill him before the operation started, then I think he made a mistake.

Chez said...

Okay, Fab -- since we're trafficking in quite a few hypotheticals here anyway, let me paint you another picture: We take Bin Laden alive, and then, what? Perhaps those who would ostensibly stop at nothing to avenge the martyrdom of their fearless leader would be even more inclined to attack us -- over and over again -- in an attempt to force us to free him.

Put simply, no matter how you slice, Osama bin Laden was more dangerous alive than dead. As Votar said, he's now at the bottom of the ocean where no one can ever build a physical shrine or make a pointless pilgrimage to his place of burial -- and a very necessary message has been sent.

Matt said...

I didn't feel like celebrating. I just felt a sense of relief that he was finally gone. I won't dance in the streets, but I won't hold it against someone who does. I just hope that this brings some closure to those who lost someone on 9/11 or who was there for the aftermath. Flight 93 crashed only 20 miles from where I grew up and where my parents and a lot of family still live. What I've been remembering is visiting the memorial on a beautiful summer day a few years ago and listening to the account of the last communications from the passengers and how mortified the young mother was when her toddler started trying to play with the toys someone had left as a memento, not that I think anyone cared. So while I can't say that I'm glad, I will say that I am satisfied that he's fish food and won't be lolling back in a mansion while he sends people to kill and die for his view of the world.

Izar Talon said...


I think that the celebrations we're seeing here are really about what you said that you yourself are feeling, a truly MASSIVE sense of relief that this guy who called out for huge amounts of civilian casualties is finally gone. These are people who were scared to death by what this man represented; they aren't necessarily celebrating about the death of a man, although I'm sure there is a fair bit of that as well, but I think that what they are really celebrating, even if they don't fully realize it, is the hopeful death of the threat to them, civilians, that he directly represented.

em said...

I really don't see how Americans celebrating the death of a mass-murdering fuckhead (thanks, Eddie Izzard) is anything like terrorists rejoicing over American soldiers getting kidnaped and killed. I've tried flipping the script in my head, and basically I can't come to the conclusion that some 18 year old Marine who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time and was kidnapped and got his fucking head cut off is anything like a mass murdering fuckhead. Does not compute. I'm not running through the streets of Chicago yelling about it, but I"d be lying if I said I wasn't grinning like an idiot when I heard the news. I'm fucking happy he's dead. Or, as Stephen Colbert put it, "They shot him in the eye! No 3D movies for you in hell. Which, I assume, would be 'The Last Airbender'."

Anonymous said...

Nancy Pelosi from a press conference on September 7, 2006:

[E]ven if [Osama bin Laden] is caught tomorrow, it is five years too late. He has done more damage the longer he has been out there. But, in fact, the damage that he has done . . . is done. And even to capture him now I don’t think makes us any safer.

Nancy Pelosi yesterday:

The death of Osama bin Laden marks the most significant development in our fight against al-Qaida. . . . I salute President Obama, his national security team, Director Panetta, our men and women in the intelligence community and military, and other nations who supported this effort for their leadership in achieving this major accomplishment. . . . [T]he death of Osama bin Laden is historic. . . .

Matt said...

That's more or less what I meant. I think everyone is going to react in their own way to the news. Had I been in New York or PA when it all went down, I would definitely be reacting differently.
I also don't get the comparison to people celebrating the death of thousands of innocents. False equivalence anyone?