“They gonna make him outta be a martyr.”
— liquor store customer
The above quote came from just one of a ton of customers at my liquor store yesterday, all expressing some form of jubilee at the death of Osama bin Laden and offering a wink-wink at how life will now somehow return to normal.
In fact, that’s all about anyone talked about yesterday — from the talking heads on TV to the steady stream of people after cigarettes or booze.
Odd, too, that a guy nearly forgotten becomes near-literally overnight the ultimate subject matter for everybody.
(Illustration found here).
Out of the mud-hole, however, George Jr.’s people gave credit where none is due.
Even legal beagle Alberto Gonzales in an interview in Texas:
If you study carefully, Obama’s statement last night emphasized the notion that Osama was a military target enemy combatant.
This is a war on terror.
We didn’t send the FBI in there.
We didn’t send law enforcement to get bin Laden.
This is a war on terror.
Bush recognized early on that we needed to have a legal framework of a war on terror.
This was not a law enforcement measure.
President Obama to his credit has continued that framework.
He understands this is more than a law enforcement action on our enemy.
This is a war on terror, and the lawyers worked very, very hard to help the President establish and adopt a legal framework.
What an asshole — ‘legal framework?’
One must remember George Jr. in 2002:
So I don’t know where he is.
You know, I just don’t spend that much time on him, Kelly, to be honest with you.
I’m more worried about making sure that our soldiers are well-supplied; that the strategy is clear; that the coalition is strong; that when we find enemy bunched up like we did in Shahikot Mountains, that the military has all the support it needs to go in and do the job, which they did.
Well, as I say, we haven’t heard much from him.
And I wouldn’t necessarily say he’s at the center of any command structure.
And, again, I don’t know where he is. I — I’ll repeat what I said.
I truly am not that concerned about him.
I know he is on the run. I was concerned about him, when he had taken over a country.
I was concerned about the fact that he was basically running Afghanistan and calling the shots for the Taliban.
Now, of course, we all know George Jr. was lying — right then Tommy Franks was putting together the plans for the invasion of Iraq, so why worry about some insignificant asshole like Osama?
And indeed, due to the outbreak of freedom fighting in the Arab world this spring, Osama had already been placed in the dustbin of history — his killing was his best way to retire from the world’s stage.
From an analysis at Aljazeera English:
Indeed, what must have been most crushing for bin Laden was the rise of the so-called Arab Spring.
The very people in the Arab world whose concerns bin Laden claimed most importantly to represent have revealed the utter fallacy at the heart of Sheikh Osama’s message.
The al-Qaeda leader had long professed that the only means of liberation for the Muslims was to strike at the Western powers who propped up their repressive leaders, and thereby to undo the vast US-led conspiracy to subjugate them.
What the Arab youth have shown is that the means of their liberation is in their own hands, and has always been.
Indeed, they have shown that in the face of their moral example, the Western world, more often than not, will be forced to support them.
Even more importantly, the world which those responsible for the uprisings throughout the Arab world are trying to construct for themselves looks nothing like the dark, obscurantist vision of bin Laden and his core followers.
Even the most radically anti-western of the genuine religious leaders in the Muslim world have long since soundly rejected the Takfiri doctrines perpetrated by al-Qaeda.
It may seem an odd analogy, but I am put in mind of a former Hollywood celebrity who had long since been personally repudiated by the public, whose death a number of years ago was described unkindly by one wag as a “good career move”.
The same might easily be said of Osama bin Laden.
He might appear to have died with a bang.
But he had long since died with a whimper.
And ain’t anybody gonna make him outta a martyr.