I don’t shed a tear over the death of Osama bin Laden (in so small part because he’s been fairly irrelevant for years now), but you know, this return to the jingoistic stupidity that we saw in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, is unsettling. Luckily, no Americans have been killed this time (only American lives matter, of course), so hopefully something else soon will become the next top news story (you know, something related to Donald Trump or Charlie Sheen or Lindsay Lohan), but how long can it be before the “birthers” will demand to see bin Laden’s death certificate, and then, once that is produced, proclaim it to be a fake?
I read that the song “We Are the Champions” has been sung at U.S. bin Laden death celebrations. Yeah, we are the champions, all right — and it only took us 10 years and thousands upon thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars. We rule!
More chilling than the words and actions of my jingoistic cohorts, of whom I expect precious little, however, are those of President Barack Obama, of whom, despite his string of broken campaign promises, I still expect more.
“Today we are reminded that as a nation there is nothing we can’t do,” Obama proclaimed today about the snuffing out of bin Laden. (“We do big things” is one of the campaign slogans that Obama rolled out during his last State of the Union address, since “hope” and “change” don’t work anymore.)
When we make such feel-good statements as “as a nation there is nothing we can’t do,” are we really supposed to say that about the killing of one individual? Even someone like Osama bin Laden?
Is this what “American greatness” has come to: our ability to kill one man after 10 years, hundreds of billions of dollars and the killing of tens of thousands before him? (That’s a rhetorical question, but I’ll answer it anyway: Yes.)
Our bloated-beyond-belief military-industrial complex and insane tax breaks for the rich and the super-rich have put us into a huge federal budget deficit, they’re telling us that it’s all our public school teachers’ fault and they’re talking about destroying Medicare, the polar fucking ice caps are melting, for fuck’s sake, and the people are in the streets like Ewoks over the news reports that Osama bin Laden (whom they’d forgotten all about) is dead!
Speaking of which, apparently we couldn’t even handle bin Laden’s corpse correctly, with the media reporting now that burial at sea actually is not the preferred way to bury a Muslim; the preferred way is to bury him with his or her head pointing toward Mecca.
One Muslim cleric put it this way: “If a man dies on a ship that is a long distance from land, then the dead man should be buried at the sea; but if he dies on land, then he should be buried in the ground, not to be thrown into the sea. Otherwise, this would be only inviting fish to a banquet.”
Of course, the whole argument was beyond bizarre anyway: We snuffed out Osama bin Laden, but not to worry! We handled his body correctly! (Except that apparently we didn’t.*)
And I’m seeing all over the place the simple-minded assertion that Osama bin Laden is now in hell.
If he is in hell (actually, I don’t believe in hell, but I’ll play along with the simpletons), he is celebrating his stunning victory over the United States of America, his “great Satan.”
After all, bin Laden’s stated objective was to destroy the American empire, and while the empire already was on its way out before his henchmen hijacked some airplanes some 10 years ago, bin Laden certainly helped along the demise of the American empire. He caused, at least indirectly, the deaths of more than 4,000 of our troops on top of the almost 3,000 Americans killed on Sept. 11, 2001, and had a huge hand in destroying our economy after the treasonous war profiteers (such as Dick Cheney’s Halliburton) used 9/11 as their pretext for looting the U.S. Treasury of hundreds of billions of dollars in the names of “national security” and “national defense.”
I suspect that Osama bin Laden surprised himself in how successful he was in accomplishing his objective of destroying the American empire, and Americans’ incredible stupidity and short-sightedness fairly guarantee that bin Laden will get the last laugh, with a banner reading “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” behind him — even if in hell.
*Bin Laden’s body reportedly was disposed of within 24 hours, as Islamic law requires, and it’s understandable that the U.S. power elites didn’t want a gravesite for bin Laden’s followers to be able to visit, but some experts are saying that the burial at sea might cause blowback.