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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

American reactions to Osama bin Laden death « Previous | |Next »
May 6, 2011

The American reaction at Ground Zero to Osama Bin Laden's assassination. The ever changing White House account of the shooting of Bin Laden.

BellSBinLaden.jpg Steve Bell

The Republicans are attempting to rehabilitate the Bush torture regime by claiming that "enhanced interrogation" did indeed play a "critically important role" in the U.S.'s ability to find bin Laden. The wingnuts love torture (waterboarding) as permanent policy.

Looking to 9/11 9/11we can see that 9/11 fortuitously provided the American right with the external enemy that allowed it to go back into business demonizing the internal enemy, liberalism. And the idea of endless war war on global terrorism enabled the right once again to smear American liberals as defeatists or appeasers, if not traitors, in a struggle on the scale of the world wars and the Cold War.

Symbols matter and bin Laden's death is the most important symbol since the Twin Towers fell. It is a big deal and it matters for the Americans--- he represented ten years of unfinished business---even if strategically it changes very little. The never ending war will continue, even if If the so-called Arab spring suggests that the momentum is with reform and modernity, not the backward-looking polity offered by the fundamentalists.

The first decade of the 21st century era is probably going to be remembered as the beginning of a long era of American decline.

I have just read Osama bin Laden raped our souls by Melody Ayres-Griffith at the ABC's Unleashed a reaction to Osama bin Laden death. She says it is a response to an article by Bob Ellis.

Ayres-Griffith, who did not own a mobile phone because she saw them as an expensive, unnecessary intrusion into my personal space, says that after 9/11:

I acquired a mobile phone. For the sake of my family. Because of Osama bin Laden.This man raped our souls, and when he did so he was no longer a man, but an enemy. THE enemy.A long campaign followed, during which bin Laden was the primary target - but the might of the greatest military in the world could not find him. It was as if he was a ghost, and that only cemented his bogeyman status even more. He could be anywhere, anytime. He could bomb your shopping centre, he could take down your flight, he could send a suicide bomber to blow up your train - he was the bogeyman. Even adults feared the mere thought of him. Do you give justice to the bogeyman? Do you put the bogeyman on trial?

She adds that you don't you don't take demons alive, do you?

She adds that you don't debate whether or not the owner of a rabid dog will object to you putting that dog down after it bit you, you just take the first opportunity to put that dog down, and you worry about the rest later.

The ABC took a lot of flak in the comments to the article for publishing this piece. I interpret it as an expression of the paranoid style of thinking in American politics. Here politics is cast in apocalyptic terms as a conflict between absolute good and absolute evil. Consequently, the enemy must be sinister, ubiquitous, cruel…seeking to deflect the normal course of history in an evil way. The latest manifestation of American paranoia is the phenomenon of Islamophobia.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 11:07 AM | | Comments (8)


That shows the increasing flagrance of the ABC; they have pushed right wing politics hard the last five or six months and it reflects the extent to which the right has captured public broadcasting.
If you wanted to put a rabid dog down, wouldn't a sensible person be more interested in putting down people like Cheney?
The victimhood of Ayres Griffith is not unlike that of some of the Bali bombing rellies, but also demonstrates a disturbing lack, as to historical awareness and comprehension.
It's the madness of 2001, all over again.
That so many people unquestioningly and unthinkingly beleive the phoney narratives, does not augur well for the future.

Ah... er... what? Do you mean that modern history did NOT begin in Sept, 2001? Really?

That piece on the ABC web site is the biggest piece of juvenile emotional self-indulgent crap I have ever read. She hates Osama because he made her buy a cell phone? Great goddlemighty gimme a break.

I've given up reading any commentary on the MSM. They all seem engaged in an endless 'look at moi' contest to see who can write the most self-regarding bit of drivel.

Fine... So the Americans got OBL. No great loss to humanity and they have their revenge for Sept 11. That's cool.

Now, I just want those commandos to go after those well-resourced, implacable, egotistical, powerful, ruthless people who present the biggest threat to my way of life and the future welfare of my children... and the rest of the developed world.

I want those Navy SEALS to turn their attention the Wall Street mob and other vermin in the finance sector. THEY are the one's I truly fear. THEY are the one's who have the most realistic chance of destroying my future.

The Republican right - share and amplify the view of many Americans that the Taliban and al-Qaida are interchangeable. Both hold that the only path to renewal in Arab states is Islamist and it must be won by violence.

The argument from the Australian Government is that the decade-long war was at last moving in the right direction for the United States and its allies.

The reasons?

The military “surge” of United States troops into southern Afghanistan in 2010 fuelled a narrative that focused on the restoration of stability to Helmand and Kandahar provinces. In addition, the widespread use of night-raids and armed-drone attacks were killing or detaining many local Taliban commanders.

If the military image is one of a Taliban in retreat the political reality is that the Taliban and other insurgents will have a substantial role in post-war Afghan governance.

The Taliban run an effective campaign with local roots, using its own initiative and reliant on community support, but connected to and answerable to a central authority.

Just like the Vietnamese fighting the French and the Americans in Vietnam.

The “war on global terrorism” now in its tenth year, in Afghanistan, as well as a “covert” war in the Pakistani tribal borderlands will undoubtedly looks increasingly like a classic case of a declining empire overextending itself, squandering its treasury, and then, in its moment of crisis, extending itself yet further.

Al Qaida is a hardly a nightmare enemy large enough to justify all the advanced weapons systems in which The US military plan to invest.