I am very weirded out by all the sudden bursts of patriotism following Osama bin Laden’s death. Even President Obama said something to the effect of, “This goes to show that when Americans set out to do something, we can accomplish anything.” Really? An assassination (and one that took 10 years, no less) is a symbol of our can-do spirit? (There were also impromptu rallies outside the White House, Ground Zero, Times Square, etc.)
Nothing is more ironic to me than the fact that, in Osama Bin Laden’s assassination, we have achieved the ultimate Pyrrhic victory: we have finally eliminated the physical presence of the principal challenger of American values over the last decade, and yet our collective reaction to this killing demonstrates how clearly and decisively bin Laden won the war on our values. We lost sight of absolutely everything and went crazy for ten years (torture, followed by a national refusal to call it torture, not to mention the bloodlust that led us to attack an unrelated country, Iraq, and even now continues to agitate for military action against Iran, etc. etc.). Then, to cap it all off, it took less than a day following bin Laden’s killing for people to come out of the woodwork and claim torture was the reason we were able to find him.
Somehow, I think Osama bin Laden would be OK with all of this.
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