As I was in Rome when the story of bin Laden’s killing broke, I was rather glad to be too busy to really process it. Justice is satisfying, to an extent, but I tended to take the view so well-expressed by the Vatican, and many others, that the cheering in the streets over a human death is perhaps not appropriate or what we want to become.
Should the White House show the pictures of the dead bin Laden? I’m of two minds. Mussolini was shown in death, so why not bin Laden? I am not feeling especially worried about terrorists “hating us more” for showing the pictures. They’ve been hating us pretty steadily since the 1970′s, so it seems a vague and cowardly argument, to me.
By the same measure, though I did agree with President Obama that there was no need to “spike the football.” So I take a dim view of the fact that this utterance seems to have come with the usual expiration date, as he seems to be spiking it for fun and profit with some regularity, lately, and with his usual and long-standing lack of generosity.
Recall that when Sarah Palin stepped into the GOP ticket in ’08, Obama and his crew could not even be generous enough to call her the Governor of Alaska, instead deriding her as a “small-town” mayor. He has not grown any more gracious in office, as this demonstrates, so color me unimpressed.
Moreover, I am getting the sense that President Obama has discovered that there is value — when all of your domestic policies are tanking or proving unpopular, ineffective or just not real — to being a wartime president, and he seems to see no irony at all in the fact that nabbing bin Laden would not have been possible if he had succeeded in blocking the Bush policies he so ardently fought while in the senate.
I keep wondering what the ego-gratifying “new cowboy/wartime president” suit may escalate down the road.
So, this is worth reading: 9 Elements You Cannot Separate from Healthy Leadership
But I am getting off topic. What I wanted to do was link you to a few good pieces on OBL that I was unable to showcase yesterday, but since it’s today, let’s begin with Ed Driscoll’s revelent links at Instapundit.
A very interesting take from Jen Pierce: Storyless in Abbottabad: Welcome to the Future:
The point is not that killing Osama bin Laden is a moral crisis akin to an abortion crisis or to dropping an A-bomb on a couple of million people. The point is it will leave a mark, just like that, because what has been done is done. Things are different now. The point is, we can’t take it back. And we don’t know what we have done–because we don’t know. We are now officially in the era of Targeted Killings. Our enemies aren’t nations but angry rogues as dangerous as they are ridiculous, hidden, elusive, and unknowable. They could have a dirty nuke or a flaming bag of dog poo. This isn’t news. It hasn’t been for awhile. But you know when you say a word like “slacks” over and over again, and it starts to feel weird and you have no idea what it refers to anymore, no idea what point of reality it is supposed to mark or correspond with? (In linguistics they call it “semantic satiation.” I remember doing it with the word slacks when I was a kid so I call it, in my head, “the slacks thing”). Occasionally, its like I have to wake up all over again and remember that our enemy isn’t this massive, shadowy, snowy world where God is dead and they call us dogs, an enemy so enormous that it refers to itself with initials, because its name is so big.
It’s a guy with a limp and a bad set of kidneys.
She suggests the jubilant left may yet find itself in a free-fall. A different take, you’ll want to read the whole thing.
Ron Moreau also wonders if this might be Obama’s biggest mistake
Dana Vachon at Daily Beast: Osama died a fool and has no legacy
Mark Shea at Crisis: Our Ruling Classes and Reality Management:
Because of this politicized quasi-liturgical celebration of national communion in the American Spirit, everything in this narrative depends on the Purity of the Sacrifice and of the Political High Priest who offers it to achieve its main goal: namely, winning approval for himself. So controlling the message is everything. If it turns out that the whole “bin Laden hid behind a woman and was armed” thing is, well, false (as the White House has since acknowledged), then the flock naturally start wondering about the accuracy of the rest of the story. Some of the flock, already inclined to think Obama so untrustworthy that they can’t even believe he is an American citizen — despite massive evidence that he was born in Hawaii, as state records clearly show — quickly concluded that bin Laden is either a) not dead or b) that he died years ago, and the administration is concocting some massive fraud on a scale of faking the moon Landings.
Conspiracy Theories are often unhelpful and unwelcome. Sometimes, though, they’re true
Jonah Goldberg: Why the Rush?
Christopher Hitchens calls Noam Chomsky an idiot:
It’s no criticism of Chomsky to say that his analysis is inconsistent with that of other individuals and factions who essentially think that 9/11 was a hoax. However, it is remarkable that he should write as if the mass of evidence against Bin Laden has never been presented or could not have been brought before a court. This form of 9/11 denial doesn’t trouble to conceal an unstated but self-evident premise, which is that the United States richly deserved the assault on its citizens and its civil society. After all, as Chomsky phrases it so tellingly, our habit of “naming our murder weapons after victims of our crimes: Apache, Tomahawk … [is] as if the Luftwaffe were to call its fighter planes ‘Jew’ and ‘Gypsy.’ ” Perhaps this is not so true in the case of Tomahawk, which actually is the name of a weapon, but the point is at least as good as any other he makes.
Richard Fernandez: America as Jackie Chan
UPDATE: Don’t miss this piece by Allison Salerno, whose husband narrowly escaped with his life on 9/11 — Because Mercy is Greater than Justice:
We all fall short of the glory of God. As Christians, the task before us is to seek to be as merciful as Christ Himself. We can thank God for the witness of Blessed Pope John Paul II’s life. He faced evil head on, (shown above meeting with his would-be murderer) and yet somehow found the strength to forgive. As Pope Benedict XVI tells us: “Forgiving is not ignoring but transforming.”
Joe Carter: Harper’s and the Guantanamo Murders Conspiracy
In the Arena, Is is OK to be glad?