Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Arises from the dead to be assassinated
Let me say right off the bat that I have no sympathy for Osama Bin Laden. It doesn't break my heart that he's met his (un)timely demise. However, I must confess that I find it a little unnerving the amount of celebration and rah-rah American-ness that has been taking place since the news rocked this country that our arch-nemesis has been slain, not by drones in the sky, or the Pakistani intelligence, but instead by our own elite Navy SEALs.
Sure, I will freely admit that I think it's good for our national consciousness to have this terrorist eliminated. We've been dragging around this heavy weight for the last ten years; pushing the search for Bin Laden to the back of our minds, and trying the forget that he was the reason we removed the Taliban, bombed and killed hundreds, if not thousands, of civilians in Afghanistan, and somehow tried to legitimize our attack and occupation of Iraq because of either the ties to Bin Laden and Al Qaeda, or because we were worried that Saddam Hussein was going to become another terrorist (I could never exactly figure out their excuse - I don't think I'm alone on this one). Now, at last, the dark cloud has parted, and we can finally say - as a country - that we killed the man responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center. It is sort of a national catharsis that I think we're in desperate need of, and I think it actually might have an amazing effect on our economy, the salty political discourse, as well as our foreign policy.
Now don't let my hopeful words above in any way legitimize the United States' actions over the past ten years. We've been the opposite of rational and virtuous at nearly every turn, and the assassination of a terrorist mastermind doesn't exactly negate all of that. However, the fact that it happened under a new president with a new strategy, along with an amazing speech that emphasizes the fact that our country is not, and never was, at war with Islam, but that we can be (though the Tea Party, or many other intolerant people people would say otherwise) a nation that embraces diversity - diversity of religion, racial diversity, sexual diversity, gender diversity - and can be a place that the rest of the world will look at and wonder at how well our heterogeneous country, the most heterogeneous on the planet, work so well.
Sorry for the patriotic stuff, but I think our country has gotten a bad rap for the actions of a minority of greedy and ignorant people, who we had absolutely no control over (well, I guess the mid-term elections would say we do have control over them, but with a voting vote in the 40% range, it doesn't exactly speak well to democracy). I think that Obama, regardless of his action involvement in giving the go-ahead with this operation, has just secured his second term. I know it may be a little premature, and I don't want to jinx him in any way (I don't actually believe in jinx's, so it doesn't exactly matter), but I don't really see the Republican argument against a president who is working hard to drive the unemployment numbers down, the economy up, and just killed public enemy number one. The daze will wear off from Bin Laden's death, but short of a dramatic downward shift in the economy, or something unforseen (I guess that's always what has the effects, huh), I think we're looking at Obama/Clinton in 2012. Yes, I think Hillary Clinton will be Obama's running mate in 2012 - setting herself up for another run in 2016.