So there I was...

| Monday, May 2, 2011
Twitter was starting to get antsy. Looting and raiding jokes were popping up. Some jokes about how Trump was getting bumped again, this time for Obama's announcement. What? WHAT!? Actually I wasn't all that worked up, it just seemed weird to have an announcement late on Sunday. Surely Monday morning isn't so far away for what cannot possibly be anything Americans would care about.

I went back to leading my Buddhist theocracy in world domination. I'd moved on to the stage of fighting other Buddhists because they weren't quite my type of Buddhists (refused to vote for me as world leader). This was after crushing the Jews, most notably those of Isabella's Spain, one of many historical ironies produced by the alternative histories of Civ 4.

Huh, Twitter seems to think Osama bin Laden is dead. That's interesting. Nothing on the news sites yet. Twitter still thinks he's dead. Now the news sites think he's dead. So that's what the announcement is.

I turned on the radio to listen to it. Apparently at this time WBEZ (Chicago NPR station) has some sort of BBC broadcast which is aimed at Africa. That got interrupted. I'm sure there's some symbolic meaning in Britain getting interrupted by America when trying to talk to Africa.

As stupid as it sounds, the whole operation just sounded cool. I was imagining some badass special forces bursting in, shooting all the bad people, and being out 15 seconds later. My imagination was confirmed by reports that they had in fact used a helicopter, which always make an operation cooler. And Obama said something like "no Americans were harmed", which to me translates as "we kicked their asses." I bet that pirate ship they boarded a year or so back was just practice for this: practice in being totally badass.

With the uprisings in the Middle East and places that aren't in the Middle East but geographically challenged/lazy people lump in with it, there were clearly a lot of implications for the US. Who would we pretend to be friends with? Where would we put our navy? Who would sell us cheap oil? But ultimately it wasn't about us. We weren't the ones putting our lives on the line for freedom. But now this, this is us. Now this is an American story with implications for the rest of the world. I like that. Maybe we were feeling ignored.

Sadly, the War on Terror, or overseas contingency operations, is are not over. Soldiers will still die in Afghanistan at the hands of violent extremists (or people who don't like foreigners meddling). Terrorists will still plot. People will still die. But dammit, this is symbolically awesome and that makes me feel pretty good.

6 comments:

Dallanna said...

Gotta admit, I was surprised for a moment when I heard the news. However, considering how well entrenched those guys are and how well they've learned their craft, there'll be another one once the power vacuum in Osama's wake fills up.

Nils said...

I feel a bit of shame when celebrating the death of a human. But then, Osmana wasn't really human anymore. US made him into one of the most powerful symbols after he asked them (violently).

Klepsacovic said...

@Dallanna: If we're lucky there will be a significant amount of infighting.

@Nils: Exactly, not a human. A zombie.

JoeNavy said...

He is gone, although I don't feel like celebrating...It feels a little bit better. He proclaimed credit for an action that took thousands of American lives then we embarked on a war that has since cost trillions of dollars, more human lives and now we are broke...Yea I feel a little better(emphasis on little).

All the credit of course goes to my brothers in arms. Seals are some bad mother fuckers. Is there any chance of them spliting the $50million reward money?

Now cleaning our mess and getting out of there should be first priority.

Coreus said...

Did anyone else notice back when this whole kerfuffle began in 2001 that politicians suddenly started using the word "evil" completely unironically to describe people whose beliefs conflicted with their own?

I don't doubt that the world is a better place without this man, but [as Nils said above] I can't bring myself to celebrate the death of a human, and it disturbs me that we as a society appear so willing to do so. It's kind of like when someone you've known for long time suddenly lets slip a racial slur. You can't look at them the same way afterwards.

Klepsacovic said...

@Coreus: They've been using it as a blanket term for a long time. Hell, the Soviet Union was briefly the Evil Empire to Reagan and he hardly started the habit of throwing around the label.

I'm of the opinion that those who dehumanize first lose their humanity, and so it's okay to kill them mercilessly. But who dehumanized who first? It gets messy when we can't quite say who is the bad guy and who is the good guy. That said, it sickens me when I see people try to pretend that 9/11 was justified or that somehow the wrongs of the US balance it out.

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