02 May 2011

Well, the bad guy is dead, do the troops come home now?

As you all know, last night Gobomber came on live TV to announce to the world that Osama bin-Laden had been killed by US troops.
I was not going to post on this matter until watching a bit of TV this afternoon and that was topic number one. Yes, even ESPN, the sports channels had to tell us about this man being dead. One "lead" story on ESPN was about the "sporting world's reaction to the death of bin-Laden". Yeah, way to go America, even the sports channels have to give a "sports world" reaction to the killing of the "most wanted man" in the world. Just why would I care at all how any sports person reacts to this? Do I get my world view from some baseball player, or maybe a football player. Yeah, sure thing. 
OK, I'll try to keep any further sarcasm to a minimum. 
Some people have said that bin-Laden died or was killed years ago. There have been various reports on the internet about his death off and on since his escape from the mountains around Tora Bora back in late 2001/early 2002.
Reports also claimed that the man had kidney troubles and needed dialysis. Now I have never worked in the health care industry, but I would think that it would be very difficult, if down right impossible, to cart dialysis equipment around the Hindu Kush and over the mountain passes between Afghanistan and Pakistan. He was also supposedly a diabetic. Not exactly the sort of health troubles that would make for easy hiking over the mountain passes in that area of the world.
News reports tell us that they took DNA samples to prove that this time they really did kill bin-Laden. Also, he has been buried at sea. No doubt this was to rid any chances that his grave could become a place of reverence for his followers. 
While I never did have any support for him or his organization, you did have to respect his convictions. How many members of a wealthy family would give up a soft life style and hold out in the wilds of the mountains between Pakistan and Afghanistan? None that I can think of, though there may be some. The respect I give him and his organization is the respect for an enemy. One lesson I learned as a Marine in Vietnam was that your enemy, while you would not be friendly with him/her, you did need to give him/her some measure of respect. When you refuse to give your enemy any respect, you are about to suffer losses. I would venture to guess that even Sun Tzu  who is said to have written the book The Art of War had some measure of respect for any of his enemies. This does not in any way imply any friendliness toward said enemy. The VC had stamina, commitment, and were respected as a very worthy enemy. The same can be said of al-Qeada and Osama bin-Laden.
One more comment about this "event". Last night on CNN, they showed crowds outside the White House fences cheering and shouting  what has become the standard chant of America since 9/11. Yes, they were chanting "USA!  USA!   USA!" In my opinion, they were just like the mindless clowns who cheered Hitler at the rallies the Nazi party held, they were much like the old Romans who cheered at those who were tossed into the arenas to face off against wild beasts, or, and this may be uncomfortable, posed for photographs at lynchings in the American South and Mid-West some decades back. Just call me disgusted with that sort of behavior. All else aside, he was a fellow human being. I would have liked for him to be captured and put on trial in a US criminal court, NOT some military tribunal at Gitmo. Of course, then, he may have said more than our(??) government would have wanted him to say. No, he had to remain a phantom or, better yet (perhaps) eliminated. Well, bin-Laden is dead now, officially dead, Gobomber has said so. Now, can we bring ALL of the troops back home?
Or would you prefer to purchase a very nice old bridge in Brooklyn?
Just my opinion of the death/killing of bin-Laden, for what its worth, or not.
For a good look at al-Qeada, Osama bin-Laden and the history of both, please check the following article;www.counterpunch.org/qadir05022011.html
semper fi

8 comments:

Mike Whitney said...

I don't believe in targeted assassinations. Once, the state feels it has the right to kill people without due process, the line gets hazier and hazier.

Just today, an Israeli official spoke out saying that the US killing of Osama justifies their killing Palestinians in the occupied territories. So, you see what happens.

And what if Obama decides to "whack" you or me; what's to stop him?
The law?

Don't make me laugh. What law? The law that arrested Bush and Co? The law that put the Wall street crooks behind bars? The law that froze BPs assets and indicted its executives?

There are no laws in the US, not if your rich.

charlie ehlen said...

Mike,
I agree, the president should NOT ever be allowed to just have anybody killed. Yeah, he could have either of us killed, no questions ever asked.
Yes, what law does he obey? Any at all? Just takes his orders from the "too big to fail" gangsters. Wall Streeters in jail? Who? Maddoff (sp) does NOT count. That was an abnormality him getting caught. Probably pissed off the wrong rich person.
The rule of law only applies to us peons now Mike.
America, what a country.

gesneri said...

It seems that someone somewhere in the bowels of the power structure started to realize how this operation was sounding to the world at large. Suddenly, the stories are saying that the SEAL team "thought OBL reached for a weapon" before they killed him. I don't blame the SEAL team, I blame the people who gave them their orders. Yes, this was an assassination. I'm sure it would have been difficult for the SEALs to bring him out alive, but a trial would certainly have been a better outcome.

charlie ehlen said...

gesneri,
Very good points. True, the SEAL team was following orders, even though I remember boot camp in 1968, we got lectures about the UCMJ. One that stayed with me all these years, we were obligated to disobey unlawful orders. No, I am not suggesting the "kill" orders were unlawful. Old bin=Laden was one of the top most wanted people. In the end though, yes, they had orders to capture or kill, as far as we know.
I agree 100% that those who gave the orders should be responsible, not those who carried them out.
A trial? In the USA? For a terrorist? OK, excuse my sarcastic question marks. YES, a trial for bin-Laden would have been the best to have happen, but not for those in power. Can you imagine how the folks who run the country would be sweating had he been captured and they had to hold a public trial as the Constitution is supposed to require? Can you see old "dead eye" Dick Cheney and Rummy, Shrubbie, and that crew along with Gobomber and his crew? They would be very worried that the "secrets" might come out. If he had been captured alive and had a trial, it would have to be one of those kangaroo military fake trials at Gitmo. We the people could never know what he said under oath. No way. Not in the Amerikkka of today. And that says a lot about how far we have fallen.

Nan said...

Bin Ladn had been demonized for so long that of course the mindless masses had to cheer his death. Most Americans aren't real good at thinking about much of anything, so the reality that we now have openly acknowledged death squads carrying out targeted assassinations doesn't give them the sick feeling some of us experienced.

I guess the good news is that the SEAL team didn't off the wife and kids, too.

Bin Ladn was always really direct about what he was thinking and why he did what he did, but not many people in this country took the time to listen. He said back in the 1990s his goal was drive this country to economic ruin by sucking us into endless, unwinnable wars, and he succeeded.

charlie ehlen said...

Nan,
Very good comments. You hit that straight on, Americans do NOT think much, period. There lies a large part of what is so wrong with America today. We no longer teach kids in school how to be critical thinkers. We really don't teach them much at all, juts how to pass the standard tests that are all the rage now days. Teach the test is all most kids get for an "education". Very sad and not much hope for any future.
The chants of "USA......USA......" after the announcement that bin-Laden was dead were just like when the home team wins a game of some sort. It was crass and very disgusting to me. How can "we" be so shocked at any Muslims dancing at the news that one of our aircraft has been shot down or when our troops get killed? Or is it only Americans who are allowed to cheer a "victory". I am not so sure that this was any sort of victory either by the way.
That is enough from me for now. Just call me disgusted with this. More later on this and other topics.

john francis lee said...

First thing I thought when I read that Obama'd whacked Osama was

Dead men tell no tales
http://www.robinlea.com/wordpress/2011/05/02/dead-men-tell-no-tales/

I'm sure you've seen

The Abbottabad Address
http://robinlea.com/pub/The_Abbottabad_Address.html

Cameron, Sarkozy, and Merkhel have all joined our Nobel Peace Prize Laureate slash Harvard Law Professor slash Assassin in Chief crawling around in the slime and the sin, having whacked not only Gadaffi's youngest son but three of his grandchildren as well.

The Mob is right : the fish rots from the head.

The USA, the EU, Civilization... none of it is what it's cracked up to be.

charlie ehlen said...

John,
Right on, dead men tell no tales. "We" needed to silence him. Imagine what might have come out in a real trial. Too much for empire to manage.
I keep coming back to the comment supposedly by Gandhi. He was asked what he thought of Western civilization, he replied that "it would be a good idea".
Maybe some day, after the fall of the empire, there just may be some real Western civilization. Not in my life time though the way things look.
Well, I can still dream.