Yay. I suppose.
Doubtless, the death of Osama Bin Laden will produce such a tremendous volume of analysis that we won’t have a fuckin’ clue what we actually think about it by the time it’s finished.
Which is fine. In the grand scheme of things, I don’t think it means a whole hell of a lot. I’m glad it’s finally done; I think we probably did the right thing in shooting him in the head. This isn’t a statement I make lightly; I’m a firm believer in due process. But neither do I see that there was a different outcome possible, nor do I think we would have learned anything or benefited from the trial in any particular.
But we’re nowhere near finished even telling one another how one should feel about it.
Discussion of whether or not it’s time to create some kind of legal framework for assassination (or anything else) is pretty much a non-starter. Meanwhile, missions in Iraq and Afghanistan will continue pretty much unchanged by this development as we’re still apparently attempting to establish stability. Or something. Oil.
Meanwhile, you have Libya contrast to Syria — the difference being that the former got sick of being shot and started a revolution and the latter appears committed more to peacefully being shot and martyred, both of whom have contributed more in a few months to making Al Qaeda irrelevant than we’ve been able to do with the best military in the world. Fronts the military nothing; best army in the world ain’t worth a shit if it’s sent off on stupid missions. We probably should get the fuck outta dodge (without blowing off our UN commitment to Libya) and let the place seek whatever it’s natural equilibrium is.
But then the military’s also very serious about the impact of peak oil and climate change as a threat multiplier over the next 40 years — a time during which, incidentally, the UN is projecting global population will peak around 9-10 billion. So the notion of NOT having a military presence in MENA during that period? Let’s be real; we ever find ourselves with too much of our supply cut off, we’ll start starving off pretty quickly.
Meanwhile, we have a monolithic “security” framework chock-a-bloc with old and new acronyms that nobody can keep tabs on, new technologies running amok, and probably a few actual threats out there to keep things interesting. The global war on terror isn’t going anywhere.
But we should seriously be declaring victory, finally, and rolling up the tents.
And that’s what’s remarkable; zero sense of closure. This, in spite of the fact that, whatever was left of Al Qaeda to begin with has been reduced to the irrelevance of a scarecrow.
We won. Why doesn’t it feel like it?