May

6

 One of my favorite employees has a funny husband. Raised in the Midwest, his folksy sayings are often quoted by her during surgery. "Daddy's on the floor!" he shouts, in the morning once he's arisen from a night's slumber; out of bed, ready for a day's enlightenment (in retirement). The man of the house has arisen….and to every one and the only listener, he requires the family's attention.

This phrase again came to mind with yesterday's image of an Osama lieutenant; lying executed next to a child's fluorescent green toy water pistol. Some children have mass murderers for fathers, and I wondered if as a result this child is less a child and father is less a father.

We read they lived in full purdah– wives are required to not slumber with their husbands. And that the master killer wore a traditional salwar kameez when posing for the described portraits. Cultural traditions that seem different from ours, but in framework the same. The daughter who witnessed her father's disassembly was named for a spy who "killed a Jewish spy at the time of the prophet"; though it was as not so much this kind of spy that laid him down as it was cowboys of different cultures.

Dan Grossman writes:

I admire Kim's lending a little sanity to the Administration's celebration of the event.

I myself have no problem with sending Navy Seals to execute someone we are at war with, who planned the terror attack that took the lives of 3,000 Americans and that has cost us all years and hundreds of billions of dollars of delay, pat-down, and other sniveling procedures as we continue to allow the government (in what is more a "theatre of security" than anything effective) to permanently disrupt the lives of 310,000,000 of us. What I do feel uncomfortable about is:

1. Having the raid televised back to the White House situation room so that Obama (who was so crucial to the planning that he was actually on the golf course and had to rush back), Panetta, Hillary et al. could watch every step. This had to make the raid less efficient and more dangerous to the Seals, and why was it at all necessary other than to give the situation room viewers the false thrill of video-game-like participation?

2. The Administration's putting out the story (presumably to somehow justify the execution) that the unarmed OBL acted in a "cowardly fashion" when the Seals burst into the bedroom where he was with his family. Let us imagine how Obama himself, Panetta, Hillary or any of us might act if we are in our bedroom with our family and armed executioners burst in about to shoot us in the head.

And if Obama had to fly to Ground Zero and then fly to the Navy Seal base to keep the favorable publicity going (but of course not "to spike the ball"), it would have been classy to have invited George W. Bush to appear at Ground Zero with him. For all his faults, Bush did have a calming effect on the country and show personally bravery by, among other things, throwing out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium at a time when there was great fear of another attack and credible rumors of a nuclear weapon in NYC. 


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3 Comments so far

  1. steve on May 6, 2011 1:59 pm

    A few points.
    Bob Beckel Democratic strategist stated recently that the first thing you learn in politics is to seize good news and take full advantage of it. They just do not come along that often. A good politician learns to exploit each small victory quickly and aggressively.

    Speculating on why those in the situation room wanted to watch the events unfold, I suspect part of it was a photo op to show Caninet loyalty. The other part was almost certainly a display for purely political reasons as an effort to show the country that they actually care about the lives of soldiers. The third is a statement of power to foes to warn others of the fate that lies before them should they cross the USA.

    George Bush was invited by Obama to present the wreath at ground zero. Bush graciously declined. He stated that he chose not to be in the political limelight.

    The thing that I find most sobering as to Al Qaeda is not that there are people such as UBL and KSM but that there are those who will blindly follow such sociopathic murderers. This reminds me of the unrepentant criminals at Trials at Nuremburg. Those who are so disattached from society and reality that they choose blind allegiance unto death.

  2. Andre Wallin on May 7, 2011 2:11 pm

    good point Steve, but not surprising when we don’t know why we’re here. logic and the freedom to think today leads to either miraculous discoveries or massive tragedies of evil. logic has no moral compass. It’s almost as if capitalism deserves terrorism. when you put human beings in a struggle against one another there is going to be a lot of losers in the game. what are their options?? losers turning against the system is unavoidable and not such a big cost in comparison to the gains made in human innovation(that is if we stopped going to war over obls of the world)

  3. John on May 9, 2011 1:43 pm

    In the past 10 years there has been an increase in the amount of real time monitoring of military operations. Jets, drones, abd special ops are transmitting live video feeds back to a command and control center so high ranking individuals can watch. The growing concern is that the war fighter has someone watching over his/her shoulder from the comfort of a remote location much like a spectator but with authority to override on-the-spot decision making.

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