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One Bin Laden Follow-Up - The Watchtower of Destruction: The Ferrett's Journal
May 2nd, 2011
01:35 pm

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One Bin Laden Follow-Up
Some folks have registered complaints that we went in to kill Osama, not to capture him for trial. While I would have preferred a trial, messy and long and a sham though it would be, I don't mind the targeted killing.

Why? Because it would have been really hard to capture Osama alive, given the zealotry of his followers; I wouldn't be surprised to find if they had orders to shoot Bin Laden in the head if things got too close. And considering this is largely a PR stunt to remind people that America can be effective when we set our minds to it, as a President, I'd by far rather have the "We went to kill and we killed him" rather than "We tried to capture him and whoops, sorry."

Also, as a President, I'd look at it and go, "Okay, we can try to capture him, at the cost of putting our soldiers more in danger, increasing the risk of him escaping, and make this mission much more difficult, only to have a good chance that he's going to end up dead anyway. Or we can just go in to kill, which I told everyone I would do back in 2008, and pretty much nobody said a peep. Okay. Send in the assassins."

Also, while I do support a little quiet dancing, taking to the streets naked except for a flag around your genitals, shouting "YOU ESS AY! YOU ESS AY!" as though we'd just won the fucking Superbowl? Declasse, guys. Remember how you felt when people were dancing in the streets at the fall of the World Trade Center? Yeah, well, you kind of look like that now. If you're happy about such a thing I can't blame you, but try not to look like Roman citizens cheering on those Christian-eating lions, okay?

This entry has also been posted at http://theferrett.dreamwidth.org/100192.html. You can comment here, or comment there; makes no never-mind by me.

(36 shouts of denial | Tell me I'm full of it)

Comments
 
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From:letoile82
Date:May 2nd, 2011 05:50 pm (UTC)
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I think that, based on the fact that we didn't just blow the place up but sent people in, the idea was to try to capture him OR kill if necessary. I'm not upset that we weren't able to capture him and I don't think that was a realistic objective anyway.
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From:anivair
Date:May 2nd, 2011 06:26 pm (UTC)
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Sending people is always better if you can. a) you get to see what's going on, not rely on secondhand debris and b) you have a pretty fine control. capture, kill, dance, whatever the situation calls for. Soldiers do many things. bombs do one thing.
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From:perich
Date:May 2nd, 2011 07:31 pm (UTC)
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Nope. Reuters confirms that the SEAL team was ordered to kill him (at least as of this morning).
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From:almostwitty
Date:May 3rd, 2011 08:00 am (UTC)
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Isn't it illegal for American Presidents to order assassinations of people?
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From:perich
Date:May 3rd, 2011 11:20 am (UTC)
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Depending on whom you ask. Legality aside, the President has done it more than once.
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From:almostwitty
Date:May 3rd, 2011 11:21 am (UTC)
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This President or previous Presidents?
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From:perich
Date:May 3rd, 2011 11:30 am (UTC)
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Sorry, didn't realize this was still news.

President Obama has ordered the assassination of, among others, Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen currently residing in Yemen. al-Awlaki is a militant Muslim cleric who, among other things, corresponded with Nidal Hassan (the Fort Hood shooter) and praised his actions online. He's also been linked to the Nigerian "underwear bomber," though not in an instrumental way.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/06/AR2010040604121.html?hpid=topnews
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From:almostwitty
Date:May 3rd, 2011 11:35 am (UTC)
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To be fair, I'm in the UK. And we've recently emerged from the self-imposed isolation pit that comes when you have a baby.

And in other related news, OMG YOU ARE THE EDITOR OF OVERTHINKING IT!!!! Do you know how many times I've sent links of your articles to my friends and such?

At least, before we had a family and had to drop out of the general newshound-o-sphere...
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From:perich
Date:May 3rd, 2011 11:44 am (UTC)

modesty

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Thanks for reading - glad you like us! We've got a new Overview coming out either this week or next.
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From:ser_kai
Date:May 2nd, 2011 06:18 pm (UTC)
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"Also, while I do support a little quiet dancing, taking to the streets naked except for a flag around your genitals, shouting "YOU ESS AY! YOU ESS AY!" as though we'd just won the fucking Superbowl? Declasse, guys. Remember how you felt when people were dancing in the streets at the fall of the World Trade Center? Yeah, well, you kind of look like that now. If you're happy about such a thing I can't blame you, but try not to look like Roman citizens cheering on those Christian-eating lions, okay?"

As an Australian, I didn't dare say anything, as it would have been taken wrongly no matter what. This is along the lines of what a lot of us are thinking, though. Thankyou for making this point.
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From:ser_kai
Date:May 2nd, 2011 06:20 pm (UTC)
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Also, I'm going to quote you.
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From:elissa_carey
Date:May 2nd, 2011 10:55 pm (UTC)
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As another American who is as dismayed as Ferret at that kind of display: I say feel free to point these out. Seriously. The more mirrors get held up to our collective faces, the more we may have a chance out of pulling out of the crazy nosedive we seem to be in.
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From:ice_hesitant
Date:May 2nd, 2011 06:38 pm (UTC)
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Also, there is the additional problem with capture whereby "we tortured him until his mind was lost and he turned into a vegetable" a la Jose Padilla and Bradley Manning.
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From:masque12
Date:May 2nd, 2011 06:43 pm (UTC)
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"Remember how you felt when people were dancing in the streets at the fall of the World Trade Center? Yeah, well, you kind of look like that now."

While I have no plans for bedazzling my genitals with a flag or taking to the streets, it's still a bit different. The WTC victims were not legitimate targets at all. Bin Laden most certainly was. Celebrating is a big ghoulish, but it's not in the same league at all.

I just wish this kind of thing had happened 10 years ago, instead of the 2 bullshit wars. Then maybe "justice" would have been served, like Obama claimed. This is just bittersweet and too late.
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From:funwithrage
Date:May 2nd, 2011 06:47 pm (UTC)
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Thank you, yes.

Celebrating the death of one mass murderer doesn't equate to celebrating the death of multiple civilians who never even knew there was a war. People may feel that both are Bad Things, and that's fine, even if I don't agree, but...they're not the same.
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From:pghbekka
Date:May 2nd, 2011 08:23 pm (UTC)
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Conflicted as I am, I also wish to co-sign this comment.
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From:miintikwa
Date:May 2nd, 2011 06:46 pm (UTC)
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I feel a bit like Indigo Montoya. "I want my father back, you son of a bitch."

Well, except that I want my country back. I want the country I thought we were BEFORE 9/11. I know it's unrealistic, silly, and possibly stupid. But that's where I'm at.

This solves nothing. Revenge does not bring back my country. It's satisfying, in a gruesome way, but it isn't helping.

And that just leaves me feeling sad and empty.
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From:trinker
Date:May 2nd, 2011 09:01 pm (UTC)
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With enough political will, backed by enough groundswell, we can *have* that country back. As long as we pander to the "post 9/11 world means we have to give up everything worthwhile about America!" crowd, we can't.

I want to be able to take yogurt and a big bottle of water onto airplanes again.
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From:miintikwa
Date:May 2nd, 2011 09:03 pm (UTC)
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Yes. And not have to take my shoes off, or deal with invasive pat-downs that trigger PTSD for days. -.-
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From:almostwitty
Date:May 3rd, 2011 08:01 am (UTC)
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The country *is* the same before 9/11. Little interest in foreign affairs, a preference for news that confirms what you believe as opposed to the truth, a vacuous obsession with celebrities and a knowledge that you are the first world power, with little inclination to do anything about it.

All 9/11 did was wake America up to the fact that there were foreign people. And then you went back to E! News.
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From:miintikwa
Date:May 3rd, 2011 08:33 am (UTC)
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By "before 9/11" I was referring to the bullshit "heightened" security practices, illegal wiretaps, and other such unnecessary crap designed to keep us "safe." Illusions of safety are not my idea of a good time, and I wish that our government was more interested in ACTUAL safety practices, such as those practiced by Israeli air security. I also referred to the utilization of "fear" to remove freedoms. That, I loathe above all, and if this death does break back of the fearmongering, I will be happy.

And please do not paint me with the "uninterested in foreign affairs" brush. I enjoy keeping track of international developments, and find "entertainment news" to be neither.
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From:almostwitty
Date:May 3rd, 2011 11:30 am (UTC)
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If only there were more Americans like you!
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From:miintikwa
Date:May 3rd, 2011 11:31 am (UTC)
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I wish there were! An educated populace is dangerous to those in power, sadly.
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From:ravenblack
Date:May 2nd, 2011 06:53 pm (UTC)
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The thing I wonder is, did the guy who shot him know he was the one who did it? Because that would be an awesome thing to have on your soldier resumé.
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From:dagonell
Date:May 2nd, 2011 07:13 pm (UTC)
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Resume, hell! He'd never have to buy a beer in a bar again for the rest of his life!
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From:krinchan
Date:May 2nd, 2011 07:20 pm (UTC)
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I've been struggling with my own emotions on the news when I heard it this morning.

I agree that what is going on in places like Austin, TX is pretty sick. I think that's what is making me nauseous. I get a horrible Orwellian sense from it. I keep hearing, "We have always been at war with the Middle East," in the back of my head.

I understand why we killed him. Along with your own opinions, the trial would be a circus. The trial alone would cause so much unrest and horrible riots in the entire area, it'd be devastating.

As another friend put it, our economy lives and dies on oil. We can't afford to further drive oil prices up and an Osama Bin Laden trial would do just that. To try to claim anything else is just putting your head in the sand.

Furthermore, there those who say it was barbarous and horrible to bury him at sea. I full heartedly agree that it was the best way to head off the inevitable martyrdom and prophet worship that would come of burying him anywhere on land. The last thing we need is to kill one Osama only to have hundreds more take his place.

However, I can't help but feel that we as a country have crossed a line today. Somewhere, in a history book hundreds of years from now, this will be a chapter. It'll mark when we changed, even more so than September 11, 2001. I'm unsure what this marks, but I'm afraid of it, deeply afraid.
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From:elissa_carey
Date:May 2nd, 2011 10:59 pm (UTC)
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I only have one disagreement: I think we'll have the martyrdom and prophet worship anyway. I think we'll have hundreds take his place anyway -- and it's all in the nature of the organization.

The rest? Agreed.
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From:perich
Date:May 2nd, 2011 07:32 pm (UTC)
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given the zealotry of his followers; I wouldn't be surprised to find if they had orders to shoot Bin Laden in the head if things got too close.

C'mon, man.
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From:wolflady26
Date:May 2nd, 2011 07:43 pm (UTC)
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Hear, hear.
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From:pfrank
Date:May 2nd, 2011 07:50 pm (UTC)
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yeah I think it's a little more than declasse. It's sick is what it is. To paraphrase my 8 year old son I'm glad he can't hurt anyone anymore, but I'm still disturbed that we went in and killed all those people.
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From:coyotegoth
Date:May 2nd, 2011 08:10 pm (UTC)
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Agreed- and as to the people who say "now he's a martyr": that's what happens when you go to war with a mindset. Whether he was shot, or imprisoned, or choked on a chicken bone- if he believes in his ideals, and is prevented from following those ideals without his having willingly renounced them- martyr. I'd rather have a dead martyr than a live threat, though (granted that I'm sure his followers are even now discussing how to implement the plans he no doubt left behind).
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From:pghbekka
Date:May 2nd, 2011 08:19 pm (UTC)
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Mostly, what I feel this morning is relief that a whole bunch of people feel as conflicted as I do about the whole thing. I AM glad that they found him and killed him. Although Osama bin Laden was certainly not the only person responsible for the attacks, he was the leader of Al Qaeda and took personal responsibility. I found this response much more justified than our chasing down of Saddam Hussein. I'm glad that it was a ground attack and not an air attack. Although a ground attack puts our soldiers at greater risk, it minimizes civilian casualties and error. "Bombed the shit out a building, think bin Laden was in it. Coulda been a schoolhouse, who knows?"

It's still death, and death that won't suddenly end the wars and lead to peace and prosperity. I don't believe it leads to big picture increased danger, but it doesn't lessen it either.

On the personal politics side, I'd like to believe that this secures a second term for Obama, just as I'd like to believe that public anger will ensure that the Teabaggers are one-term wonders, but I'm too damn tired to be optimistic.
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From:ilgreven
Date:May 3rd, 2011 01:09 pm (UTC)

Re: dancing in the streets

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Though I'm sure he'd agree with the sentiment, Dr. King did not say that.
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From:two_eyes
Date:May 3rd, 2011 01:38 pm (UTC)
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I don't think I agree with your latter point.

This has been percolating in the back of my mind since yesterday. I was trying to get at it in my posts on your first Osama entry, but then I found this Ursula Vernon post and the need for me personally to be eloquent was obviated:

http://ursulav.livejournal.com/1447894.html

I personally find the exuberant reactions distasteful, because I hate suffering and death regardless of who the subject is, but they have a right to them.
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From:perrrfect_angel
Date:May 6th, 2011 10:12 am (UTC)
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I guy came through my checkout line that night with a mildly tattered American flag in hand, so, so proud we'd finally killed him. "I just drove 50 miles with this flag on my car!" he told me. To me it seemed... hollow. I mean, if we'd been serious about getting rid of him 12+ years ago and just taken him out then, what other events that happened might have fallen another way?
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