04 May 2011


BIN LADEN COUNTERPOINT. By now anyone not living under a rock knows that earlier this week, a team of U.S. Navy SEALs, acting on carefully assembled intelligence and upon the order of President Obama, conducted a dark ops raid into Pakistan and assassinated al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. The death of the mastermind (and the bankroll) behind numerous terrorist attacks over the past 20 years was a cause for celebration in many countries, and a cause of outrage among his followers. Most leaders, public figures, and citizens of the free world deemed the operation a success, and congratulated Obama for his decision.

Alas, a number of sour grapes conservatives in the U.S. couldn't muster the grace or the character to give Obama his due, especially when their darling, George W. Bush, was unable to (indeed, at times disinterested in) accomplish neutralizing bin Laden. In their resentment and denial, luminaries like Sarah Palin actually congratulated Bush, ignoring Obama in their responses to the news. Right wing politicians and pundits variously exhort us not to politicize terrorism, caution us that perhaps bin Laden isn't really dead, insult our intelligence by suggesting that Obama and bin Laden were "brothers", suggest that Obama deserves no credit for his decision, and even assert that Obama was merely following Bush's lead. By way of response to such pathetic claims, here are 5 Responses to Right Wing Bitterness over Obama Gettin' Osama. The author summarizes: "The capture of Osama was a victory for both U.S. intelligence and military intelligence implemented by Navy SEALs and CIA paramilitary forces, all coordinated by a rather genius President. You will note that this was not exactly the procedure advocated by the former President, but then, as soon as I wrote intelligence, I assumed you knew that."

On a whole 'nother level, Matthew Rothschild raises several questions of conscience in Bin Laden's Crimes, and Ours. For generations, Americans have assumed that we can do no wrong. Vietnam was among the first in a series of reality checks that, hmm, maybe we need to rethink that. Rothschild points out that like bin Laden, American Presidents have not hesitated to use violence, or wantonly sacrifice the lives of innocent people, or commit mass murder, to advance their own purposes. He provides a list of specific examples which, I must admit, give one pause to look in the mirror. See what you think.

MAY THE 4th. That would be today. That would also be Star Wars Day, during which you may hear "May the fourth be with you", an intentional play on the line "May the Force be with you". Incredible to think that the first episode in the movie franchise was released on May 25, 1977, the same year my son was born. Here are a few Star Wars-related articles of interest from Scientific American. And here is a teaser announcement from LucasFilm, regarding an upcoming re-release of the Star Wars films. May the fourth ... be with you all. (Click on the image to enlarge.)

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