Justice Has No Meaning

April seemed to drift in, whimpering and, then, banging shut. Caresses and blows.

Easter slid by. Where was I? North Carolina? Kentucky? Maryland?

Easter’s just candy, anyway, shaped like eggs, and a White House lawn with children on the hunt. Though I do remember something about a rock rolled away from a tomb.

Prince William and Kate were royally rocking and rolling, a circumstance of pomposity.

Now, we’re a week into May, Derby time with a parade of hats and thoroughly bred animals. Oh, and horses, too, racing for the first jewel in the Triple Crown, no thorns allowed.

This is celebration season. And many are celebrating death?the assassination of that mythical decider who claimed responsibility for “inspiring” 9-11 and scared us to bookstores to purchase bibles in freedomville where we can shop and choose a wireless plan with a special friends-and-family rate, radiation exposure, dropped calls, and surveillance included.

Yes, they did it. They, finally, got him, with two bullets, one to the face and another to the chest. Quick DNA testing confirmed the identity, and, then, the body of Osama bin Laden slipped into the sea.

When the news broke, a flag-waving crowd amassed in front of the White House, shouting, “USA! USA! USA!”

Geraldo Rivera was orgasmic: “Happy days! Happy days, everybody! This is the greatest night of my career.” And: “I wish I could confirm it with my own eyes.”

“Justice has been done,” Barack Obama said.

“Justice.” I say the word that has no meaning.

Planned for months, the mission was accomplished with Blackhawk helicopters and a couple of dozen troops from Navy SEAL Team Six.

Go’bama. Four more years.

Imagine, just imagine, the reelection ads. Perhaps, that “s” on ads should be removed, for the killing of bin Laden is a singular achievement, a nail in the coffin of any other presidential hopeful. Americans worship retribution.

Insert: According to a Newsweek/Daily Beast poll, the president didn’t get a bounce for taking out bin Laden, because it’s the economy, stupid. Still, I’m sticking with the preceding paragraph.

Despite expanding war and droning, B. Obama was considered a wimpy twerp. No more. Ripping off his sissy suit, he, now, is worthy of “leading” the Empire.

And what about those Navy SEALs? Wow. Probably, the dreams of our young have changed. Oh, to be an elite killer, swooping in and popping someone in the face and chest, protecting freedom.

Osama bin Laden’s New York Times obituary detailed one of his hopes. If killed in an attack, he wanted the Muslim world to rise up and defeat the country responsible.

Truth is we were defeated with a weapon of mass destruction called the Patriot Act?you know, after 9-11, when Congress passed it and G. Bush signed into law the sacrifice of our rights.

More than 6,000 US troops have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we’ve killed over a million Iraqi and Afghan civilians under the pretense of multiple pretenses. Trillions of dollars have been spent.

The assassination of bin Laden doesn’t bring peace of mind or troops home. Nor does it end the suffering of those in war-ravaged countries.

Here’s an example of one among many dilemmas our foreign policy has created: We didn’t inform Pakistan of the military action against bin Laden. Trust issue. Yet we’ve given the country billions of dollars in aid since 9-11.

Official explanations and investigative commissions are travesties. An accurate account of what occurred at bin Laden’s death scene may never be disclosed. It’s all about disinfo, in the interest of national security, inquiry closed.

We do know this about his life: He wrote of the humiliation of invasion and occupation and his outrage over the 500,000 Iraqi children who died because of our sanctions. Despising us, he called for the deaths of Americans, including children.

But bin Laden should have been captured and tried criminally.

I hold this truth to be self-evident: The Sunday night announcement conveniently ended coverage and questions about Saturday’s NATO strike that incinerated three of Muammar Gaddafi’s grandchildren and a son, an attack illegal under international law.

And this: The greatest danger emanates from our own government, controlled not by the people but by Wall Street and the Pentagon, the Corporate/Military/Security complex, dictating who is in and who is out, supporting ruthlessness, intervening, and interfering. All those fingerprints and boots make huge dents in the countries whose resources we require to keep us warm in winter, cool in summer, and our cars ready for that next ride to stock up at Wal-Mart, just as they assault here at home, taking, taking, taking our property, our children’s future, and our dignity.

Party on, though. We just killed someone who hated us. It’s what we do; it’s who we are.

Missy Beattie lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Reach her at missybeat@gmail.com.


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Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

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